Fog. A squirrel is peeling ribbons of bark from the branches of the big tulip tree. And all these years I’ve been blaming porcupines!
Cloudy and cold. In the thinning treetops, a squirrel takes a wild leap to lose a suitor. Tulip tree samaras helicopter down.
Rain and fog. With the goldenrod going gray, the yellow has moved from the meadow to the woods’ edge: spicebush, walnut, birch, elm, tulip tree.
Tulip poplar leaves waving like four-fingered, cartoon hands. A shimmer of mizzle thickens into rain. The Carolina wrens go on dueting.
Rising late, I wonder what I’ve missed out on. The sun goes in. Two brown creepers scuttle around to the far side of the big tulip tree.
Bright sun. High in the tulip tree, among the shining leaf nubbins, two robins meet for combat and tumble to the ground.
In bright sun, the tulip poplar’s green torch beside a black cherry’s cloud of tiny pink leaves.
Bone-achingly cold. A squirrel navigating the tulip tree walks on the undersides of snowy limbs. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
Patchy gray sky. A red-breasted nuthatch alights on a tulip tree limb stripped bare by a porcupine, a few bast fibers flapping in the wind.
The tulip tree next to the springhouse is nearly bare, its last few leaves waving like four-fingered cartoon hands as the sky darkens to rain.
With so many other trees bare now, the tulip poplars have come into their glory: under a dark sky, columns of softly rustling gold.
A tiger swallowtail flits through the top of the tulip tree, which this year because of the late frost is bare of blooms for the first time.
Overcast and cool. The big tulip tree’s few leaves not damaged by last week’s frost still wave. Beyond the powerline, a wood thrush sings.
The tulip tree’s luminous new leaves flutter against the blue sky in such a way that one can almost see why foresters call it a poplar.