I cannot tell a lie. November depresses me. Stuck somewhere between Autumn, my favorite season, amd winter snows that blanket New England (sometimes, but not always my second favorite season.) November sticks out like a pimp in church but life must go on.

Not far from my residence is a series of trails connected together on conservation land, the Weeks Trails as they are known, which exists as part of the original Weeks’ estate. If you like history there is a load of it online. But I am not here to talk about the past. I am here in the now.

So let’s look at November through a different lens. Its cold, rainy, gray, and nearly all the leaves have fallen. But there still is beauty and life if you look hard enough.

Taking a moment to step back and look, really look, I find some beautiful things.

Mushrooms. Or lichen. Or some kind of fungus. Whatever! It is fascinating as it feeds on the nutrients of the rotting wood, silently.

The trees are amazing. The shapes, the textures. Ominous and looming, craggy and weathered. It is hard to believe  come spring they exude life.

The way the river snakes itself through the forest, carved out of sand and filled, almost camouflaged by leaves. My college memories of a dreaded geology class come crashing back – older streams tend to snake. I believe the natural purpose is to keep streams alive  A straight riverbed washes out, flushes nutrients downstream and stripping the stream bed bare of nutrients, and a winding stream leaves nutrient rich deposits, floods, creates stream beds and intervales. Yet some color does exist  The confiers stay rich and alive. Green. Color.

And look here  – more life. Some color does exist  The confiers stay rich and alive. Green. Color. And what is this tiny plant springing its head up through the leaves? Is this winterberry as I call it? Or an ill fated sapling that has its internal season clock in a vast state of confusion?

And patterns. Patterns exist. So many patterns of shape and texture. Leaves for example. Moss, lichen, and bark.

So quiet, so still, yet so alive. Alive but slowing down for the long winter months to come. Nature is beautiful.