Two tulip poplar leaves vibrate in a private wind: chickadees. The western ridge turns from blood-red to orange to yellow—autumn in reverse.
As many hours as the wind has been blowing, a strong gust brings still more leaves. A tulip poplar samara helicopters almost to the porch.
Home! A migrant wood thrush softly calls over the roar of the rain-swollen creek. In the big tulip tree, a squirrel is building a drey.
In the steady rain, a gray squirrel is climbing all over the big tulip tree, as if searching for something. A raven goes croaking overhead.
The sound of chainsaws from over the ridge. A chipmunk races up the big tulip poplar and returns to earth along the first, hung-down limb.
A tulip-tree leaf under the drip line cups its portion of rain. A chipmunk hidden in the dead grass shrieks when I turn the page of my book.
A squadron of tulip poplar keys spinning down into the stiltgrass. From over the ridge, a locomotive’s hoarse chord.
The tulip tree’s leaves have burst their buds—a pale green cloud. A gnatcatcher in the shadbush darts and hovers like a slow hummingbird.
The tulip tree in the yard has reached that stage where it could be sculpture, each remaining yellow leaf placed just so, jeered at by jays.
The tulip poplar sapling in the yard glows in the sunlight, a golden column. A honeybee buzzes around the empty light socket above my head.