November 13 – cold days, chilly nights

Looking at the calendar, it’s still the first half of November, so it’s not quite winter yet, but given the temperatures of the past few days, you would think otherwise.  The pleasant warmth of early November has definitely come to an end, replaced by frost nearly every night and days topping out in the 40’s.  We even got a tiny bit of snow yesterday!  check it out:

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Given the cold dry weather (still no measurable rainfall this month), and the lack of free time I’ve been experiencing over the past few days, I haven’t had much of a chance to go out walking in the woods, but I’ve been taking some photos here and there as I go about my daily rounds.  Here are a few:

This lot of pictures is from Monday’s drive up to western Maryland, where I dropped off a truckload of tofu at a distributor’s warehouse.  As you can see, there is still a bit of fall color out there, although it has continued to fade day by day, with the rusty reds of the oak trees the predominant color.  There are still a few maple trees holding onto their brightly-colored leaves, as here just outside of the town of Mineral.Image

The large cemetery outside of Mineral still has some nice foliage.Image

As does this home, in the town of Mineral.Image

and this church, in the same town.Image

Routh 522 between Mineral and Culpepper passes through some pretty rural scenery, lots of working farms and a minimum of ugly sprawl.  There is one short stretch of the road where it swings to the west for half a mile, giving a good view of the Shenandoah mountains.  Image

much of the route on this tofu delivery takes me through attractive rural highways, with a minimum of interstate.  The sections through Virginia and Maryland are quite pretty, although, oddly, the section through the West Virginia panhandle passes through probably the least scenic section of that state.Image

Most of the sycamore trees have lost their leaves, and their trunks glow ghostly white in the bright autumn sunshine.Image

Driving alongside Sky Meadows State Park, the dip in the ridge is where my route crosses paths with the Appalachian Trail.  I would have stopped for a bit of exploration, but I was running late, and was also listening to a fascinating book on tape, so I pressed on.Image

Along the highway median in western Maryland, it seemed as though they planted trees specifically chosen for their attractive foliage.  I imagine this would have been a spectacular stretch of road a couple weeks back.Image

Close to the warehouse where I deliver the tofu.  At this point, I’m a couple hundred miles north and a little farther inland than Louisa County, and the season seems a bit advanced, with more bare trees and less color.Image

Just more pretty western Maryland scenery.Image

Coming into the town of Clear Springs Maryland, a cute little town that looks almost like it could be a place in rural New England.Image

About to cross back over the Appalachian Trail on my way back home.Image

Now, here are a few photos from Tuesday, when I did yet another tofu delivery run, this time on my usual Charlottesville route.  This photo is of one of our cow pastures at Twin Oaks.Image

In Louisa County, there are still a few patches where the foliage colors are striking, especially the deep rust reds of the oak trees.Image

Over the course of the day on Tuesday, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up, filling the sky with dead leaves off of the trees.  There was even a chance of snow on Tuesday.  I didn’t see any snow in C’ville, although it certainly felt cold enough to snow.  I heard that there were a few minutes of flurries at Twin Oaks, which I sadly missed.  Even though it didn’t stick at all, November 12 is an unusually early date for the first snowfall.  This photo shows the dramatic gray sky which I enjoyed during the middle of the day in Charlottesville.Image

Back at home, I was impressed with this Japanese maple tree, which turns bright red after all of the other maples have lost their leaves.Image

Familiar view out over the pond, showing the general aspect of the season.Image

Another sign of the season– in the Morningstar orchard, folks are hard at work raking up leaves and piling them around the bases of the leafless fruit trees, in order to insulate their root stems and keep them alive over the next few months.  You can also see a bit of smoke coming out of the chimney– we’ve started lighting fires in all of the Twin Oaks fireplaces nearly every day, which makes me think we’re in for a long, cold winter.Image

 

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