It was an uncharacteristically warm November this year, with just a single passing snow shower. The flora and foliage stretched the show out, held over for a couple of weeks.
The trail has a warm autumn glow in golds and browns, tans and rust, splashes of crimson and the bright green die-hards.
The apple is nearly empty, sporting only the hangers-on. A crabapple feast awaits deer and rabbits on the ground.
A morning frost gives way to a foggy day. November always contains an element of gray, dappled with muted tones of summer past.
It’s an exciting season, as the world around us evolves daily. Now, without leaves, we can see Maggie’s pond from the top of the hill, through the trees. A change of scenery, like the biggest stage play ever. Swapping backdrops, changing out props, set decorating, as we prepare for the new opening: the glittering, frosty Winter Show.
Now the sun races from us. Walks after work are out of the question as darkness falls two hours before home time. Weekends are premiums, and we’ll ply the trails twice a day, morning and sunset.
The strawberry plants display bright red leaves against a background of deep, green lichen and mosses, looking like early holiday decorations.
Leaves are still piled high in places. We had a long fall period with no frost and little wind or rain, so the leaves held on and we have a bumper crop! It was, however, windy on the day of our Leaf Pile Party. So windy we couldn’t get the pile high enough to beat last year’s record of 56 1/2 inches. We’d barely make four feet and the brisk wind would take the top of the pile off.
Alas, November is behind us, in the books.
Now December bears a resemblance to November. Grass still green, remnants of leaves and leaf piles continue to blow across the yards and trails. Bit by bit the underbrush loses a few more leaves, pales a bit more, leans towards lying down for a winter’s nap.
The smell of snow is in the air often these days. Christmas is just not the same without a good snow cover.
In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the unique opportunity to stretch out our fall, autumn, early-winter days. To observe all those colorful things on the ground that would typically be hidden about now. To wait another week before we dig out the snow boots, the big suit, the gloves & hats box.
For some of us, perhaps those who don’t read calendars, it makes no difference what day or month you call it. Sure the mild days are easier than the wet or windy or cold days.
But then, each one is a work of art. A thing of beauty. One of a kind. Another blank page in our Wonder Book.
For some, it’s just a good time for a nap.
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