My favorite month has ended with a perfect night. The chilly wind rose after sunset, and filled the moonless dark with the sound of skittering leaves, creaking branches and moaning pines. A handful of costumed little buggers passed up and down the street, but did no mischief. Kids today have no initiative. I hope they at least tipped over the portable outhouse in front of the construction site down the road. I'll check that this afternoon. Now, the late-rising moon grins among the thinning field of autumn stars, and Orion stands upright high above the apple orchard. I huddle against the house to look at him. The wind has the bite of approaching winter in it. Short days to come, and long nights, and the smell of oranges and cloves and wood smoke. November, and distant lights like ice crystals in the night air.