It was still warm in the garden, but no one could miss the signs of almost-fall: trees starting to turn red, yellow, and orange; slant-wise, shimmery afternoon light; long evenings filled with cricket serenades and the last few cicada songs; and Squirrel’s ever-growing stash of walnuts.
In honor of the upcoming equinox, Raccoon and Crow were planning a party. Raccoon had gathered her mulling spices, her baking spices, and enough butter for her famous, flaky pastry dough. And Crow was due back any minute with a string basket full of apples. There would be apple pie for everyone, and walnut cups full of hot mulled apple cider for toasting the equinox sunset.