It has been a lovely November day here along the river.
The morning came slipping in like a shy bride behind a veil of gauzy fog. For the first half hour you couldn't see the trees on the island directly across from the cottage. The river appeared mysteriously from an indeterminate place in the white mist wall, slowed in the upstream flat, poured silently over the broad riffle, paused again in the Cottage Pool…and quickly disappeared downstream, a passage more apparition than earthly.
After a while the fog began to thin and lift. The trunks of the island's trees materialized, and a few minutes later, the lower branches. The high, leafless crowns of the big sycamores and basswoods stayed hidden another quarter hour—though along the upper reaches of the island, the lower two-thirds of the trees remained fog-bound and only the topmost branches could be seen above the cushiony mist, like fingers of drowning victims waving frantically above the surf.
Once the fog had evaporated the sun beamed down—and it kept beaming down the remainder of the day. Unfortunately, I couldn't go out and play. Or even go out and work and call it play. A writing deadline loomed. I finished that about noon. Then I had to have some blood work done, meaning a trip to the nearby satellite hospital. After that off to the library to drop off books and books-on-CDs, and check out a fresh batch. Next a trip to the bank. Stuff which looks easy enough—and was—except it ate up most of the afternoon.
I did get to amble around the yard with Moon the dog for about fifteen minutes before heading inside to put some brown rice in the oven, and do a stir-fry of marinated pork shreds, onions, ginger, black beans, and tomatoes for later topping. Somewhere in there, while I was busy in the kitchen and starting the first few chapters of one of the borrowed CD books, the sun set. Whether it was a pretty sunset or not, I couldn't say.
When I was out with Moon I did notice that all the leaves on the island's trees are now down, and for the first time since early spring, I can now see the river's opposite bank. This unfamiliar long view looks pretty strange and will take some getting used to, I think. It is now possible to watch the pileated woodpeckers flapping from tree-to-tree over there, where before I could only catch the odd glimpse.
The photo is of one of the red-bellied woodpeckers that regularly visits the feeder beyond my desk window…and doubtless slows my daily progress with interruptions to watch his brief battles against a belligerent nuthatch. I love his checkered plumage.
At any rate, that's the day's report. But any report that ends with a woodpecker can't be all bad…right?