Autumn. The Dark Days.

It's official. Autumn is my favorite time of year. And yes, I've spent many hours pondering which of the four joys I  most love. 

Why autumn? Best of both worlds:

It opens, of course, with a lush display of summer's labors. Bloom and flower and bees and pollen galore. 

And then . . . 

The change begins. So gradual. It's easy to miss the opening act.

Trees and shrubs offer their particular counterpoint to summer's rich remnant.

Then follows that slow, sensual slide into soft, luxurious brown. Autumn's own show.

 Decay and dormance.

Autumn is also when the sky plays one of its best roles. Thick piles of clouds saturated in shades of gray. [Way more than fifty and then insert your own pun.]

One of those autumn days, the dark days when daylight is most scarce, autumn's landscape is an exercise in omber: Inky and pearl grey sky. Mid-landscape swaths of soft, fall-into-and-sleep brown, to the amberish brown-green of leaf-strewn grass. All of it laced with that aroma of decay. 

So: From the apex of summer's colorful bazaar to the quiet soft that is near-winter. Autumn is it.