Friday, October 19, 2007
Orange Tree, Black Fog
This morning Dog and I took our early morning walk in a black fog. Most fogs are light gray and in an odd way often brighten the darkness a bit. But this morning the fog was black and heavy and seemed to suck the light from the electric lights around the ski lodge. My headlamp barely cut the blackness and that only for a few inches around us.
As dawn approached, I realized that I was actually inside a black cloud. I live about 1100 feet above the surrounding flat land, and sometimes a cloud layer, especially a storm cloud layer, hangs lower than that. This morning, the storm clouds that were over the valley were not over me, but all around me. I half expected to see tiny lightning bolts suddenly dance between the leaves or hear thunder come from inside the pond. I was inside a storm cloud before the storm.
Inside this storm cloud, the air is so moist it would better be described as wet. The temperature is warm—far warmer than an October morning should be. No breeze flutters the leaves, which hang limp and still. Sound travels on the moisture, but the source of the sounds is hidden and seems to come from every direction and none.
We walk back to the cabin, and for once I am relieved to be back inside, where the light is a comforting and familiar shade of yellow, and leave the blackness outside.
The orange tree in this morning’s photo gets brighter with every passing hour. It is the deepest and brightest shade of orange I have seen in any of the fall colors so far. Orange is also the least common of the local fall colors—yellow and red are much more typical—so the shade alone makes it special.