The oak leaves have reached the gold stage of their decay. They are best around dusk, when the dark branches, now largely exposed, seem to stand out and the lace overlay of leaves recedes and flattens even as their color grows deeper. For a few minutes the scene looks like a painting, but it is art that will soon cease to exist. Until then it will undergo a subtle change each day, unless some wind or extreme cold arrives to hasten the dropping of the leaves. I watch tonight's version of the year's work dim and vanish as darkness absorbs the view. The greater portion of autumn has already passed. A flock of geese flying ahead of winter accompany the day's last light, and it is gone while their calls still vibrate the chill air.