Leaves crunching underfoot or rattling like sabres in in the wind, frost limning cedar fence rails along the ridge, blowsy plumes of field grasses and reeds on the edge of the western field—all are fine representations of the season and plangent leitmotifs in the windy musical work that is early winter.
The intense hues of autumn field and forest fade as the season marches onward, settling slowly, and with many deep sighs, into the subdued tints of winter: soft bronzes, creams, beiges and silvery greys, small splashes here and there of winey red, burgundy, russet and a midnight blue almost iridescent in its sheen and intensity, but oh so fragile.
December frosts make themselves known as sugary drifts over old wood and on fallen leaves almost transparent in their lacy textures. An owl's artfully barred feather lies in thin sunlight under a fragrant cedar and seems to be giving off a graceful pearly light of its own. The weedy residents of field and fen seem to be cavorting in plumed and fuzzy hats.
One needs another lens and tuning for winter, a different sort of vision, a song in a different key. The senses are performing a seasonal shift of their own, moving carefully into the consideration of things small, still and muted, but complete within themselves and perfect, even if they are cold and wet.