Fall's first frost. A gusty breeze steering giant clouds in and out of shifting blue holes. Yellowing cottonwood leaves fluttering like rain. A vibrant morning that finds critters either scrambling to head south or fettering about getting ready to stay through the winter.
Walking through the crispy forest, I aim my microphone at pair of red squirrels chasing each other on and off and under a cluster of trees, chittering and chattering all the while. Mid-chase, a flock of sandhill cranes passes over head in a wavering, raucous, fluid skein.
And perched on a high branch, between the scurrying squirrels and fleeing cranes, is a single raven offering a calm commentary on the neighborhood frenzy.