Overnight great clusters of gold and red leaves released their tenuous hold and drifted to the forest floor. Their abandoned branches, now reach empty into the somber winter sky. A light rain peppers the lake and a soft wind nudges the waters southward. Small flocks of ducks fold and unfold from arrow formations into ragged lines, haphazardly, perhaps savoring a final outing. Soon, at a time known only to them, a lone bird will lift suddenly into the sky and one by one, with much cacophony and fluttering about, the others will follow, slip into the pattern and soar out of sight.