sleet in the weather report

and winter approaches.
i hauled in milkweed
and chopped each stick into three or four pieces so they'd fit into my big pot
 for steaming. then began the interminable stripping
 and scraping
 the next morning a few tiny bits appeared in the sunshine.
there was a lot of pulp in my big pot.
and the leftover stalks which are slick and clean and so lovely.
i've now hand beaten all that pulp 
over 3 or 4 days, 3 or 4 hours daily 
Yes the hands were sore)
 and will make glorious paper soon.
upon coming home the other day i found
a narsty squirrel invaded my black walnut stash
ripped my screen door when pushing through a too small tear.
blacl walnuts were lined up in a row across my driveway 
and up the steps, where s/he stopped for snacks.
under the other big dyepot, 
a surprise
in the morning yard today
the light breaks through clouds
the old maples are shedding their varicolored leaves

pileated woodpecker, 
cock of the woods, 
called and flew over
and continued calling while scouting for a good place to feed
in the back meadow
where last week i harvested that huge bagfull of milkweed
light dances.