The first line of the story is a powerful image.
The author establishes the story’s setting and mood with the first sentence, which uses figurative language.
Summer was dead, but autumn had not yet been born when the ibis came to the bleeding tree.
Summer and autumn are personified in order to both tell us the season and the mood of the story. The use of summer this way foreshadows death in the story.
Another interesting image in the story is that of the “bleeding tree.” Trees bleed when they have been cut somewhere, almost like people do. The use of blood as an image, even from a tree, continues to develop a mood that is somber and foreboding.
The reader can be pretty sure that this story is going to involve death, loss, and sadness. The mood is well-established, and the use of death metaphors in the beginning foreshadows death in the story.