I sat on the deck enjoying cooler evening weather. It became apparent that fall is as busy a time as spring. Sounds from the woods of squirrels dashing among the leaves mixed with the clucking sound of a turkey deep in the trees. I heard another softer cluck nearby and slowly looking around to not startle anything. There on the retaining wall near the deck was a chipmunk. I watched it carefully to see any movement and decide if the sound was coming from it. Just as I heard the noise again, the throat of the chipmunk moved. For a chipmunk to cluck, it is a warning, usually meant that a hawk or other aerial predator is around. I looked up and saw nothing. Looked back and the chipmunk was gone.
My eye wandered to the spider web out past the edge of our yard, near a group of trees in the yard next door. The low sunlight highlighted the 45-degree angle silk strand. It glittered as it wavered in the slight breeze. I wondered how the spider made the transition from one tree to the other, at least a 10-foot span. Then I noticed a completely level strand straight across from the sweet gums to the Leland cypress. Such work for something so small. In the fall, in the mornings, there are many circular webs hanging between power lines as I drive along the roads. Nickel-sized orb spiders sit in the middle as if they are proud of their creation.
Something moved in the pot on the deck. The pot with the dead cherry tomato plant that I could not bring myself to pull out when the heat of the summer was taking its toll. Those handful of tomatoes left on the vine were enjoyed by the chipmunk. Occasionally I found a half-eaten one lying on the deck. It moved again and I could see it this time, a green anole wearing the tarnish of early fall. It walked gingerly along the rim of the pot and then leapt to the deck floor. I watched as it skittered along the boards to the railing near where the chipmunk was earlier. My phone was sitting on the table, so I picked it up and walked toward the anole. I got one or two photos before it disappeared and I decided to retreat to my seat and give it some space to continue on with whatever task it was up to.