tulip tree

Gentle rain. The intense green of new leaves everywhere but inside the ring of fencing around a tulip tree that appeared in my yard during the pandemic like a blessing. Its buds show no sign they’ll ever open again. I don’t know why.

On a cloudless, quiet mid-morning after a heavy frost, the ground remains white only in the shadows. A single orange leaf falls from the tall tulip poplar, spiraling slowly down into the dead goldenrods.

My three-year-old tulip tree has extended one last, jaunty new leaf for the season. How tall it has grown on this summer’s thunderstorms! Not to mention all the extra CO2 in the air.

A skim of snow overnight; a front has blown in and the birds are so much quieter. But a cold, gray morning is fine for gray squirrel romance: a pair ascend a young tulip tree together, touching often, and descend the adjacent walnut tree, nose to tail.