Monday, November 27, 2006

More Leaves

These are from our yard a few days ago. Most of these leaves are gone now. Winter is surely on its way.

Above, the three birch trees in the yard on the north side of the house. The house is named les bouleaux, which means the birches. There are stands of birch in the woods around the area.

This is a weeping birch next to our driveway.

There's also a weeping cherry nearby that's covered with beautiful pink blossoms in the spring. It's often the first tree to flower around us each year.

A pinson des arbres picks up seeds that the great tits let fall from the suet ball on our terrace. It's known as a chaffinch in English, one of the most common finches in Europe.

Detail of the weeping cherry tree. It's a fruitless tree, by the way, but its blossoms in spring are terrific.

In summer our house feels like a tree house; out of every window is a view of limbs and lush green leaves. In fall those views turn golden and scarlet, and when the light is right, the colors seem to be reflected right into the house.

In winter, the brilliant colors are replaced by bare limbs and stems, still beautiful, but in a more stark way. We can see through the now-transparent woods around the house to neighboring hillsides and valleys hidden by the leaves. And although the sun is lower in the sky, it filters through the bare trees and can still cast shadows inside the house.

Can you tell that we're still getting used to having four seasons again? I enjoy the changes, and knowing that in four months the bulbs will be up, the weeping cherry will be in full flower, and all the other trees will be heavy with buds.

But, first things first: winter begins in 24 days.

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