There was activity in the apple orchard, though. Men came through and clipped the twigs which grow upward from the tops of the trees each fall. Now, the bare trees no longer sport their spiky, punkish look. Now their bony forms are neatly clipped, like the old men of the town whose social life consists of little more than going to the barber shop.
A few minutes ago, I went out and found deer browsing in my yard again. Unless I startle them, the older deer walk slowly away when they spot me, but the younger ones just look at me and then go back to browsing. They have seen enough of humans not to be particularly afraid of us, but have not lived long enough to regain a reasonable wariness. Some of the local folk chase deer away, not wanting them muddling about in their gardens. Some children fear the deer, and throw stones at them. The younger deer will learn that wariness.
After the deer left (heh-- I first wrote "deer departed"), I watched for a few minutes as the fattening crescent moon settled behind the pines. This time of year, it's position relative to the trees creates some interesting compositions. Most years I rarely see them, because of the cloudiness which normally prevails. Now they are visible, but the night is too cold for me to stand outdoors watching for long. At least the wind has stopped. But in the stillness, I can hear from a great distance the disturbing sound of premature pine cones falling through the cold darkness.