October 30, 2006

Windy

Gusts shook the house yesterday, some of them more than 50 mph. The phragmites that grow along the roadside, most stretching higher than my head, were dancing furiously, their tasselled tops waving in ripples of green-gold motion. The second day of Boy in Black's Ultimate Frisbee tournament was cancelled because the winds were stronger than the frisbee players. In my woods, some of the dead Scotch pines, trees planted years ago by the CCC, came toppling down. The river birches I've planted near my house bend and twist in the wind, but because they are native to this area, they always survive a storm.

When I look from my window, I see bare branches against the cloudy sky. All the beautiful foliage, the bright yellow, red, and orange leaves, has been stripped away. There's something cleansing about a storm that brings high winds. It's as powerful as an emotional upheaval, stripping away all that we cling to, leaving room for something else, in this case, the brilliant white icy beauty of winter.

The autumn leaves are strewn across the ground, in ankle-deep piles, scattered across muddy lawns, drifted into curving paths on the forest floor. They will decay over the winter, turning to compost sometime next spring. At the edge of a lake, the dark water near the shore shows the very last bit of fall color, bright leaves floating in the ripples.

floating leaves

10 comments:

Kyla said...

"It's as powerful as an emotional upheaval..." this was my favorite line. Great post!

Anonymous said...

I've been really enjoying your blog, jo(e). This photograph is beautiful. A world away from drought-stricken, almost-summer Australia where I am.

Rana said...

I love the photo.

We had those winds here yesterday; it was in fact hazardous to walk under shedding trees, as the leaves would smack you in the face if you tried!

Yankee, Transferred said...

jo(e), you have a way of making something I never enjoyed, i.e. the coming of winter in the northeast, sound appealing. Lovely photo, too. I love your outlook.

zelda1 said...

I love to see the fallen leaves and hear them and feel them, they are just the perfect beginning to the cold weather. Since I am a winter preson, it doesn't get here fast enough. The picture, perfect as always and thanks for bringing a little outdoor to the shutins.

listmaker said...

Those winds reminded me of a line from a Joy Harjo poem, "how the wind howled and pulled everything down, in righteous anger."

halloweenlover said...

I've been a little bummed since this weekend because all the leaves are gone. My mom is coming into town this Thursday and I was hoping she'd be around for some leaves that are still changing, but no such luck.

I do enjoy the beginning of winter, it isn't until about February that I start to lose my mind.

molly said...

That's a great picture. Thanks for posting it.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Cleansing -- yes. So well said.

People 'round here often complain about the lack of fall foliage, seeing as we mostly have pine and fir trees. However. After a storm like you've just had, our trees are still green!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Nice picture. Yes windy, yes it was. I'm enjoying all your posts, even the ones I don't comment on! :-D