Still Life with Tree

Prompt: tripod | Word Count: 250 words exactly | Genre: flash fiction

May 28, 2020

On the first day of lockdown, Stewart steadied the camera on top of the tripod and set the shutter to click automatically at regular intervals throughout the day. He placed the lens squarely against the window and focused on the big tree beyond the fence in the backyard, then adjusted the remaining settings to automatic.

For seventy days of confinement, the camera whirred and clicked, snapping photos of the life beyond his window. Reviewing the pictures in rapid succession told a stellar tale.

The large tree, just budding as lockdown began, leafed into glorious vibrant green leaves. As the days grew longer, various residents took up their lodgings.

At its center, a squirrel couple moved in, and soon added to their young family. Within no time the branches hosted racing youngsters, scurrying among the foliage.

In the highest branches, a hawk pair built a nest of twigs. He watched as the nest slowly came to be and then came to life, with the mother roosting, then feeding her young brood. After several weeks, the fledglings completed their inaugural flights, ready to molt and leave the nest.

Far beneath the canopy, at the roots, a bunny family grew. And grew. And grew some more. As the leaves deepened to lush green, and the dozen kits ventured from their den to nibble on the tender green shoots the sprang among the roots.

Viewing his film, Stewart realized that life had not been still for everyone that pandemic Spring.

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