Grandfather Oak stood proudly near the top of the ridge. His trunk larger and grander than any around him. His thick branches spreading out 30 feet or more in every direction. He was one of the old ones. His roots deep in this soil now for longer than 200 years. And Fall had come to the mountain once more. His were the last of the leaves to begin to turn golden and brown.
He whispered in his native tongue to the other trees on his mountain, “You have all done well this year. From the cold winter days of February and March I have watched each of you as your tiny green leaves emerged in early Spring until you achieved the full deep rich green of mature forests in June. Your branches covered the ridges and mountainside providing a lush full canopy of shade to the creatures of the mountain floor. And now each of you have brought vibrant color to signal fall. I saw brilliant yellows from the birches, lovely oranges and reds from the maples and from the sourwoods I saw gorgeous crimsons. I see you beginning to let go of your artistry as you know you must. Your leaves of color now carpet the mountain floor in time returning to your own roots. Well done my friends, well done. We have earned our winter rest.”