At first light, a siren goes off and doesn’t stop, a high steady note as if from a Tibetan prayer bowl. Please God, I mutter, make it stop.

A hard rain overnight has reduced the forest canopy to tatters. Where cherry leaves had hung, nothing but beads of water reflecting the sky.

Under gray skies, barely a breath of wind and the woods are alive with the commotion of falling leaves. I will cut my hair.

Rounding the corner of the house, I spot a reflection in my living room window and stop short: leaves of all colors. The change is upon us.

Mid-morning, and a weak sun sets the oaks aglow—orange, burgundy. Two archery hunters rustle past, incongruous in their green camouflage.