A red model airplane flies in circles around a pole; two crows swerve at it from all sides, attempting to drive the intruder away.

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This morning we stare in awe at the unremarkable leaves—medium green, normal shape, with a slight zig-zag on the edges—that we have walked past all year. Today they are decorated with raindrops, curling the water up into nearly perfect spheres—waxy cuticles. We are captivated by asymmetrical patterns, calling out discoveries as if the liquid sparkles were the gleam of priceless treasures. On one leaf a row of drops marches down the main vein, like bumps in a spine. From the edge of another glint three daredevil beads, only loosely holding on. Large drops dominate, draw the eye, and a misting of much smaller circles provides the vital afterthought for beautiful balance in these perfectly crafted paintings.