Sun sets like a ripe peach spreading orange juices on the horizon. Dark blue clouds pause to consider.
Deep in the woods, coyotes yip. Howls echo through maple, poplar, spruce. Shivers rise as one imagines a Ghost Dance of fur. It’s too early for a Coyote Pow Wow. Usually they wait until after dark, baying as the harvest moon rises. Why do they haunt the sun today?
Partridges rustle in the underbrush and fly out, alarmed, indignant. A ruffle of feathers and they disappear again.
Squirrels patter on dry leaves. No one hides completely in autumn. Crackling leaves betray our every step. Only the wind hides our presence for a moment before silence descends again. We forest folk play hide ‘n seek as orange and yellow leaves flutter against darkening sky.
Three doe dashed through the woods beneath our deck earlier today. A shadow followed them. Buck? Neighborhood child? Fox? Coyote? Who knows?
The forest pace quickens. Our ears twitch. Our nose sniffs. We smell winter as the sap tunnels toward the deep underground roots. We chop our firewood and bury our acorns and glance north, waiting.
It’s coming, it’s coming. We sing our autumn song.