Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Winter is coming

I’m still getting used to the sudden appearance of the early winter landscape around my cabin. Hurricane Sandy was a huge storm, but I still don’t remember any storm that so completely and quickly changed a season from fall to almost-winter. It’s a lot to get used to overnight.

This part of Pennsylvania is one where we usually see all four of the seasons. The winters are cold, the summers are hot, fall is gorgeous and spring—well, spring isn’t my favorite, but it’s definitely its own season. The seasons flow from one to the other, and the constant shift is usually subtle. Changes are small, sometimes almost imperceptible, from week to week as one season melds into the next. For me, that’s part of the fun of paying attention to nature, watching how the seasons shift a little bit at a time. Then this year comes along, and the landscape has shifted a whole month, if not more, in the space of a day.

The trees are now completely bare, which means I can see distances again. It also means the moon shines into the cabin again, so my bedroom is no longer as dark at night as it was during the summer.

The fall seed pods and assorted “stick-tights” that can almost cover my long-haired dogs after a romp outdoors are gone, too. They were just starting to be a nuisance when the hurricane came through. This year it looks as though I won’t have to deal much with them.

The decks and the gutters will need another full cleaning before winter truly sets in. I cleared everything out the morning before Sandy hit, and now it looks as though I’ve never done them at all.

This past week I’ve seen a variety of raccoons, skunks and opossums both around the cabin and elsewhere. The storm might have displaced them, though I think, like me, they are probably and suddenly just in the mode of getting ready for winter. They seem unusually busy and mobile, though.

Even the sky is taking on that wintry cast and feel. A breeze from the east brings a damp chill to the air, which already feels chilly enough. Fall has disappeared, winter is almost here, and it feels as though summer ended just last week. I'd better get used to it.  This year subtlety is in short supply.


Angie said...

I have followed your blog for a number of years now and I have to tell you I still love your posts. :)

Carolyn H said...

Angie: Thank you so much for hanging in there with my ramblings for all these years!

Scott said...

Carolyn: Beautiful image of the sky! The only leaves hanging on here further east are the ones on the American beeches (which are a beautiful golden yellow now), the sycamores, and some of the oaks.

What has surprised me most about the hurricane and its aftermath is the fact that the sky just can't seem to clear. As of today, I think we've had about two full hours of real sunshine over the course of the last two weeks. It's like we're under a permanent overcast, and it's getting old (and cold). I can live in the Pacific Northwest west of the Cascades if I favor this weather pattern.