Even before I scanned the weather forecast, you could tell that it was going to snow. A clear solitude outside heralded its approach. The last of the oak leaves have dropped giving me the opportunity for one last rake. The Japanese maples were still stubbornly holding on to their cover as their terminal buds had not swollen enough to cast aside the shriveled leaves. Getting out to rake one last time, much of the yard knew it was time for a winter coat. The hostas were reduced to thin papery remnants. A few squirrels were burying a few last seeds while I raked ones from the maple off the patio and onto an adjacent bed.
The leaves on the grass were few but enough to require removal. They moved easily over the nearly frozen lawn into small and neat piles. The absence of wind made their organization easier and the usual background rustle of leaves made the chore more solitary. The birds were more quiet than usual. After today, there would be few opportunities for clean up.
There were few smells, just fresh clean air, much like when the first snow arrives cleansing the sky and covering decaying vegetation. Soon everything will be covered in white and winter shall begin.