The winds of late autumn have a voice that can be heard in the sighing pines, in the rustling of oak leaves and in restless gusts moaning down chimneys. Late November’s winds are reminders that it’s again time for nature to undertake the final steps in the annual journey to winter.
Skies are laden with masses of scudding gray, rain clouds, the meeting of warm and cold air masses, and wind-driven storm tides flood coastal marshes with fast-moving waters, with the inevitable overwashing of lowlands and beaches. It’s nature’s quaint way of flushing away past errors while preparing for another season.
During the recent Nor’easter, on a spit of land close to our coast, the eerie shadows of a small flock of herons, clustered beside a creek bank, could be seen in the feeble pre-dawn moonlight. Nearby a squadron of mallards braved the choppy seas, plowing resolutely into the face of the storm. Amid the splashing of white-tipped waves they paddled along toward some appointed destination. The awakening gray light of dawn brought a flight of gulls aloft, riding high, turning and twisting and soaring, all in tune with restless November’s changing melodies.