Saturday, November 19, 2011

autumn woods

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We walk out into the gloom and ascend the hill, where the sights of Autumn surround us. The woods are quiet, many of the birds have flown though we still have the squirrels and their manic scampering for company as we walk. As lovely as the sight of Autumn is it's actually the smell that is remarkable; rotting leaf matter and strange fungoid aromas fill the air.

We've had a mild Autumn which has so far saved me from burning lots of wood, giving us more fuel for the later part of Winter. It's been so mild that I have seen bees and butterflies this week. Last Winter we began having fires at the beginning of October, but here we are in late November and it still isn't very cold. I'm sure it'll come soon enough. My store of wood seems unusually large this year and upon opening the door to the shed I am confronted by what appears to be a huge breaking wave of wood coming towards me. Exchanging a small pile of paper money for an enormous pile of hard wood has always seemed like a very good exchange to me. We bring the hardened sunlight into the house, and being the thief of fire, release its energy. Our own personal mini sun for heat and light against the dark and cold. How fortunate we are.

Short dark days make for long evenings as the world turns and tilts. It gets properly dark before five now, though some days it hardly seems to get very light at all. The air is still today and all would be quiet, but I can hear the faint sound of a choir nearby, practicing carols as I type this, such a seasonal sound.