It's almost like I've been staring at some truth all Summer and only as Fall fades into Winter does that truth suddenly spring into sharp relief, formerly smooth and uninteresting platitudes suddenly revealing themselves to me in all their terrifying complexity: "Time quickens as you age;" "Youth is wasted on the young;" "Life is short." When the colors fade, suddenly I can see the textures---and they are beautiful, but certainly many-layered, complicated, harder to classify. Unsettling. Which is maybe why I want so desperately to BE settled in the winter, to pull in, to gather myself, to let my thoughts run their long winding courses through the long cold nights, to keep my family close and safe.
There's a song Abe's choir sings right now, a Manx Lullaby, where the mother sings over her baby: "Oh hush thee my dove, oh hush thee my rowan, oh hush thee my lapwing, my little brown bird. Oh fold thy wings, and seek thy nest now, Oh shine the berry on the bright tree. The bird is home from the mountain and valley." I want to fold my wings over my little birds and keep them warm, and I will---but I see the complexities of it too, see how temporary and how small our little nest is against the many-layered world. And even, I see how it's best that way. But it doesn't stop me wanting to freeze things just how they are now: the golden air and the glow on the horizon, sending sparks of light over those bright little heads.
I didn't understand that line "Oh shine the berry on the bright tree" until I saw this tree. It was completely covered with yellow berries, like little bright coals. It was unbelievable. I couldn't get close enough to capture it sufficiently with the camera, but the effect of all those tiny berries en masse was staggering.
You can kind of see them here, maybe, if you click to enlarge
I love the textures in the pond here---the layers formed by the different thicknesses of ice, and then overlaid with reflected trees--sky--clouds. Layers upon layers.
There is color here, especially in the light, but since the colors are all so similar, each variation is exaggerated, and the overall effect is still depth.
Another berry tree. Red this time.
Berry clusters against sky
You would think the lighter parts would be easier to see here, but it's actually the shadowed areas that seem to hold more information. Again the details come out when the contrasts are lower.
Those furry grasses show up on the picture almost like sunflares: hazy and glowing, like they were transposed onto our eyes by some magical effect and not through mundane reality.
These reds have a brave, desperate quality to them: holding on against the inevitable end
Back-lit, these grasses turn into feathers, or wings
Velvet-textured seed pods, rimmed with gold
More glowing sparks: luminous pussywillow-lookalikes here, almost translucent in the last rays of light