The third week in November and presto, SNOW. I hadn’t been watching the weather or anything so it came as a delightful surprise. Yes, it was a cold and cloudy day. I was staying home as usual, working on painting the Goddess altars I’m going to sell at the upcoming Yuletide arts and crafts fair. I was drawn out of the house by the opportunity to photograph the unexpected change in the scenery around my house.
These are Siberian Elms and I have very mixed feelings about them. On one hand they remind me of the great elm trees that dominated the city lot of my childhood home. Dutch Elm Disease eventually killed all of them. It’s hard for me to picture that house now without the trees.
Still, these are not the elms of my childhood. They are an invasive and aggressive type of elm that is thriving in this region. If you live near them, like I do, you end up weeding out thousands of little seedlings that sprout up wherever there’s water, soil and sun, like in my garden. Arrgg.
This was taken the day after the snow fell. Also a cold day and thus this remnant clinging to the north side of the sunflower all morning. I love the graceful arch of the plant adjusting to the weight of the flower as it matured and then seeded, gaining weight along the way.
I just realized that the Winter Solstice (December 21st) is only a month and a few days away from now. We are really experiencing the darkest time now and through the month of January. Because we had a long autumn season here with plenty of warm days and a late ending for the gardens, winter seems suddenly decisive. There is an excitement to it, a fresh sharpness to the focus, a call for alertness about staying warm and safe. The living is not so easy now.
I also shot this the day after the snow, just before dusk. I looked out the window and there was the moon seemingly captured in the web of the elm’s branches. I’ve been thinking about the phrase, “web of life,” lately as a theme for a painting. This photo captures the gesture of the concept. Without the leaves on the trees now the sky can come through. I find I like looking at the branches, the beauty of their form, held up against the ever-changing sky that is so compelling here.
Sunday will be the Full Moon in Taurus, just catching the last degree of Scorpio opposing it. And the next day, Monday, the 22nd, the Sun moves onward to Sagittarius.