The grey days of November are here in Michigan. It’s been dry and cold for the most part, but we’re going way above average for a couple of days starting in December. I was walking home from work about two weeks ago and smelled smoke, the sunlight was pale and cold, and that’s when I realized that that is the essence of November: cold, but with the promise of comfort and warmth from a fire somewhere. Most of the birds around here now are the hardy year-round residents. Insects can still be found, but only in ones and twos, and then only on days when the temperature rises above 50 degrees. Squirrels are still active and deer can occasionally be spotted wandering the mean suburban streets, but late fall means a general slowdown of biodiversity. Most of the trees are naked now, and most plants that are still green are invasive.
So aside from my own thoughts of quaint New England villages framed by flaming colors of hardwoods, November is quiet, introspective, and waiting patiently for the cleansing blanket of snow that might come during Advent or Christmas time. November is seeing the last flocks of mallards and Canada geese flutter away. November is crisp silence.