Foggy and damp. Small flies—or large midges—drift back and forth. A few branches high in the big tulip tree appear to be freshly debarked.
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.