November is often when the first snow of the season falls. If we are lucky, all the leaves have fallen from the trees leaving a barren landscape that is ready for a coating of white. Some years, it comes early covering leaves that still need gathering. Regardless, it is temporary as it often (though not always) melts within a few days.
The sky is streaked with bands of gray-blue clouds that appear as an undulating blanket holding back the coming precipitation. The skeletal reaches of the trees that have shed their leaves interrupt this backdrop with their jaggy edges. The bark is dark against the sky except for the few sycamores that distinguish themselves among their arboreal peers blending in.
Birds seem more active with a frantic scavenging on the ground that will soon be covered making access to food more difficult. There will still be food sources on the perennials such as coneflowers and asters as well as a few lone sunflower heads that were left in the garden unless they are unable to stand up to the weather.
The squirrels and chipmunks are also putting in a strong effort as they appear to know that their grounded food sources may be curtailed for a while. The air smells of snow with a crisp, savory odor of plants that are being put asleep for either the season or forever. The tender perennials that have been sitting safe in the greenhouse must either be brought inside or left to the cold.
The ground has a bit of a crunch as I stroll across it. The grass is matted down forming little islands as the weeds that filled in the spaces between are long gone. But these brown spaces will be transformed to white for at least a while before the lawn becomes uniform and consistent.
But now we wait. The sky is dull. The wind is a bit brisk. And the hint of snow is in the air.