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Nature’s October magic

For many of us, October is our favorite month. The weather grows cooler, the sky is bright blue, the Hunter’s Moon rises, and the magical, spooky holiday of Halloween occurs. Children and adults love to dress up in funny or scary costumes, and while the grown-ups prefer parties with plenty of good food and drink, the kids go Trick-or-Treating vying for the most and tastiest kinds of candy.

On Halloween, for one evening, we can all magically change into someone—or something—else. We can become fairy princesses or witches, vampires or werewolves, rock stars or astronauts. The magic is within us. We can create new personae, then return to our everyday lives the next morning.

Nature demonstrates a special kind of alchemical magic in October. The green leaves on the deciduous trees gradually lose their summer hues. Some leaves develop bright colors that tourists flock to view. After several weeks, the leaves will turn brown and fall to the ground, and the bare branches will shiver in...

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