Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December's Coming On

As November turns into December, the autumn falls heavier, the leaves are almost all down, dry and crisp on the ground, across the lawn and tucked into piles in all the nooks and crannies around the house and yard. The bare trees now tower against the sky, the air is crisp, I feel winter coming.

As I walk down from the house to the pond I see ropey tree roots, trailing along under the creek bank, crossing the paths, wishing for water. The pond gets lower and lower, exposing the many trees that the beavers have felled over the years, now brown and rotting against the muddy bottom. A Belted Kingfisher swoops overhead, issuing his ratchety cry and lands in a tree to stake his claim over this last little body of water.

Down at Morgan there are pools again in a few spots, their bottoms carpeted with leaves, their surfaces reflecting the sky and trees , other sections look like cobblestone roads, blocky stones bricked together with sand and leaf mortar. The sweet one saw a flock of 4 wild turkeys drinking from one of these pools the other day.

Understory plants are greening up now that the leaves are down, wild ginger, mosses, Christmas ferns and running cedar have brightened, perked their heads up to the sun. Their deep greens stand in stark contrast to the ochre of the fallen leaves.

One or two trees in the yard still show color, an oak bright red, a Japanese maple turning orange, call the eye to admire them against the rapidly dimming background of grey and mauve trunks and evergreen cedars and pines.

I still have a couple hundred more bulbs to plant but it’s gloomy, cloudy and grey today and cold, I don’t want to do much but sit by the fire.


Carol Henderson said...

I am a huge fan of beavers and was fascinated to read about how the low water has exposed the beaver felled tree architecture. Yikes. Scary drought but it must be fascinating to be able to see what the beavers have built. Where are the beavers this year? What happens to them in the drought, I wonder.

Emma Skurnick said...

I was having dinner with a weasel specialist the other night, who's expertise just happened to drift into beaver-smarts as well. I asked him where the beavers go when their home streams have dried up. He said they hike downstream until they find deep water, but usually have to cross into rival beaver territory well before they find water, where they are harassed and embattled. Either that, or they come to a road and have to do their best to cross over. Why did the beaver cross the road? Because he was waiting for rain, just like the rest of us...

babbo said...

sweet one... yes he is.