Remember the old fairy tale ‘Rumpelstiltskin’? He was magical, wild, and full of rage (a very typically dark Grimm fairy tale theme), who came to the aid of a young girl who is given the impossible task of weaving straw into gold.

The illustrations in the books I had as a child showed floors mounded high with short, yellow, straw-ish strings. I see that view again every fall now, surrounded as I am with various pines shedding right along with their deciduous cousins.