North of town, out toward the confluence of the Sucker River and the Porcupine, I happened upon a grove of young aspen late in the afternoon. I have passed this way once before, in winter. The trees were bereft of leaves then and rose out of deep snow. But not today.
The wood is silent and still. There is but the faintest breath of wind from farther north but even so the aspen leaves, alert as sentries, detect it and tremble, as is their wont. Many have already fallen and lie mingled among the young willows that clutter the wood.
Soon, the forest floor will snuggle below the white blanket that always comes, always comes, and slumber undisturbed but for the passage of the hare.