November 26th, 2005



The crescent moon grins through the bones of the walnut tree. Night becomes hours of cold and clarity. Nearing nakedness, the oaks expose a greater expanse of stars. The season has become its proper self, mere weeks from solstice. Now, mild days will be rare, and mild nights unknown. Time to dig out more blankets.


The transition from warmth to numbing chill has been so abrupt this year that it brings to my mind the image of a Viking horde overrunning a group of suburban ladies enjoying a picnic. It's as though the season had been scripted by Monty Python. A single gray day and a nightlong rain were all that stood between the gentle afternoons of rusty autumn and the onset of winter. Three nights ago, I stood on the porch in shirtsleeves, listening to the chirping of the last cricket as the soft dusk settled over the woodlands. This evening I went out in four layers of clothing and still shivered in the icy silence.

An interesting article about Oregon Truffles in the on-line edition of Audubon Magazine.