December 6th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

December's Fruit

Yesterday afternoon, after the sun had emerged from the grey day, and all the sky turned blue and silver, I had occasion to go to the other side of town. Over the fence of a yard along a side street, I saw caught in a shaft of light passing between the pines, what I at first took to be some type of holiday decoration. Dozens of red globes hung from the branches of an otherwise bare tree. As I drew closer, I realized that it was a persimmon tree, loaded with ripe fruit. There are no persimmons growing in my neighborhood, nor along any of the streets which I am accustomed to traveling, so I see them rarely. To see one in fruit is quite an impressive sight. I have never been fond of persimmons. I like the flavor, but I find the slithery texture odd, and the furry sensation which they give my tongue is very unpleasant. But the trees, heavy with bright fruit, are delightful to see. I wouldn't mind having one in my yard, just to look at. The birds could eat the fruit, I'm sure.
caillebotte_man at his window

December Skies

The leading edge of a storm which is expected to bring rain over the weekend arrived today. The rumpled mass of lowering grey parted now and then to let the sun shine on the few bits of color which remain this late in the year. A few roses are blooming, as are the remarkably enduring pansies. Down the street, a fence is lined with some low plants covered in small, bright yellow flowers. I saw a bush with some fresh red flowers on it-- I think it might be some hardy type of rhododendron. And, of course, a few trees still have a few yellow leaves. But the brightest color I've seen today comes from the pyrocantha which are dotted about the neighborhood. It must be the mild weather which has caused them to produce such an abundance of bright red berries this year.

Still, the best scenery was in the sky. The cloudscapes were constantly shifting, and changing tone. Thick bands of gunmetal grey would thin a bit and begin to glow as though burnished, then thin some more and turn bright silver, then open to reveal blue patches with the fluffy white cloud tops rising into them. Meanwhile, some other part of the sky would be darkening and casting deep shade across the land, making it seem as though the rain could begin at any moment. Something was happening in some part of the sky all afternoon, but no rain fell.

Rain still hasn't fallen, but I am listening for it. December rains are cold, but I want to go out to feel the first drops, anyway. Right now, the sky is still behaving as it did all day, and swaths of stars are appearing and vanishing as the clouds form and dissolve and drift about. I hope the storm doesn't shift farther north, leaving us dry. This will be only the second rainy spell since last spring, and I'm eager to hear it beating on the roof and the fallen mulberry leaves.