The autumn air was crisp, clean and fresh. There was something about the chill that made the scent of the forest sharper, more intense, almost palatable. The scent of the sap dropping in the oaks, maples, and gum filled the air. Odor of their coming dormancy filled the air and cloaked all who entered the wood. The brightly colored fallen leaves, dew drenched and underfoot added a musty, woody aroma to the mix. Passing into sleep, the trees freed their leaves. The leaves final color choice, a fleeting blaze of passion, a testament to the one they loved and had to leave. The leaves in turn gave of themselves so that they would turn into the very lifeblood that gave their trees verve.
All around the signs of fall could not be missed. Flowers that came only to life when the air chilled had come into bloom. Burnt orange, rusty red, and muted purples peaked out from under bush and leaf fall. Colors melded in some forest wide grand mural that only the squirrels and chipmunks could properly maintain. Fruits came to ripe upon branch and vine. Nuts fell upon the think carpet provided by their brethren the leaves. Everywhere throughout the forest, color and life clashed in one final collage in the time before winter.
This evening the golden rays of sunset splashed across the tops of the trees. Only shafts of light made it through the not yet fallen brotherhood of the leaves. The yellow-gold light touched flowers and emboldened leaves and helped them burst into new grander magnificent colors yet unknown and unnamed. The cool breeze helped the branches of the trees dance. Leaves took their final flight in golden radiance. Drowsy trees smiled as they noted their departure. Sunlight dappled all in fleeting motion as it snuck through the new openings. The symphony of color, light, movement, sound and scent had almost been overwhelming.
All to soon the light faded over hill and the shadows lengthened. The day creatures of the wood made their last dashes about in hurried efforts. Night watchers came awake and aware. The call of the owl could be heard through the gentle soft rustle of leaves. Wing beats could be heard if you listened close enough. As the light raced onward to illuminate its other stages, color became faded, muted. The once festive riot of painted leaves and flowers faded to shades of gray. The chill deepened and the scents grew heavier.
Seeing all and yet disturbing nothing, one of the wood stood unnoticed behind a huge double trunk red oak. All around him is serenity in the twilight. The trees continue forth with their yearly ritual. Deer gently pass in the dusk, browsing on the feast of acorns provided by their benefactors. A screech owl lets out a paralyzing call and a field mouse stops and listens in fear and awe. The forest moves forward as it always has, as it always shall.
Early evening thermals had brought the scent that he knew would come. The stench was overpowering and repulsive when it assaulted him. The contrast in aroma brought shallow tears to his eye. But it passed with a shift in wind. Through the wood the intruders came. In one fluid motion, born of a lifetime of watching the swaying branches of the willow, as silent as the movement of the flower in the breeze, the elf raised his bow. The only sound made was the wooden arrow being drawn over the polished wood of his handmade bow. It was only then that he was reminded of his nearby brethren, faint almost undetectable sounds of hundreds of his kin following his lead. The sound of arrow being drawn over the elegant wood, heard by only those most attuned, became the symphony of Elvin war.