I woke to find that the wind had risen to shake the trees and strew leaves and pine needles about. The ground is now quite crunchy underfoot, and the air is at that delightful stage between crisp and balmy. The sky, where it is not dusted with complex swirls of cirrus clouds, has taken on that deep, autumnal blue which signifies October. Truly blustery days cannot be far off, now, when envigored winds will fill the air with last spring's growth now spent, and flocks of quacking ducks and honking geese will inscribe the sky with fluid calligraphy announcing winter's approach. As yet, the fallen leaves are only yellow or brown, and many are still green, but soon there will be red as well, like licks of flame to warm one's thoughts on chilly days. Where they spread across the back lawn, I will gather from among them the new crop of walnuts, inside whose rumpled shells the year's warmth is preserved, to be savored on long winter nights.