Declining, the sun ensconces itself among thin clouds which it proceeds to burnish silver and gold. The green and copper needles of the ponderosas glitter as the trees rustle and sway, excited by gusty breezes. The mottled gold and brown carpet of mulberry leaves shifts a bit, its tattered ends flying off to join the throng of oak leaves now clattering up the street. A band of light and shadows, now almost horizontal, decorates my wall. A slight moderation of the temperature has induced me to fling open the windows and allow a bracing December freshness to flood the room. Unimpeded, the chirps and squawks and whistles of birds reach me, and there is a flapping of wings. The sound of a rake scraping asphalt is there, too, and the soft fluff of the pine needles it gathers and tumbles into a growing pile. If the wind dies down, maybe the scent of their burning will enliven the evening air, and I will see the flicker of their flames shine from deepening dusk as the bright day fades.