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Autumn is a happy time.

When the trees, so fond of playing gently in the summer wind, drop their grinning leafy facades and show themselves as they truly are; when the sun, tired and unappreciated, begins to withdraw from public life. When I can walk through the forest and be encumbered by neither the hubristic outburst of summery life nor the suffocating blanket of wintery restraint.

I am man.

This is my world.

And for a few moons a year I can walk unchallenged through the sea of dead and dying things that surrounds me and stand above it all like the self-proclaimed master of an adamantly disobedient and preposterously large dog - the dog is asleep and I can eat my dinner without him jumping on the table and I can rest without barking in my ear provided his collar is still firmly attached and I don't make any loud noises and I walk around the sinuous ball of short wiry fur that takes up a large portion of the living room.

This is the season of death. But not the austere death of winter, when snow suffocates the earth and packs itself into every possible corridor of its soily substrate like so much air-filled packing foam that locks up the moving parts of an instrument of heavy machinery to make sure they don't accidentally engage when they're in storage and send a five-ton bulldozer staggering drunkenly through the cinder-block wall of the warehouse.

This is dynamic decay, with swirling storms of fallen leaves running panicked through the streets.

This is not the quiet resignation of flawless white hills.

This is dramatic and visceral. This is the war between fiery passion and cool determination.

And though I know how it will end each time, it continues to amaze me.

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