unveiled suddenly under leaves scurries
a subgothic dart moth (Feltia subgothica)

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Blending life into our bend of steps where autumn falls —
a large maple spanworm moth (Prochoerodes lineola).

 

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Here by the autumn creekside,

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a stealthy fox emerges from cover

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to prey upon a squirrel

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 that nimbly leaps away.

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And here the next morning, back set to the sun, the fox bends to it again.

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Gold to crimson leaves are not the only signs of a changing season.

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A black and russet-banded Woolly Bear makes its way along Little Crum Creek.

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 Come spring, it may pupate, emerging as an adult Isabella Tiger Moth.

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But autumn’s caterpillar must first endure a long cold winter:
taking shelter, curling in bristly cover against predators,
and, incredibly, generating a cryoprotectant chemical
to safeguard cells from freezing temperatures…

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waiting for spring and the return of warmer weather.

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Vestige of summer, and brightest of autumn’s early colors,

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a yellowing ash tree in the sun yet unleaves its burning tongues

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to winds that whisper a nearing winter and fallen moments gone.

 

 

A katydid clicks a tune by scraping the grooves of draping wings.
Shaped, colored, and veined as the summer leaves, 
its cover is its song. 

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But come golden fall, the still green katydid,
once a rhythmic guiro of summer’s evening serenade,
must face the quickly diminishing curtain of its call.