The Rewards of November

pictures045The cold and damp of November keeps many people out of the woods. But they don’t know what they’re missing. Woods that at first seem silent and barren are a busy hub for chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers. None of this “migrating” nonsense for them — they stand their ground and scoff at the coming season of cold and famine.

August, with its insistent greenery, or October, with its gaudy golds, get more attention. But, without the obscuring clutter of leaves, November invites you to appreciate subtler textures: the rough bark of a tree, the tangle of roots on a poison ivy vine, a march of bracket fungus along a log or the riotous splashes of color from mosses and lichens.

The austere beauty of a world holding its breath for the arrival of Winter sparks a quiet, magical kind of reverie — more subdued than the giddy freedoms of Summer, but somehow sweeter, just the same.

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