As the calendar turns to November, the landscape in Eastern Iowa begins to transform. The vibrant autumn leaves that peaked in October have mostly fallen, revealing a more subdued palette of browns, grays, and evergreens. While some may see this as a time of decay, there is a quiet beauty to embrace this time of year.
Crisp mornings give way to sunny afternoons with temperatures cool enough for bundling up in sweaters and jackets. The low angle of the autumn sun casts a golden glow over the rolling hills and farmland. Straw-colored cornfields rustle in the breeze, awaiting the final fall harvest. Gray silhouettes of bare branches crisscross the skies.
With the trees now bare, new vistas open up to appreciate the subtle details often missed during the leafy months. Moss covered stones and fallen logs covered in lichen become visible. Bird nests and wasp galls hang exposed and intricate like organic sculptures.
The pale open sky, often with streaming high clouds, creates vivid sunrises and sunsets. Mornings begin shrouded in fog, the world silent and peaceful. In the evening, wood smoke from chimneys perfumes the crisp air. Darkness falls early, and clear nights reveal stars shining brightly in the rural areas unaffected by light pollution.
While spring and summer have their special charms, November offers more contemplative days to enjoy the varied Iowa landscapes. A walk in the woods encourages reflection and connection without the distractions of new growth and insects. With fewer crowds and milder weather than winter ahead, November invites us to bundle up and get outside to embrace the subdued beauty of the natural world in transition.