This year September, October, and even early November have been so warm—balmy, in fact—that when the cold weather came in a rush, it caught me by surprise. Before that sneaky devil of a windstorm knocked out the power to nearly a half-million homes in Maine, Clif and I had brought in all the furniture and lawn ornaments. So in that sense we were ready.
But, as of a week ago, we still hadn’t had a hard frost, and I felt no sense of urgency about dealing with the potted plants outside. Silly me! Now the soil in the pots is frozen hard, and unless the rain comes to soften it, I’ll have to bring the pots down cellar to thaw.
I hope I have learned my lesson. For the past five years, Maine autumns have been markedly warmer than they were in the past. But this doesn’t mean the cold weather won’t come. It surely does, suddenly rather than gradually, with little warning. Changes, changes, and it is time for this old Mainer to adapt.
Regardless of the warm weather, the bright leaves fell right on schedule, and now we are into the russets of November. After the burst of mid-fall, some people find this landscape too monotonousness, too austere, but I am not one of them. Instead, to me, the countryside is soothing, lovely in its plain garb.
There is no better place to appreciate this than by Maranacook Lake, and yesterday, on my way to pick up the Sunday paper, I swung by the public beach for some pictures.
In the background are the lovely russets of the oak leaves, and the white specks on the float are seagulls. Maybe they should be called lakegulls as they seem to be permanent residents.
Here is a closer look.
Then I turned my attention to the trees and bushes, stark yet beautiful.
In this season of thankfulness, I am ever so grateful to live in a place that has four distinct seasons. All right, there are five seasons if you count the muddy misery of March, but right now my focus is on gratitude rather than resentment. Plenty of time for the latter when March rolls around.
Fortunately, March is many months away. For now, despite having pots with frozen soil that probably will have to be hauled down cellar to thaw, I’ll take in the serenity of November, a month that surely knows the long, dark cold of winter is coming and is more than ready for it.