I scared up five deer, at least, from their haunts in the back pasture. Their white tails flashed like exclamation points popping up in bad high school prose as they made for the woods. I guess they were resting in the tall grass, even though it was spitting tiny raindrops.
I meandered all around the paths that John mowed recently encircling a copse of trees laden with bittersweet vines. The red berries have popped out of their orange skins in their festive way. "Come taste me!" they call. Or, as I hear it: "Hang me up in your house as seasonal decoration!" Either way, they are successful in evolutionary terms. No one need worry about the bittersweet. It is everywhere.
Returning through the apple orchard, I thought about this wonderful blog entry I read last night about a Most Loved Old Apple Tree, and I spoke a few words of encouragement to ours. They looked like old gnomes with their gnarled branches and lichen-covered bark. They've spent many years weathering the winters on their gentle slopes.
I promise (right now) to prune them next spring, right before the sap starts flowing again. We'll use the dead branches for another bonfire, like the one we enjoyed this past weekend with our friends, the Lindsey's.
John and I have a hunch (a hope) that winter will be a little more tolerable out here, a little less depressing than it has been in the past, in the city. There are graceful lines of earth to see in the winter, when the vegetation dies back. Lichens, mosses and fungi create a palette of color in the woods when the leaves melt back into the soil. The sky is on parade in winter, with subtle variations of blue and gray, mauve and purple. Everything is quiet, hunkered down, resting. There are things to love about winter.
That said, here is a final celebration of chlorophyll in all it's photosynthesizing beauty--taken as recently as two weeks ago on my front porch. We'll miss it, won't we?