Walking in Season: November 2010

Wow, what a month October was: a parade of family members in town throughout the month; the baby shower; and, in the last week, the excitement of life without indoor plumbing!

A week ago, the main water line to our house sprung big leaks, and the repairs — for various logistical and bureaucratic reasons — could not be completed until today.  From last Tuesday until just an hour ago, the water line was shut down, and we had no running water in the house.

If we had to be visited by such an adventure, this last week was an ideal time for it.  Two sets of friends/family were out-of-town, and their empty homes were open to us for showers, cooking, laundry, and the filling of large tubs of water to haul back to our house for toilet-flushing the low-tech way.  To these kind folks, we say: THANK YOU!

But now it is November!   This month, everywhere around us, the natural world begins to slow and settle in for the long winter ahead.  The trees drop their leaves… the nights lengthen… the days become cool and crisp… the plants offer up the last of their fruits… the animals stock up and hunker down — including many of us humans!

This month is a wonderful time to follow Mother Nature’s lead:  simplifying, drawing in, shifting our focus from outward to inward.  After the bustle of summer, we partake of this season’s quieter pastimes.  As we warm ourselves by the fire, or stand stirring at the stove, or sit stitching in the lamplight, our minds find space and opportunity for introspection and reflection.

And, hopefully, around the fourth Thursday of the month (for us Americans, anyway), we also find opportunity to be thankful for all the good that our lives hold!

Less than two months to go before the little one makes his or her debut — we can hardly believe it!  Today, we had a raft of errands and a faraway prenatal appointment, so we admit: November’s Walking in Seasons photos were taken October 31st, to ensure they got taken at all.  Blue skies reigned both days, however, so we’re confident that yesterday’s shots are near-perfect representations of November 1′s path.

Complete set of Walking in Season photos here, all by Matt.

Stop 1.  The leaning tree trunk in the center of the photo finally fell!

Stop 1.5. Sing along, everybody: “Muuuuuuuck on the wa-ter, and glare in the sky-yy.”

Stop 2.  It’s strange but true: I like the wetland much better without green leaves.

Stop 3.  Leaf by leaf, the canopy falls.

Stop 4.  This stop is the most-transformed each month, I think — even the changes in the last three months alone are impressive!

Basking in Autumn

Last Sunday, we went for a walk with our families along our favorite trail.  The day was sunny and warm, and in the wetland, the turtles were out basking, soaking up the sun’s rays before a long winter underground.

Turtles cannot make their own body heat, so they sunbathe to raise their body temperature.  The warmth allows them to better digest their food, rid themselves of parasites, and (for females) develop their eggs.  And, it turns out, like us, turtles need ample sunshine to manufacture Vitamin D for healthy bones!

The large turtle in the middle, who held out its hind leg in a reptilian arabesque, was particularly charming.

Sunbathing turtles seem to be on the minds of folks across the country at present.  Case in point: this post over at Learn.  Make.  Think. — a great blog worth checking out!

Kindly Moon

Busy day. Beautiful day!
Impromptu garage sale. Unexpected profits!
Let go of the old. Made room for the new!
Lightened our load. A wonderful feeling!

Fall is here. Brilliant orange in the backyard!
Full moon tonight. Kindly Moon to the Chinese!
Hunter’s Moon to the Colonial Americans. I’m with the Chinese!

Tomorrow: cleaning house for more (wonderful) visitors. Happy anticipation!
An artist friend, her baby girl, and mother. First visit with the littlest!

Happy late October to you. With love!

Walking in Season: October 2010

It’s October — glorious October!  A month of turning leaves, blue skies, crisp autumn air, golden afternoons, and early evenings.  A month for picking apples, baking cobblers, carving pumpkins, and gathering ’round the hearth for the first fire of the season!

And, of course, it’s time for Walking in Season!  Last month, after a long summer of drought, I wondered, “Will the wetlands ever be wet again?”  October brings us the answer: an emphatic YES!

All week long, the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole sat over Williamsburg, dumping rain — days and days of solid rain — upon us.  Over ten inches fell overall!  The lake is high, the creeks are full, and the wetlands are wet.

All week, Matt and I wondered if October 1 would be dry enough for our monthly photo shoot, and, as luck would have it, it was!  Thanks, Ma Nature.  Walking in Season is still a day late this month, however, as the time I’d allotted for blogging yesterday was instead consumed by efforts to eliminate a small flood from our garage.  (Happily, the garage is now flood-free.)

As always for the Walking in Season series, Matt shot the photos.  We decided to keep with the point-and-shoot camera for Walking in Season through the end of the year, for consistency between months.  But with the New Year, we’ll be switching fully to the digital SLR, and maybe introducing a new location, too!  Stay tuned!

Remember, you can view the entire series of 2010 Walking in Season photos here at Flickr!

Stop 1.  Green turning to brown…

Stop 1.5  Gray sky, black water.

Stop 2.  The green field, submerged.  Sadly, a fawn met its fate here during the storm — its little body lies half submerged nearby, and is a source of much fascination to the boys of the neighborhood.

Stop 3.  The canopy is thinning.

Stop 4.  Nary a puddle last month; now, flowing water!


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