A still and sunny afternoon, decorated by a few wisps of cirrus clouds, gave way to an evening of rising breezes. The oaks, nearly bare, surrender a few more of their diminishing horde of desiccated, brown leaves, which skitter along the pavement and among the dancing shadows of moonlit pines. The dense fog which spent the day lying in the valley will not creep this high tonight, as long as the north wind prevails. Still, there is a haziness to the atmosphere which hides the lesser stars. The early onset of dusk reminded me that we are but days from the longest night of the year, and the official start of winter. Strange that December has felt more autumnal than did rainy, cold November this year. Despite the rushing wind, and the near-nakedness of the trees, tonight is sufficiently mild as to seem as though fall has only lately begun. Ah, the pine-scented air!