Monday, November 23, 2020

November Walks and Rides

It's hard to believe November is nearly over, yet here we are in Thanksgiving week.

The month, like the year, has so far been marked by waiting: waiting for an election; waiting for votes to be counted; waiting for resolution; waiting to see what the virus would do. And with the waiting, hoping: hoping for clear outcomes; hoping for peace and stability; hoping for truth to be proclaimed and recognized; hoping against hope that leaders would lead, and put people before politics or profit; hoping that hospitals would not be overwhelmed, nor medical personnel swamped, by a rising tide of illness.

While humans fret and fight their way to the end of this seemingly endless year, the earth, thank God, keeps turning. The seasons roll onward, and their ever-changing beauty provides solace and distraction from the affairs of men.

(How's that for a cheerful opening? The rest of the post will be better, I promise.)


For me, November began with a walk in the cold clear air. The bright leaves of October had faded, and soft neutrals prevailed on this trail through the trees:

In defiance of the weather, a shivering mullein still bore one blossom:

On the other side of the woods, seedpods of white wild indigo stood out darkly against the prairie:

And tall grasses provided a pop of rusty red and white:


The next day brought a stunning sunset of violet and rose:


The day after that brought a ride! (And an election. But that wasn't nearly as much fun.)

In what felt like a measure of extra grace during a time of national stress, November warmed up for one golden week. On two days of that week, I was able to ride to work.

On the way in, I saw sandhill cranes biding their time in a field:

And on the way home, enjoyed the reddish light cast by the setting sun over river and lake:

The shorts and short sleeves are proof of just how warm it was:

What an unexpected treat in November, and what a great distraction from political events (or non-events).


During the warm spell, I took another walk to the prairie restoration project. The temperature may have been summerlike, but grass, tree, and flower told a tale of fall:

Bird on a wire:

Sunset over the marsh:

The warmth lasted just one day longer before reverting to more typical November weather: cloudy, rainy, and cold. Many days passed before I took out my camera again.


Last Friday I walked to the park, where oak leaves and dried grass made a pleasing contrast to the dark blue waters of the pond:

I stopped for a photo of a mysterious dried flower (possibly prairie onion?):

A few steps away was a flagpole, and on it the Stars and Stripes - tattered and tossed by conflicting winds, but still flying bravely:

May the nation she represents be governed by truth and characterized by courtesy, kindness, and concern for life at every stage.


I've been working on some crochet tutorials which I hope to post soon. My crafting mojo is slowly wakening from its post-publishing dormancy, and I have several techniques to share. :)

Wishing a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving all who celebrate it! I am grateful for all of you.

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