The trees are bare but fallen leaves still blow in the November winds. Nearby Medicine Lake has iced over, then thawed in places only to ice over again. The ice is thin but strong enough in most places for the geese and ducks to stand on it without breaking through. Fortunately our early November snowfalls disappeared quickly and the weather has taken a warm detour on it’s way to inevitable winter.
A few days ago I went for a hike at French Regional park. I was looking for color wherever I could find it—in red dogwood twigs and branches, the pale blue sky, reflections of pale blue sky on the lake, and reeds swaying the breeze beside the lake. Colors are more muted and somber in November but they are there if you look.
I was fascinated by patterns, white spots, and cracks in the thin ice at the edge of the lake. A single brown leaf lying on the ice became the center of my attention as I framed the photo.
A group of geese took off flying as I watched. They are gathering in ever larger groups near the lake preparing to fly to warmer climes. The coots that gather on the lake in the fall are all gone now. They have flown south for the winter.
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”
― Clyde Watson
It was sunny when I left home but dark rain clouds swiftly moved in. By the time I hiked down to the lake only a slice of blue sky remained beneath a heavy gray bank of clouds. The pale blue slice of sky near the horizon in the afternoon sunlight created puddles of pale blue reflections on the ice. This time of year mid-afternoon is the beginning of the golden hour. It’s hard for me to believe that by three o’clock the light is beginning to fade.
It was November the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines.
— Anne of Green Gables
Somber grays and browns dominate the landscape but even the more muted palette of November paints a beautiful world to my eyes. I love seeing the “bones” of the trees so clearly against the sky. Their shapes shadows are endlessly fascinating to me.
Gratitude for November Days
I am grateful for this warm respite before the world is covered with white snow and colder temperatures rule. Earlier this month I would have never believed that I would be feeling grateful for the somber November palette of colors. But today as the sun shines and warmer breezes blow I think, “It’s a beautiful world.” When winter arrives I shall find beauty in it’s stark white wonder as well.
May you walk in beauty.