The Trees of Late Fall & the Promise of Winter

(Click to enlarge)

Bontecou Lake Swamp, Millbrook, New York

Every year what budded in autumn blossoms full blown in the weeks before official winter– my love affair with trees. Trees that were drop-dead gorgeous in their fall colors are now bare, with the exception of evergreens and a few stray deciduous trees that refuse to relinquish their leaves. Now the trees are stripped down to their souls and their souls sing a siren song to the universe.

The tops of trees lift my spirit; brushlike they paint the sky the baby pinks and blues of mornings, and the majestic magentas and violets of day’s end. Each tree has its signature shape against the sky, like a fingerprint or a snowflake, similar yet each unique. Some treetops in their bare state are shaped like a fancy coiffure; others look like wrought iron filigree. On distant mountains, against the snowy ground, some look like stubble on an old man’s unshaven face.

It is the cold, colorful pre-winter sky showing through, and showing off, the bare branches that woos me. The bare curvaceous branches are stark, dark lines against the bright of day and the inky sky of night. These resplendent creatures are living lines that explode. Branches tangle like the lines in a Jackson Pollock painting. Others curve in the sensuous lines of a Brancusi sculpture. Buxom tree trunks stand strong surrounded by their colorful, dead blossoms amid the ground cover and their burgeoning berries, the offspring of a Renaissance Madonna. In truth these trees are not like art at all. Rather art imitates them– their beauty provides the timeless inspiration for artists, writers and poets of all ages and styles.

Trees not only inspire, they themselves are paragons of diversity. One look out of a car window while driving on the Taconic and one can see squat pines alongside towering majestic firs, birches interspersed with maple and oak. And together the different brown and tan barks interspersed with evergreens create not only a mosaic of contrasting colors, but display an example to inspire humans to live together in peaceful unity.

These beneficent beings carry the heavy, dark grey clouds of winter. When it snows the tree trunks become canvases for the abstract patterns of windblown-snow, while the serpentine branches are outlined in white. In ice storms their branches become chandeliers, each enveloped in glassine ice. While in the melancholy of a winter rain, the branches become oiled skins of snakes weeping to the ground below. And finally, in the night sky, the branches hold the stars in their arms, those with leaves holding them in their hands, as they nurse the moon.

All trees, no matter what their species, age or height, stand tall in proud humility, their arms reaching up to the Heavens to our Creator in prayer– soft-spoken beings of peace and tranquility towering over us, while we wee, little creatures race around distractedly below.

(Click to enlarge)

Hammond Road, Millbrook, NY

17 responses

  1. Beautiful. I love everything about trees. They seem so old and wise and full of spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 1, 2022 at 12:00 PM

  2. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 1, 2022 at 7:21 PM

  3. Gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 2, 2022 at 1:48 PM

  4. “And finally, in the night sky, the branches hold the stars in their arms, those with leaves holding them in their hands, as they nurse the moon.” That’s lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2022 at 2:04 PM

    • Thank you so much, Crystal! I appreciate your words very much. How are you feeling these days?


      December 4, 2022 at 2:27 PM

      • Overall, I feel pretty well. I’m doing what I’ve been told and taking medicine that should be shrinking my tumor. I will have an ultrasound in January to confirm.


        December 4, 2022 at 3:11 PM

      • Oh, I am praying that it will work and for your health and your family problems. You are a warrior!! You will fight this!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 6, 2022 at 4:25 PM

  5. Reblogged this on anastasiakalantzi59.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 5, 2022 at 3:27 AM

  6. Your writing is beautiful, thank you for loving nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 6, 2022 at 11:08 AM

  7. Lovely 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    December 6, 2022 at 3:29 PM

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