The November landscape fascinates me. A constant melody of browns, greys and greens punctuated by stark black tree trunks. With the leaves gone, you can see through the trees and spot hidden buildings. The landscape opens up and tells you it's story. Try and visualize it as I take you along.
The fields are most noticeable, ranging from the light pale brown cornstubble to the dark brown earth of a few fields that have been ploughed, from the rough green of harvested hayfields to the bright new green of winter wheat sprouting. Trees and forest occupy almost as much of the landscape around here. Dark green spruce planted around farmsteads, a surprising amount of planted pine forest, and the distant deciduous woodlots. As well there are a number of swamps which might be the grey of dead trees through light brown of the cattail patches to dark green of the cedars.
Now that I am just a passenger in the car I can enjoy watching the sights pass as we drive. Yesterday it was down to Pebbles restaurant in Varney, where we met good friends for lunch. We passed all those fields, forests, swamps, and farmsteads - ranging from bright new buildings to the old and dilapidated. The barn is usually the first to get modernized, the house comes later, and some farms never do, falling into ruin. I marvel anew to myself at the work pioneers went to to clear this landscape and build their homes.
We drive by a small farm home and barn on a tiny patch of cleared land by the road, but I spot a farm lane disappearing back into the swamp. Later checking the air photos on Google Maps I see two large fields hidden from the road beyond that swamp that enabled the farmer to make a living.
Just out of Meaford we cross the Bighead River, and driving through Priceville we've moved into the Saugeen watershed. (You would not believe what the voice recognition did to that sentence!) But along the way there are numerous small streams and patches of wetlands. There's Minniehill Creek south of town, Wodehouse Creek just before it drains into the karst system, the Boyne River as we go through Flesherton and a few others I don't know as we get closer to Varney. The whole landscape is drained by a dense network of streams and creeks.
Here at home I look out on the same grey/green landscape. The light green of the backyard and the golf course stretch into the distance marked by a small patch of bright green, the green for hole number seven on the golf course. Two dark spruce trees mark the boundaries of my view. and a line of planted Scots Pines extends into the distance on the right hand side. Two isolated Scots Pines stand like sentinels partway down the golf course. Sugar Maple and White Ash stand in the fencerow at the back of our property, in the middle of the golf course and in the distance beyond. Scattered fallen leaves mark the beginning of the golf course and a tiny white skiff of snow lies across the deck and a few of those fallen leaves. Three little creeks cross the landscape all down in their small valleys and out of sight to me.
I know many think November is the worst month of the year, but I find it fascinating.