It was absolutely balmy in Portland today; overcast, moisture in the air and fairy warm. The trees and grass were still so alive, so green and festive. Contrast this with Wisconsin 3 weeks ago: the earth was festooned with oranges, yellows, maroons and browns with a bit of green here and there. Snow lingered. The air was dry. And it was cold, down to 15 Fahrenheit. Autumn is so very different between here and there. The thoughts of my taste of winter in the fall will have to tide me over for who knows how long; years? I am one of the opposition, you see. A Minnesotan/Wisconsinite who adored winter and enjoyed it more than any other season. Yes, I even liked diving in it, even in Duluth, a city know for its hills and cold winters. When I hear people back home complain about winter it breaks my heart. So forgive me while I savor it here.
Here are a set of photos from that wintery-type of autumn back home. They are from my friends’ house out in the country in St. Croix Falls, save for the one directly below. That’s Summer and her dog Tippy. We went for a walk in the woods and couldn’t resist the whimsy of the downy white seeded asters as a photo background. It was such a beautiful day, and a great time with a friend.
This was a Friday, the day I took these photos. Around noon it started to hail. Hail is an interesting sensory experience because it sounds different than snow, like slow, tinny, glassy, muted rain. It’s a rare enough occurrence that it makes me feel like I am in an alternate universe, where the rain has a different feel then the rain of the everyday world.
The hail turned into snow proper and I caught a flake on my mitten-clad finger. It was incredibly satisfying to look at it’s one-of-a-kind crystalline configuration.
I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but I love this black tansy flower head below. Tansy is just a plain old weed, but it is still uniquely beautiful and stately. Even in various stages of rot and decay it maintains it’s dignity and some state of Victorian order. Like I’ve said before, the death of autumn and winter is so pronounced back home.