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Friday, November 20, 2009

Warm November Light

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post, as well as to all who didn’t comment but read it and took it to heart. As a reward to all of us (yes, me, too), today’s post will be mostly pictures, with only a few words.

Often we think of November in cold terms. The temperature is usually colder than it has been this year, but I don’t mean just that. Is it an exaggeration to say that we think of November as a little heartless? Bright autumn leaves are swept away by cruel winds and driving rain, leaving the woods paradoxically dark and bare at the same time, and many’s the day we have to make a special effort to make ourselves “open the door and walk outside” (quiz question: what is my reference here?), as well as to find color in the landscape and reasons for cheerfulness in our own hearts. At the end of the month we have the warmth of Thanksgiving, and that helps a lot.

But when a November morning is lit by the low, raking sun, and the skies behind that brightly lit world are heavy with dark clouds—oh, then the land looks warm! The forest floor covered with dead brown leaves, bare branches of fruit trees glowing rosy, red barns shouting proudly that they are still in service, soft yellow willows and bright yellow road signs--all these gave us, this morning in northern Leelanau County, reasons to smile and sigh.

I was lucky to be out in the light, to have errands in Suttons Bay and Lake Leelanau, giving me a wonderful excuse to drive some different roads for a change. And when I stopped at the Enterprise office to arrange for an ad in next week’s paper (for our book signings on Saturday), fortune did me another good turn, sending me back to Northport with Ken Scott calendars for the bookstore. Because, as you all know, photographer Ken Scott brings color to every month of the year.


Phoenix C. said...

I love November and especially the November light, which I have just posted about too. I've really enjoyed looking at your photos, which are glorious. It's interesting to see and feel the difference between the light in your location and here in the north east UK. The essence of places has always fascinated me.

I usually comment in a different form :)

P. J. Grath said...

Different form? As in, Jessica? Thank you for your comments. I wish I had not been operating under time constraints that kept me on the road rather than down by the shore or at least on the highway shoulder. We are having a glorious November here, indeed.

Gerry said...

That red barn is wonderful, especially riding the swoop of land as it does. The Leelanau is a magical place, and Ken Scott is its troubadour. People who buy the calendar at Dog Ears will have a Local Trifecta: local color by local artist via local purveyor of fine printed materials of all kinds.

P. J. Grath said...

You could have stopped at "troubadour," and it would have been a comment to warm my heart, but then you went on and brought me into your compliment, too. You are such a sweetie, Gerry!