I know that most of you are happily transitioning into mid Spring but here in the south, we are gearing up for winter. While many of the native trees here don't senesce, introduced varieties like Maples, Oak, and Poplar are brightening our shortening days. The two Japanese Maples in our yard are brilliant. And along with the pretty leaves, the fruits of autumn are also falling. My neighbor was nice enough to gift me a pile of squash which I have been mixing into everything possible. But more abundant than squash right now are the chestnuts or castañas. They fall from the trees protected by their mighty spiked husks. I am still removing chestnut spines from Pablo's head from those that fell on him a few weeks ago when he was out raking up mountains of the nuts. And despite the fact that all of the four neighbors in the area are plagued with an abundance of castañas, our enterprising neighbor kid has set up shop and is selling nuts at 1,000 pesos the kilo. Needless to say, we have had our fill of roasting chestnuts over the fire. Because when the nights get chilly and the wind from the river starts blowing, we, like every other family in Valdivia, light our wood burning stove and get cozy around the fire.