By Donald Guadagni

The dog days of summer linger, hot languid air settles one more time. When a breeze arrives the leaves on the trees sluggishly wave as their colors become less vivid with each passing day. The equinox approaches and all of nature prepares for the transitions of the seasons, soon it will be time to rest for the year.

The evenings bring swallows and bats scouring the twilight skies for the last mosquitoes of the season. Crickets and frogs, sing and call into waning warmth of the nights. Fireflies sparkle and twinkle in yellow green light.

One morning, which one is never noticed. The air has a fresh damp chill as the nightly north wind has caressed all things with the first sweet kiss of coolness. The last acorns have fallen from the oaks and the grasses that whispered and swayed glisten for the last times with wet morning dew.

The skies carry cumulus clouds that gather and bring light showers, the last preparations of nature to ensure the buried seeds and nuts survived the winter slumbers. The morning now are crisp with bright blue skies. Skeins of migrating birds grace the skies. The ubiquitous white and yellow butterflies flit about searching for the last open blossoms. 

October calls to the trees these days, the night chill has robbed the deciduous tree leaves of their green colors and the shorting days no longer provide the catalyst of life. The swallows and bats have gone for the season, only the hardy winter birds remain. Listen to the wind song in the leaves no longer a smooth rush of rhythm, fitful twisting the rustling as supple leave turn brittle.

Greens that once were now yield to yellows, reds, and orange hues, brown leaves crackle in the breezes that pass through the trees. One morning that brought the first chill of winter comes, and unnoticed the first leaves have surrendered their hold and drifted to the ground. Hold your breath and watch for a few fleeting days as the riot of colors that decorated the trees disappeared as by magic. 

Leaves fall and swirl as Halloween approaches, they dance and race across streets and yards. The mornings now bring a familiar smell of damp leaves on the ground. Some leaves vainly cling onto their twigs and branches. No matter the determination, they too will wave one last time in the late autumn winds before joining their brethren gathered on the ground.

We never see the last leaf fall, or even hear its sound. The symphony of the leaves has ended for the season, only the conifers remain with their muted greens to greet the winter season. At night in the cold winds that blow and bluster, the song of the empty boughs and the soft whisper of pine needles singing together is heard. The overture to winter has begun.

Donald Guadagni is an international educator, author, and writer currently involved with Human Rights Defender research and projects. His publication work includes human rights, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, myth, science fiction, fantasy, humor, academic, romance, humor, true crime, internationally published photography and his artwork.

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