Shell Game

On my walk at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, I happened upon these shells neatly arranged on a split log.  Somebody went through the trouble of finding the shells and then arranging them in the log.  All the work so I can happen upon the shells and have something to take a picture of.  Amazing.  Thank you, unknown artist!

And before I forget.  One more picture of an autumn leaf.

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Or leaves.

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Green ones too.

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Autumn Leaves

A warm autumn day.  A walk at Green Spring Gardens.  Leaves, different in shape, color, state of decay.  Still clinging, soon to fall.  Why not take a look.  Sometimes, very closely.

The most colorful time of the year is also the time of great changes.  Birds migrate to warmer climes.  Bears are busy foraging in preparation for their winter sleep.  The squirrels store their treasures and in the process dig up the yards and gardens of the suburban (and urban) dweller.  The leaves, once green and infused with chlorophyll, gain their yellow, red, orange, and brownish coloration.  The trees too, will slumber.  Soon, gravity will pull the dying leaves from their branches, leaving trees threadbare, wintering in place, waiting for the warm spring sun to begin the cycle anew.  As the leaves fall to the ground, they will perform one last function in the cycle of life.    Decay leaves to breakdown;  what was of the earth becomes earthen once more.  And from the earth, life will begin anew, rising in triumph, death vanquished.