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Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Perfect November Day

It was a flawless November day. Flawless and shocking, this Friday after Thanksgiving. The sun was bright, the temperature an unseasonable almost-sixty degrees. The sky? A pale blue, a few wispy clouds here and there, high and unthreatening.

Several days later we'd be warned that two-to-four inches of snow was expected over the next couple of days. But on this day, this uncharacteristic day, snow seemed an impossibility.

The walk to the ditch was particularly pleasant. The neighbors were out in force -- walking dogs, raking leaves or -- like my neighbor Frank -- putting out Christmas lights.

Everyone wanted to stop for a chat -- it mattered not that we were strangers. On this day, we were all friends.

The ditch was awash in quiet colors on the shore, water reflecting the flawless blue sky. There were reeds the color of wheat, berries deep red. A lone nest, visible through bare branches.

A few stray leaves remained, orange and bright.

A few dried leaves remained on the barren branches, but for once, one could see more than one pond at a time. It was stark, yet surprisingly lovely.

At the ditch, the ducks were in full force, gathered in the center pond.

A family came along, carrying a bag of bread. They were extremely popular, attracting ducks of every size and color.

Even a little one was getting her first lessons in duck feeding, to her joy and amazement.

To our amazement, a muskrat appeared on the scene. Apparently the ducks were too close to the nest, for he (or she) began chasing them, swimming after one, then another.

You can see the muskrat in the photo below -- right in the middle, looking a bit like a floating board.

He darted through the water so quickly it was difficult to get a clear photo!

I wanted to stay forever.

Soon trees looking like this one will pop up in homes all over the country. But I'm not so sure that any one of them could be so captivating as this burst of green in an otherwise muted palette. Brighter, perhaps. More elaborately decorated. But beautiful? I'm not so sure.

18 comments:

Joanne Huffman said...

It's days like this and photos like these that will bring warmth to our wintewr.

Becca said...

Aren't those last beautiful fall days such a blessing? So poignant, because you know they can't last.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful memory ~

ds said...

Lovely. I'll never care for muskrats, but this was lovely all the same. Thank you.

Tracy said...

So much loveliness, sweetness and delight, Jeanie! Loved all you had to share today--almost like we were there with you! :o) I love the quality of the days just now too...*sigh*... ((HUGS))

Bella Rum said...

I love these last few beautiful days before winter takes hold. It makes them all the more precious.

Jeanie said...

Your words and pictures brought the beauty of the day to life. We also had beautiful weather for Thanksgiving and the days after, but we are now hearing that 20 degree temps and snow are on the way. I will do my best to find the beauty in what is to come, but right now it just just feels like "ugh".

christinemyoung said...

I've never seen a muskrat!? Friday was such a beautiful day. So nice to hear about your Thanksgiving week, I'm glad Rick is okay :)

shoreacres said...

What beautiful photos - and such fun to have a muskrat visitor!

Every now and then people will show up beneath my window to feed the marina ducks. It's always a joy to watch the children - and amusing to watch the ducks try to get to the bread before the seagulls do.

I love autumn's muted palette - I miss it!

Jennifer Richardson said...

Thanks for taking me along
....that was a glorious walk!
Berries and beauty...so much wonder:)
-Jennifer

Barb said...

Jeanie - What a great walk you had. The dried grasses and berries of fall are so lovely, I think. More stark perhaps, but the sepia and gold palette is calming to the spirit. That last photo is so beautiful - the perfect holiday tree.

Patti said...

HI Jeanie~ Thanks so much for taking us on your walk and letting us share in your beautiful sights and images- looks lovely! Hoping you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Such gorgeous photos! You capture the area where you live so well! I especially love the pop of color in the berry pictures. So beautiful!

Naturegirl said...

Seems like a perfect Autumn day to get out and appreciate Nature.That pine tree with two shades of green awesome.
My aching bones are loving the warm temps of Florida!

Marilyn said...

What a lovely walk you also had. The tree with the new green growth is so pretty. I think I would have been enchanted and not wanted to leave either. Watching the muskrat would be so fun. Thanks for sharing your very special walk.

Kitty said...

Jeanie, Thanks for the beautiful walk to the ditch. Each season is a delight when described by you. And you are so right about the tree - it's hard to beat God's choice of when and where to place His beauty.

Ruth said...

Just beautiful. Even I, a lover of winter and snow, enjoyed the unusually warm temps.

I can't imagine a more lovely evergreen image than that last shot. Great eye and framing!

Janet said...

It does seem like the perfect day!

Annie said...

The muskrat photos delighted me. When I was 10 or 11, I went ice fishing with my father. We were living in northern Wisconsin at the time. We weren't having much luck and then we found out why. A muskrat popped his up out of our fishing hole in the ice. LOL. My dad just about fell back on his backside in shock. Needless to say, there was no more ice fishing that day.

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