I didn’t write much in November. In fact, I didn’t write anything until now but I did take some photographs. Although I didn’t have much to say for nearly thirty days, I now look back through dozens of images from my November rides and realize there was plenty of beauty to speak of.
As I recall, November was, weather-wise, better than October. While October was colder and wetter than usual, November was milder and dryer — or at least closer to normal for late autumn in Chicago. I was out of town that first week of November which, in my absence, turned out to be unseasonably warm.
I spent most of November grumpy that it was November and not still, say, June. But looking at these photos I can’t understand why. It certainly wasn’t the trails. One thing I’ll say for this past November was that the trails were in the best condition they had been all the year. They were smooth, dry and fast. The air was crisp and clear of the bugs that had swarmed thick in July and August.
The leaves fell from the trees early in the month and carpeted the forest floor. Burnt umber was the color of the month. But it was not the only color. A few stubborn shrubs held their sap green leaves until the first deep frost. That deep frost didn’t come until December so November enjoyed hints of the summer past the whole month long.
The grass, too, was still summer-green and I thought if we could just hang onto these splashes of color for the next few months I wouldn’t dread the long grayness of Chicago’s winters quite so much. But I realized that instead of complaining about the eventuality of January and February, it was better to appreciate how nice it is in November and enjoy it while it’s here.