Hard frost. Even the parsley has surrendered, and the leaves of the cherry tree are dropping like stones to the ground. The bird bath is frozen solid. Now come the short grey days. But after I adjust to all the nakedness around me, November ends up having its own stark beauty.
No more flamboyant colours - variations on tan and grey are the order of the day. No more fields pregnant with the promise of corn and wheat; the remaining dry stalks bend and rattle in the wind. As Joni Mitchell so beautifully put it, "All that stays is dying, all that lives is getting out" - a few hardy birds the exception that proves the rule. Yet the sight of the sun slanting low across a once-golden field in the late afternoon almost makes it hard to mourn the summer now long gone and the autumn winding down. Hush now, and walk quietly. The natural world is bedding down for a long nap.