Sunset was preempted by a sudden squall. The clouds massed and turned afternoon to premature twilight. Wind arose and sent a shower of leaves flocking from the mulberry tree where they were battered in midair by bursts of hailstones. Then the rain poured down furiously as though the retreating storm would empty every remaining drop of its water in one burst. By full nightfall, the clouds had utterly vanished and stars appeared in the cobalt sky, and the bright moon rose to spill its white light across the sparkling ground. It has grown very cold once again, and the chill is exacerbated by the lingering damp. Though the solstice remains two weeks away, it feels like winter tonight.