|Autumn leaves, November 11, 2011|
The shorter, darker days of late fall and winter have always been a challenge for me. Both my body and my spirit tend to feel the weight of winter, a reaction referred to by the medical profession as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). When I was still working for pay, I hated going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, a mole forever underground surrounded by damp, oppressive dirt.
But now that I am retired, and can make a point of being outside whenever the opportunity arises to catch a bit of light, a breeze, a patch of blue sky, I am finding new wonders in the shortening days.
|Boat in the Bay|
|Ducks on an autumn afternoon|
This week, it is the afternoon light which mesmerizes me - at three in the afternoon, the clouds reflect in the rippling water;
|Clouds in the water|
|Ripples in the afternoon|
By four, the dusk creates a marine bas relief, and the juxtaposition of dying foliage against ever-changing seascape begs for capture by the camera's lens:
|Seedhead in fall|
Even in death, the flowers are beautiful and offer the promise of new life come spring. The colourful leaves, too, are finally losing their grasp on the boughs to which they cling. This afternoon, a wind and rainstorm tore through the area, ripping leaves from the trees and sending them scurrying down the street and across the waters.
In the aftermath of the storm, I discover a dragonfly lying amid the leaves, life sucked away yet seemingly uninjured. I later learn that the lifespan of an adult dragonfly is less than six months, so perhaps it died a natural death. I am fascinated by the opportunity to look at it so closely - it is over three inches long, iridescent body, gossamer wings with a single black dot on the edge of each.
|Dragonfly with gossamer wings|
|Wings more beautiful than Swarovski crystal|
But most surprising of all was the face:
No graphic artist or cartoonist could ever create an insect's face that so instaneously makes one smile back at it. He must have enjoyed his very short life, I think, to look so happy in death.
By five it is almost dark and I am home with my blinds drawn, soft music on, cocooning with my critters and shutting out the world.
I could get used to this. At least for a couple of months.