The smell of the coffee in my tumbler fills the cab of my big blue truck as I drift along the tiny one lane road on Peter’s Creek. Most of the colorful leaves have fallen to the ground leaving behind the pale branches and boles of the sleeping forest. The vibrant songs of the mockingbirds and warblers have given way to the cries of jays and crows. The seasonal progression brings with it an icy chill making the hot coffee all the more appreciable. As I scan the edges of the road hoping for a jay or a Cardnial to pause long enough for a portrait the gently swaying keys of a box elder catches my eye. The winged seeds persist well past the dropping of the final leaf and some of them stay on the tree well into the winter. I know that the calendar says that winter doesn’t really start until the solstice but that’s mankind’s artificial time. For me winter starts with dropping of the last leaf or when those that remain have turned to dull rusty brown. The forest slumbers until the songbirds sing and wake the first blossom of spring.
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