Winter is my off-season, but it isn’t really off-season if, for example, you love skiing or ice skating. Summer — not my favorite season — is very popular. Picnics, barbecue, swimming, and hanging on the beach. To me, beach equals sun-stroke and third degree burns, with sand in unmentionable places.
Autumn is New England in its full glory. If we have an “in” season, autumn is it. So … what’s left?
Whitins Pond – November
March and April. After the snow is gone, but before the leaves and flowers appear.
Blackstone River – Early March
Late November and usually December. When the bright leaves are gone, but the snow hasn’t arrived.
November on the pond
December on the farm
Otherwise, New England and our valley are always in season.
When the water is still and the sun is bright, a pond or lake can be a mirror.
Here is the world in mid-November, upside down. With ripples.
The cold sun in the sky and afternoon shadows herald a chilly night. Snow coming soon.
I don’t get the sun’s rays or star by using a special filter. I use just a skylight filter to protect my lens and not on every lens, either. I can get the star effect by angling the camera when the sun is in front of me. I have to twiddle with the position of the camera until I see the star and then shoot. It’s not a special effect, just optics.
Afternoon sun casts long shadows. A random leaf drifts to the already covered deck.
It’s a cold sun in the November sky. The branches are bare now. Even the late-clinging oak leaves are gone. Winter is coming — and our oil tank is empty. No hot water, no heat and the temperature is dropping.
What happened to the delivery? This is the first time in 13 years we’ve been missed. Sigh. It’s always something. Got to get the truck here to fill us! And prime the boiler too. Another sigh.
The leaves are gone and the weeds are turned to straw along the river. Less than a month ago, this was plush, rich with color and surging with life. How quickly the season turns. It’s not cold yet. But winter is knocking at the door. If I don’t answer it, will winter stay away?
As autumn slowly slips away, there is still much beauty in the woods. Before the cold sleep of winter, this is the Between Month. Leaves drift on the breeze to fall and add another layer to the loam on the forest floor.
I looked out my window. The bright yellow trees have turned bronze, the scarlet maples are bare. But there, in the middle of the brown of November is one, bright tree — a Japanese Maple given to me years ago by my cousin. It has been lovingly nurtured for over a decade. Here is the last shining tree of Autumn 2013. The last tree standing.