November is Beautiful: Nov. 5th

I struggle with November, despite having a Birthday at the end of the month. The decreasing light, the increasing cold, the deadening of the vegetation, and the graying of the skies depresses me. The glorious reds, oranges, and golds of October blow away on the wind. I begin to want to hibernate, to curl up under a pile of blankets and sleep the gray, cold, dead days away.

The struggle has been hard enough in the past, when I have had work that I have had to go to. I worry that this year, while I am still seeking employment, that the desire to stay in and sleep will only be stronger, as I don't have a reason to leave the house each and every day.  I also know, that the less I leave the house, the less sunshine I get, the greater the desire to hibernate becomes.

Since I realize that this could be a problem, I have decided to start a new project I am calling "November is Beautiful".  The goals of this project are three -fold
(1) Continue practicing my photography
(2) To get myself out of the house during daylight hours to soak up as much daylight as possible (and to thumb my nose at the cold...I hate cold).
(3) To practice seeing beauty around me. I know the beauty of November can be subtle compared to that of May or September. It tends to be the beauty of rest, of senescence, of death, of decay. The beauty of the ending of the cycle that is necessary for rebirth in the spring.

So today, I went to Lawrence, KS to have lunch with a friend from grad school. The idea for the November is Beautiful Project came on my drive out there. On the way home I stopped along the Kansas River to capture pictures that represent the beauty of Eastern Kansas in Early November.

Here are some of my favorites:

The senescing flowering stalk containing the seeds of the next generation. 

Shades of brown and gray. 

Not all is death and decay in November. This basal rosette of the biennial  hairy mullein will overwinter to produce a flowering stalk in the spring. 

I stopped to capture the golden yellow of the maple leaves, then realized that I could try to capture the wind in the photo. I think this was a more successful attempt than the pond shore at the park in St. Louis. 

Sunbeam on a fallen branch

The blue skies, the sun, the wind, the golden seed heads. 


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