no. 19

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”

–  Elizabeth Coatsworth

This is my response to The Four’s photo challenge number 19.  So many lovely responses seemed to focus on the berries.  Naturally.  They are a gorgeous subject.  But it probably won’t come as a big surprise to regular readers of this blog that my instinctive response centered on the earth coming to a rest.

I suppose it’s just as well.  There wasn’t much in the way of snow, frost, or even fires for me to photograph around here anyway.  The true killing frost is remarkably late this year.  (Although I’m hardly complaining.)  And snow, if it comes at all, is probably months away.

But November is going, going… and the earth here is ripe for her long winter’s nap.

(P.S.  Does anyone know what the pale beige seed is called and/or to which tree it belongs?  Thousands of them fell here on Thanksgiving Day, filling the air with little propellers that caught the light in such a charming way as they spiralled down, down…. Of course, I tried to photograph their flight, but found it beyond my skill level to catch the golden light, the wind’s caress, the movement like a hundred delicate fairy wings above and around me, the depth of the stillness of the forest coming to rest for the winter.)

7 Responses to “no. 19”

  1. They kind of remind me of maple keys which we used to call “mini helicopters” when we were kids.

    I can’t believe it’s December on Tuesday…where has 2009 gone in such a rush?

    • That’s what I first thought — but a trip through the tree book showed no keys that looked quite like it. My sis and I were scratching our heads.

      Isn’t that bizarre? It feels like time might really be an illusion when it starts behaving this erratically — November feels like a whisper of memory already 😦

  2. I think it’s an ash tree seed pod! I kind of remember them in Kentucky as a little girl — they would flutter down to the ground like the maple keys — just not as dramatic! Beautiful macro photos — very inspiring!

  3. I had to dig through the archives to find that red berry photo. I was too lazy to wander to the ones down the street with my camera. 😉

    I love your take on the poem.

  4. Oh, I love Elizabeth Coatsworth and am so happy to discover this poem!
    Meredith, thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. Your photography is stunning and I’m so happy for the link that brought me here!

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