It’s a stark day. That’s what I always call them. Stark. I love it. The sky is colorless, pale and blank like paper over the hills. The air is cold, sometimes smelling like snow, and feels like steel on your nose. The earth is damp, which always pulls the color out of everything and makes it bold. People hate cold weather, oftentimes, because the grass withers into brown and the trees are bare, and there’s so much brown everywhere they think it looks bleak. But I disagree; stark damp is so vibrant. You can find a dozen shades of brown in a single field, a dozen different textures of grass and brush. And when there are colorful leaves or branches or berries, they pop like little gems, little wet rubies and topazes and amethysts. And you can feast your eyes on everything, on the vast collection of colors and textures, like fingers do when you brush them against fur or velvet, soaking in the softness and warmth and glorying in every moment of touch. That’s what autumn is: velvet for your eyes. Velvet and steel.

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