We’re getting close to what, technically, should be the last day of autumn (the day before the solstice), but it hasn’t felt much like fall for the past month. This year, it seemed like winter moved in early and decided to stick around; we have had frost nearly every night for the past month, and the past few days have been gray, breezy, and raw. This morning was no exception; the leaves that I’m using to mulch the garden (and the one chard plant that has inexplicably survived the fall) were covered in a layer of frost. As they have been most days this month.
But, oddly enough, today was also first day of what is forecast to be a fairly dramatic warm spell. This afternoon was the warmest it’s been in months, and the next few days (including the first day of winter) are supposed to be even more pleasant– temps in the 70s with no frost this weekend! It messes up the narrative somewhat, but after so much cold weather so early in the season, I’m happy to take some sunshine and warmth.
As the leaves have fallen from the trees, it’s been nice to once again see and appreciate the revealed shapes of the trees themselves. This is especially true of the beech trees, and this open bit of woods is the greatest concentration of beech trees on the land.
Further along, I walked through a depression that holds an intermittent stream, one which runs during and immediately after storms, but most of the time is just muddy. I came across several spots where pine needles had been picked up by the runoff from recent rains and deposited in ‘liquid-y’ shapes and patterns as the water receded. It made for some very interesting patterns on the forest floor.
And inside of the equally-decomposed trunk of the tree, a pile of curiously round gray pellets that could be some sort of animal crap, but looked more mineral-y and less organic-y than one would expect.
At this time of year, even close to mid-day, the sun is low on the horizon in the south, which creates interesting light effects whichever way you turn. It’s harder to photograph the way things are lit up when you’re facing into the sun, but this captures some of the effect.
After kicking about on the other side of the creek for an hour or so, I jumped back over to the ‘civilized’ side at this crossing, trying without success to keep my feet dry. A pleasant enough walk to mark the end of frigid fall and the beginning of our curious winter warm spell.