Everyone loves to complain about November and the shortening of the days as we approach the winter solstice. The 11th month is called stick season, dark season, bleak, dreary and worse.

It can be all those things, but it can also be amazing. When the sun is so low in the sky, the ambient light illuminates everything in a glow of light that is so low it seems to come from the side.



The lack of leaves also renders the sky a color of blue that is only seen in March and April, so crystalline and clear when it is sunny. Early snow blankets the ground in white which reflects the light back and during the November full moon, the snow mirrors that brightness in through bedroom windows throughout the night.

Beyond the light, which is stellar, November means the garden is done as is the need to cut the grass. It provides a brief respite from outside chores and offers time for filling the freezer with soups and other fare to feed us through the darkness.

November is a time for reading on the couch and in bed. It’s a time for walking the dogs in the morning before work because it’s too dark after work. And speaking of dogs, the onset of winter and snow means the dogs only track in water as opposed to dirt and dust. That’s a plus and as it melts and evaporates it helps keep humidity in the house at the proper levels now that the heat and woodstoves are on.


November is like a test drive for December, January, February and March because it gives people a chance to find the ice scraper, regular gloves, boots and hats, ski gloves and gear as well as regular winter wear and the ubiquitous layers needed for navigating the colder months.

The days will get shorter as the planet tips away from the sun until the shortest day on December 21. Embrace the short days, hunker down. Don’t fight it, don’t protest -- accept it.

November, like mud season is something that needs to be embraced and honored for its role in our progression of seasons.

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the time, the family, the friends, the light and the darkness.