Frost and dark mornings

I woke early this morning—5:15—and lay in bed for a while with the cat curled up on my stomach, the heavy weight of her both comforting and painful. Life’s like that, right? Comfort and pain, beauty and loss. This season inspires such thoughts–the flame of leaves with winter quickly following.

We’ve had two hard frosts and all the annuals are now dead. I have one last rapidly fading bouquet sitting in a vase on my table. Mornings are dark—that seemed to happen suddenly—one moment I was still being wakened early by daylight and then wham, it’s dark until almost 7.

Winter rhythms. It’s not winter yet of course, in spite of snow flurries a few days ago. We still have days of mild weather to come, walks in the sun, leaf raking and yard clean-up, and there’s still some daylight when I get home from work but I can feel myself pulling in, settling onto the couch in the evenings, sipping my hot milk.

My eye just fell on the painting on the living room wall, Pleasant Valley in the fall, brilliant leaves and a purply sky, fields turning brown. It’s that time of year. Mid-afternoon on Saturday a friend and I drove up into the hills to our favorite orchard, our chatting interrupted by oohs and aahs as we noticed a particularly brilliant tree. Later I got my camera out and wandered around the yard snapping pictures of the last flowers in anticipation of the frost.

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Dahlia destined for a vase

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Late Stella d’Oro

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