The apple harvest has begun. I listened to the sounds of it, faint, as though drifting as much from some other time as from the orchard at the end of the block. Stray laughs and snatches of songs, calls, the clatter of ladders being moved, all of it seeming detached from the ordinary street of suburban houses where sprinkler spray shot through warm air and fell to puddle among grass stems, and birds came to peck the softened earth and flick bright drops from beating wings. Small ornamental maples have turned color, splashing the green and blue afternoon with red, the first trees to sport the festive tones which announce the approach of a season that will turn sombre, a raiment soon to crumble and expose bare bones to the failing year's increasingly cold light. But for now, the days remain as sweet, and the nights as crisp, as a bite from a fresh apple. I love this time of year.