Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Grays

Gray skies are expected on a November day in New England. This morning started out gray, but a lovely sun emerged late in the afternoon. Darkness will come early though, as we fell back an hour this morning with the end of daylight savings time.

A strong wind a few days back blew most of the leaves off the hardwoods, except for the oaks and beeches, which hold fast into winter. Many trees now stand bare, revealing their varied shapes--stately, gnarly, broken topped, many-branched, diseased, healthy--that were hidden by leaves all summer.

Even in the woods, where beech saplings have turned the forest understory into a golden color, the grays of November emerge. Giant, gray boulders seem even bigger today, as we walked through the Oaklands of Exeter.
A fallen hornet nest, ash gray in color, lay still and vivid against the copper beech leaves. The queen left the nest earlier in the fall to live underground or in a log through winter. The rest of the adults die as cold weather sets in. Peering into a hole in this nest I could see several adult hornets frozen in place, but they might still be alive so I let them be.
There is beauty in the gray calm of November. A cheerful thought as the days grow shorter and winter sets in. 


  1. Lovely scenes. I am drinking in all of the New England fall photos.

  2. Thanks Misti. We've had a fabulous fall here--one of the best, which is always hard to predict. A chilly morning today, but it is time.