The wind has been voracious; its wild tongue blowing branches from trees sending them swirling through the air like dandelion clocks. We hear distant creaks and groans and know that the tall soldiers surrounding our farm are morphing and shedding old growth. Tomorrow when the wind has moved to other places we will venture outside and start collecting. Some will be used to prod at the dam and its surrounding mud as we gambol about the place and some will help to rouse the afternoon fire to life. And those embellished with the remnants of insect comings and goings will be set aside to dry some more. One weekend soon we will peel away the last of the clinging bark, cut them, sand them by hand and rub a beeswax salve into their grain. And then we will play with them.