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first frolics of fall

A road side cliff, covered with vines, is all yellow even before September.

On a warm day, I walk along the shadowy side of the street. Except with the setting sun at just that angle, the sunlight reflects off the opposite windows in a steady pattern and burns down on me.

Hidden by hillside and the thickness of trees, a flock is easily told by its clamorous noise.

A hawk sits on a street scene, its white front mottled with brown.

On the corrugated back of the highway sign, every indentation is filled with a line of small birds as they flock

It rains, it rains, it rains -- the first morning I look out, and the lawn is filled with the mix of rusty grass, dead for want of water, and the new spritely green sprouts -- the second, the sprouts have grown so thick and lush that the dead grass is quite hidden.

The gray day brings out color: the tinge of red at the top of the still green maple trees, the bushes blossoming in masses of white.

The rising moon, cut off by a wall, with a spring of leaves framed by it, is a dull, unluminous copper shade.

A tree, pale green in its leaves, is flecked here and there with ruby-red leaves -- never more than one to a bough.

A bloodied gibbous moon rises in the east, gleaming not at all.

The chrysantheum that decided to grow in my garden is purple. Mostly. A few of the new ones are sky blue -- intensely blue, of the zenith, not the horizon.

A birch tree, and not a towering one either, is all atwitter, but the flock is visible only now and again, if you watch with care, mostly as a hint of dark shadows in the depths of the leaves.

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