There is no weather I find more enjoyable than that which precedes an autumn rain. Today, I woke to a sky filmed with the thinnest layers of clouds, so that they were neither white nor grey, but a pale, powdery blue. As I walked through the quiet streets, the day darkened until shadows ceased altogether to be things and became only a deeper atmosphere gathered under thickets and along the walls of houses. The field in the wide vale east of my house, newly green from the recent rains, is less defined now that the deciduous trees around it have lost much of their foliage, revealing more of the evergreens beyond them. Until it faded to a ghost in the slowly lowering cloud, the distant ridge across the river lifted its crown of pines like a shadow of the nearer ridge which is the eastern boundary of the field. Now, a vague breeze stirs the chill air, and a few more leaves drop from the trees. Soon, the first drops of rain will speckle the grey pavement in the early dark.