Last night we had rain but the sun is back. It makes our still wet town look fresh. Aki and I take our default downtown stroll. She catalogues and deposits urine as I try to photograph trees showing early fall color. At the bottom of the steep angled Gold Street, near where Gastineau starts its gentle climb across the ruins of the old A.J. Mine, a stand of six foot tall sunflowers appear to guard a small house. They might be a squad left behind by the army sunflowers that have gone to occupy the plains of Spain. But they are here, warning off the autumn gloom, at least until they have a chance to brown and curl after the first hard frost.