Winter blew in on gusty winds, scattering the clouds which had granted autumn's last evening a sunset of mauve, rose and vermilion- a curtain closing on a final performance in some doomed theater, the lights going down, the house falling dark but for the white moon which illuminated the bare trees that were so like scenery about to be struck. Now, the stars are fading into the cobalt sky that precedes dawn. The morning air is chill. Winter begins with a clear and blustery day. I'm ready to turn south.
A haze of thin clouds are giving the moon a giant halo tonight, and the moonlight is allowing the bare mulberry tree to cast its winter filigree of shadow. I enjoy the waning days of the year, not for the holidays, but for the long, austere and vivid nights. Some years, this time is all dense cloud and icy rain, and some years the moon is in the wrong phase, casting but little light for only a short while. But when, as now, the substantial, waxing moon appears and floods the landscape with its glow, I delight in braving the chill to watch those intricate shadows creep across the lawn and up the walls, a moondial counting the long hours of owl song.