( 𓋼 ) it's a cold, clear morning on the river. chilled water babbles along over stones of grey-blue and pale green. there is a quiet peace to the air as it whisks among reeds, tall grasses rippling gently in the wind. the earthen tom perches upon a fallen log, white dappled tail curled around similarly hued paws. he is lost in thought, dual eyes misty even in the brilliant sunlight. it’s early still - the dawn patrol has just been sent out, but he sits along the shore anyway, observant, silent. above in the great crystal expanse, shadows move, loud cries alerting the man to his new companions. arching his head up to scan the horizon, a soft smile graces his face as he observes the natural cycle of things.

a flock of geese, an animal known for their unkindness and lack of elegance, soars above with a surprising grace. they are soft shapes in the sky, forming a V with what he imagines is their leader at the front. flying across the rushing wildness of his river, the geese’s cries break the momentary silence. it’s a beautiful sight, one he recognizes from years past- warm weather creatures beginning their long migration away from the cold. how odd that they know when to move, spurred on perhaps by the arrival of twolegs, or, more likely, some wild instinct that has not yet graced their fellow creatures.

the leaves are still green on the willows, their elegant branches not yet stark against a frosty sky, but the geese know. the geese can tell that a cold is coming. he admires this forsight, thinks of the creeping chill of snow-fall. once, he would curl up in the barn, the harsh cries of the geese only barely penetrating the slatted wood from the roof over his head. now he sits in the open, both fearing the cold and welcoming it. odd eyes are fixed on this flock, head tipped slightly to the right as he observes the creatures, remembering… wondering.



Frostpaw had been exploring alongside the riverbed when she came across Coyotecreek, who seemed to find himself a nice spot relaxing during the early mornings and she hummed, the poor tom seemed to be at peace at the moment and she wondered briefly if she should approach and disturb the peace or leave him alone but, her intrusive thoughts have one and she made her way over, making sure to stay quiet until she was almost upon the tom and attempted to splash water onto the tom "What cha doing out here?" she asked brightly while a curious warm gaze danced in her face

Curled ears perked as she looked at the other with a slight grin on her face and her tail twitched slightly as she waited patiently for the tom's response. She felt in a bit of a better mood today, unrealizing the tom had been watching the geese fly south before the bitter chill of Leaf-bare settled upon them, yet the cold morning air did nip at her nose slightly, hinting that it was drawing near and she wondered if they would be ready for this leaf-fall? How would some of those who have never experienced the cold near the wetlands deal during such a time? Of course she could not speak as she too has never experienced leaf-fall

She tilted her head at the other "Do you wanna try and hunt since leaf-fall is nearby and the fish are ripe for the picking?" she offered the other, why not? The two and whoever else decided to join were near the shore and it would make for a perfect time as they should stock up before the prey came scarce and Coyotecreek seemed not to be doing anything, so why not?
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the geese fly still overhead, a bittersweet farewell. it seems that she is not alone in her watching, not that seems to ever be alone these days. lightningstone still watches her, heavy upon her. at this point she fears she may never rid of him, and that he will be there until she is to die. coyotecreek is not a tom she knows of well, and truly she had no intention of a conversation with the lonesome man. they are strangers to each other, and buckgait is contempt with that.

yet she stumbles upon him, and frostpaw seems to have found them as well. the world seemed to shrink at times, forcing souls upon each other. buck truly has no interest in fishing at the moment. the waters run cold in these nipping morns, she is missing the warmth of a nest after a harsh night of rest and has no want to sap the residing warmth from her pelt. yet she still remains, crossing the chilled bank to reach her clanmates. "or you could wait for the waters to warm up slightly." truly, buckgait had simply wanted to join in on coyotecreek's watching. a sense of melancholy is over her this morning, and the only way to soothe it seems to be watching the lazily drifting clouds.
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Access to the riverbank further than just the camp's little stream was some blessing! Here, there were so many more cool little things- snail shells, water-bugs, little pebbles of strange colours, two leg rubbish- all of it, he'd never seen before. And all of it he anted. Determined on this quest, Fernpaw had not intended to be struck with distraction- but there were distant calls up ahead, not cat-like and high, high up...

There, in the sky- he'd never seen that before! Up high, in some perfect neatness- it made him ashamed of his messiness, almost, for not bothering to arrange it so beautifully as that. Bug eyes stared, stared, till they were out of sight... disappearing into the leaf-fall clouds, sparse as they were. Frantically, murky pond-eyes searched for anyone, anyone, anyone nearby. There- a trio! What they were talking about he frankly did not think about- only the trill of something entirely new skipped through his veins and boy was it a thrill!

Too-big paws almost tripped him up come the tiny tom's approach, but with a scrawny fact the perfect picture of awe he shouted, "Didja see those birds!?" Surely he hadn't been imagining it, right? Those weren't simple cloud shapes!
( penned by pin )
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( 𓍊𓋼 ) the man has never proudly called himself observant. he sits, enraptured by the great V shape in the clear sky, and does not notice nor expect any sort of interruption. when the grass rustles behind him, an ear flicks but his gaze remains fixed forward. the world is so beautiful this morning- golden and blue, all bright colors and sun, until...

rain spatters down.

rain? no, it's not rain. it's just frostpaw and her trickster ways. crystal droplets glimmer on the earthen pelt of the man as he shakes himself off, casting an amused, but admonishing look at the apprentice. "crimany, frostpaw, y'startled me!" accented words ring across the water and the geese seem to cry louder, drowning him out. his dual hued gaze returns to the heavens for a moment, fond. "i'm just bein' owl-headed, lookin' around at all this water here. and watchin' them geese above." with a flick of his tail, coyo gestures to the birds. the water ripples as another feline arrives, this one seemingly calmer than his current companion. the gentleman dips his head in greeting. "buckgait, i trust this morning's fairin' you well?"

frostpaw is bright and cheerful on her paws, suggesting a hunting trip, and part of the feline wants to agree. his clan comes first, always, as it should. but there's a melancholy to his hear on this crisp morning. some sense of the importance of change, mixed with a burning desire for things to slow down. he hums softly at buck's words, tipping his head. "buckgait is right, it'll be cold, but i suppose yer name is frostpaw... heh." whiskers twitching, coyotecreek begins to crane his neck up again, but not before a final interruption. the little one's voice is awed and excited, sending a spark of fondness through the former barn cat's chest. "we did, lad!" he calls. "they're geese, flyin' away fer the snow times!"

( ) The sound of geese was nothing less than grating. One would think that the further in the sky the geese flew, the quieter their honking would become, as that was how all sound worked. This particular kind of bird, however, seemed to defy that rule. High in the air, seemingly amongst the clouds, they soar with an elegance that may be quite a sight if not accompanied by honks and shrieks. And no amount of distance between the creatures lessened the harsh impact upon one’s ears.

Though Wolfsquall was not happy to see the sunny days begin to leave, he could not share the sentiment of slight sadness watching the geese leave. The air turning to the kind that chills one to their bones, now that was something to be sad over. If the agitation of the sky wanted to leave because of it, however, well then Wolf would personally thank the first snowfall, and point his head towards the sky to murmur a silent ‘good riddance’.

Couldn’t say no to some good company, though. If they wanted to watch some obnoxious birds, Wolf guessed he’d just watch with. He drug himself closer to the gathering group, a heaviness to his steps causing dust to stir in his path. Even should he remain silent- unlikely chance, for Wolf, in most cases- his presence would be known. Apprentices, he notes, are amongst the group. And suddenly, this is not most cases. Words falter on his tongue, as the memory of every fellow warrior scolding his use of “strong language” and how he’s “too abrasive” around the young ones floods back in.

"Too dam- Too cold for my taste," he clears his throat and mutters, “can’t say I mind the geese leaving, though.”