Windy and clearing. Amidst all the twirlers and spiralers, one tulip poplar leaf plummets straight to the ground, folded like an umbrella.
One tulip tree limb is a-quiver: a pair of squirrels nibble on each other’s fur. Love or parasites? A cricket calls from under the bergamot.
That buzz from just inside the woods: chipping sparrow or worm-eating warbler? The four-fingered tulip tree leaves flip back and forth.
The tulip tree’s enormous flowers are opening, yellow and orange petals dripping nectar, accompanied by the wood thrush’s choir of one.
From the moment I come out, the world conspires to wake me up: yesterday, the tulip tree dropped a branch; today, a Cooper’s hawk swoops in.
The last few feet of the tulip poplar’s lowest branch is yellow, the portion that had been stuck in the snow—debarked by hungry mice.
A tulip poplar key helicopters past the porch, shook loose by a squirrel at the edge of the woods rummaging among the spikey cups of seeds.
The crown of an oak that was green on Tuesday now glows orange in the sun. Every breeze shakes a fleet of helicopters out of the tulip tree.