Wet leaves last night. Is there anything that smells more like fall? It’s the smell of new earth, new topsoil, being born. I also noticed many more chickadees – I hope it’s our new winter population, but some are probably just passing through on their way to warmer climes.

Today is another one of those perfect, moist, crystalline fall days. A tight breeze keeps you moving (barely over 40 degrees), and the oaks are in their full glory – stately trunks like Greek columns recede into the West, crowned with burnished (in both its original "make brown" and its current "make lustrous" meanings) reds and golds and orange. It’s good to be alive.

I noticed that the front lawn will probably need to be cut one more time before we put the mower away. The light rain of the past few days gave it another shot of growth. And I need to shred leaves for the vegetable garden, and put the beds to rest, and, and, and… it sure is a beautiful day. The clouds are light and puffy, too.

The air today reminds me of hikes in the mountains – walking into deep valleys near a stream plunging over rocks. It’s cool, dark. Under hemlocks, moss cushions the earth. Feet don’t make a sound. Perfect.