First Frost, Leaves Fall Like Snow

November 1

It seems that last night the oak leaves started turning–everywhere you look a wash of tawny gold glows over the treetops. Oak leaves change at the very end, so if we get any fireworks this will be the finale. I went around the pond today, and now you can see the water twinkling through the trees. Each day the water gets bluer and bluer as the vegetation dies back, and the water lily pads sink to the bottom. The leaves are falling like a soft snow, and this will continue all week. Frost is on its way.

November 4

First real frost today. Walking on the chilly trail, I can see through the trees to the Catskills. Every day it opens up more. It’s sunny, and the sky is blue. Clouds were predicted, but they all flew away. I stop early on and smell a fox. I know one is around watching me. Is it hiding somewhere in the rocks? Or did it run away already, leaving its strange pungent scent in its place like an effigy? I wander on and start cutting through trails to get to where I want to go quicker. I cut a straight path to the view, whereas the trail maker had envisioned a meandering path that hugged the boundaries of the property. Either way, I get there. The leaves will soon all drop and the view to the northwest will fully open up.

Notes: What time of year is more bittersweet than when the leaves start falling? When a first real hard frost comes, the morning is still and silver. As the sun rises the frost melts off, changing the hue from silvery to technicolor. And then a cold breeze rakes through the tops of the sun-kissed trees, and the leaves–so many golden leaves!–begin to rain down to the ground. It’s mesmerizing, and although it does rain down, it falls more like snow. It is light and airy, drifting down in whorls, gentle and slow, but it’s soft touch belies a finality that is hard to come to terms with.

As always, you can write me at julia.c.sforza at gmail dot com. I hope you are enjoying whatever season you are in the midst of!