Tuesday, November 20, 2012

november love

I've really enjoyed November this year. This is the winnowing month. It strips back the layers of summer growth,  exposing curious, eloquent details: a Norway maple holding a fragile cup of big yellow leaves; a roadside draped with a fringe of black beads: teazel,  wild carrot, knapweed.
Kicking the drifts of dry leaves along the pavement, like every child does. It seems I haven't yet grown out of it. I'm still fascinated by the kicked leaves shifting along the road and by the steady rhythmic noise, a chuffer train or an express lift or a tarmac-flattener. Makes me wonder what happened before machines existed. Perhaps children did not kick leaves in those days. But if they did, what did it make them think of?

The first half of November had a good number of those lovely sharp days of low yellow sunshine piercing through thin crowns, of skies with blue in them, and of dramatic glimpses of  the other gem-like colours in which November is so surprisingly rich - it is not only about yellow and black.

The second half is, apparently, more in the mood to get on with its work: leaden skies through weeping panes, sodden fields and the excited wind. Flat expanses of tarmac become decorated with swirls of water. Walking at night, sections of the westward horizon that are usually uplit by distant roads and towns are blotted out by marauding inky rainclouds. 

As the flooding spreads across Somerset we say things like:  "He'll climb through a river to get here."

An unwalked-on bit of woodland floor. Mostly Norway maple, hornbeam and beech, with a bit of sycamore, wych-elm and wild cherry.

Field Maple

Field Maple



Norway Maple

Norway Maple



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