November 3, 2015

The Transitions of November

On Sunday we turned the clocks back, making us even more aware of the changing light as we move towards winter. The sun is lower in the sky, the days are shorter, and something I am very aware of as I look out my east facing windows at dawn: the sun is rising farther in the south as its arc in the sky lessens, and we move closer to the winter solstice.

The sunflowers have dried, but I've left them in the garden for the chickadees, who love their seeds.

In the orchard, one tree of winter apples is still festooned with fruit, though all the leaves are gone.

The Burning Bush has turned from leafy crimson to scarlet berries.

Grasses and perennials have a quiet beauty, very different from the vivid colors of summer.

In the woods, drying grasses are pale green against the warmer hues of fallen leaves, once bright but now dun.

The grays of November can be very beautiful in their subtle variations, which look softer at this time of year; once snow is on the ground, the contrasts of tree and field become more intense.

Although October's brilliant maple foliage is gone, there is still color in the woods: the golds and rusts of beeches glow in the duller light. When I drove to NYC last week, there were also the rich colors of oaks, which grow closer to the Connecticut river, but not near my home.

And, there are the tamaracks, a deciduous conifer, growing here and farther north, adding their color to the remaining dark evergreens. There is much visual pleasure during this month of change, before the world becomes white with snow.


  1. November, the blank-slate month.
    Beautiful pictures.

    1. I'm glad you like the photos, JBS. November does seem to be a nowhere sort of month, but it's quite lovely in its gray and subtle way.

    2. Especially like the gold light through the Beech.
      In Guatemala, November is the month of wind. It is the transition from rainy to dry season.

    3. Ah, how interesting, Julie...a very different kind of transition.