WINTER IS ON THE WAY!
No, it doesn't look this way just yet. Here's Huckleberry on the morning of March 13, 1993, when we went to bed the night before with the possibility of 2 inches of snow in the forecast and ended up getting more than 6 times that much.
It is warm today, in fact it has been for several days. Yesterday I even sat out on the front porch and read a bit on my new Kindle. It will cool down somewhat tonight, and toward the middle of next week we may see a couple of mornings of frost.
No, not a new picture. This is Tom, maybe a decade ago, earlier in the fall when there were still leaves on the gingko. He is much in my mind today, and it seems not unfitting to include him in my early winter musings.
It is December 6, 2014. The 7th anniversary of Tom's death. As I write this, at 9:15 in the morning, I recall that at this time on that day I was sitting by his bed in the hospital in Tuscaloosa awaiting his death, hoping that he was aware that I was holding his hand and talking to him. He died about an hour later.
It doesn't seem that 7 years have passed since then. At times it seems longer. At times it seems like only yesterday.
When you and someone else have put up with each other for 40 years, just because he has died doesn't mean that he has left your heart and your mind.
This doesn't look very much like December, but I can tell that it is because of the red color of the nandina berries. All summer and fall I had tried to get a shot of one of the multitude of green lizards that hang about the patio. Something tells me that this little fellow knows that colder weather is on the way and is taking what advantage he can of the afternoon sun a couple of days back. Moments after I took this he finally decided I was a possible threat and hopped onto the green leaves and disappeared.
Lots of blue lizards out there too, but I don't have a hope in hell of getting a decent shot of one of them!
December 9. A cool (40 degree) morning in Sawyerville, with lots of fog. The 10-day forecast indicates the possibility of a light freeze, certainly frost, for the next 3 mornings, then slightly warmer temperatures for the remainder of the period.
I've always liked foggy mornings. They make me look at my little world in a different way.
December 11, and a chilly, frosty morning in Sawyerville. At 7 a.m. the temperature on the patio was 29 degrees. A dry cold, no wind, and it felt more bracing than bitter. I believe this will be our coldest morning for a while: no more freezes in the 10-day forecast.
December 13. Warmer today. Midafternoon, and there is a quiet gray-blue sky above. Sawyerville itself is quiet today. Maybe everybody went to Greensboro for the Christmas Parade.
A disquieting thought: my mother would have been 108 years old today.
Although we are moving toward winter, there is still some new green in the yard. This is the time of year when the spider lilies put out their green leaves. Eventually they will die down, and there will be no more sign of the plant until the spikes start poking up from the ground late next summer.
December 14. Sunday. Yesterday was a blue-gray today. Today the sky is simply gray. For tonight I will be cooking country-fried cube venison steaks for myself and a friend. A nicely seasonal supper somehow, although I think the venison has been frozen since last year's hunting season.
And look! These Christmas narcissus are right on the verge of blooming!
But the real touch of Christmas in the yard: the bright red nandina berries! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!