November–with uncanny witchery in its changed trees. With murky red sunsets flaming in smoky crimson behind the westering hills. With dear days when the austere woods were beautiful and gracious in a dignified serenity of folded hands and closed eyes–days full of a fine, pale sunshine that sifted through the late, leafless gold of the juniper-trees and glimmered among the grey beeches, lighting up evergreen banks of moss and washing the colonnades of the pines. Days with a high-sprung sky of flawless turquoise. Days when an exquisite melancholy seemed to hang over the landscape and dream about the lake. But days, too, of the wild blackness of great autumn storms, followed by dank, wet, streaming nights when there was witch-laughter in the pines and fitful moans among the mainland trees.
~ L. M. Montgomery
It doesn’t feel like November here on the Eastern Shore today. It’s warm, humid, and windy with occasional rain. There is a cold front on the way but even so, the temperature is not expected to drop much and we’ll be up in the mid-70’s again by early next week. Is this normal? I don’t know. Although I do know the weather fluctuates from year to year, it doesn’t feel normal. Maybe that’s because I spent so many years in NE Ohio and normal would be much colder, with a first snow, by now. Not that I have been expecting snow or anything like that. We are south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Snow would be much more unusual than this warm weather.
The trees, though… so slow to bring on their autumn colors have changed almost overnight and are beginning to move into the bare nakedness of November. I am amazed at how quickly the colors appeared. Reds, yellows, and oranges have altered the face of the landscape. They brighten it up on this dark, cloudy day. I got the feeling while I was out and about that we won’t have very long to enjoy the color. If you stand for a few minutes and watch, the blustery wind releases and carries off more and more leaves from the trees. Many of the trees still look pretty full but it’s easy to see that they’re ready to let go.
We had wild-kingdom entertainment in the front yard this morning. Three deer, two full grown does and a fawn, were taking a morning stroll, stopping to eat whatever it is they find so delicious among the mowed grasses. Our resident fox came strolling out of the phragmites at the edge of the marsh, looked at the deer, stopped a moment, and tilted her head as if to ask, “Whatcha’ doing?” She slowly approached the deer who had obviously noticed her. The adults were not happy about her appearance or approach. One of the deer chased the fox who ran across the lawn towards the asparagus patch at the edge of the former meadow (future woods). The fawn noticed and looked like it was about to bound after the fox (join in the fun!), but the other doe said no and herded the fawn in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the fox ran loops around the asparagus patch, obviously teasing the deer. She even stopped and stretched out on the ground the way a cat would, scooching herself along the ground in a very cat-like way. I’ve seen my cats do this maneuver many times. It’s an invitation to play. I’m not sure it means the same thing in fox language, but it sure looked like it.
The adult deer were having none of that nonsense. The largest of the does stomped her hooves and started to give chase. The fox, much faster, looped around the asparagus patch. “You can’t catch me,” she seemed to be saying. As it turned out, there were a couple more deer hiding in the trees behind the asparagus bed. They came out to see what was happening. The fox caught sight of them and sauntered away. She was clearly outnumbered. Or maybe she had tired of the game.
I wish I had pictures or a video to show you. It all happened around the time of the morning when it’s just beginning to lighten up. Add in dark rain clouds, and there just wasn’t much light. I would have missed the show if I’d been busy fetching the camera and fussing with the settings in an attempt to capture it all.
The flower garden continues to bloom. I walked out there this morning and the first thing that hit me was the sweet scent of the butterfly bushes which are still putting out new flowers. There were four Monarch butterflies flitting about the bush. It’s the first time this year I’ve seen more than one or two in the flower garden. There weren’t as many Monarchs visiting this year as there were last year. I did see a lot of them in Cape May at the beginning of October. Perhaps most of them were moving through here while I was away.
The zinnias, by the way, are absolutely insane. They have decided to keep on keepin’ on. I’m not sure they’re going to quit this year.
That’s a quick look around the ranch and at what’s been happening lately. Thanks for stopping by. I don’t know what’s going to happen around sunset this evening. The weather folks aren’t sure, either. Maybe it will rain. Maybe it will storm. Maybe it will clear up. Let’s keep an eye on the sky and if things are looking hopeful, head out to the Point to see the show. Sunset is at 6:04 PM. It’s warm, but windy. You might want to bring a jacket, just in case.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 921) Playtime in the front yard where the deer and fox roam. 922) Monarchs in the garden, enjoying the late blooming flowers. 923) My new glasses are ready to be picked up! Yay! (I will probably be wearing them by the time this post goes out.) 924) Slowing down and enjoying the season, however it presents itself. 925) Learning (more than) a few things during the October panchakarma course I took. It was deep and it was wonderful. I might take her (Karin Carlson, Return Yoga) Art of Self Care course in January.