Monday, November 15, 2010

Slate-Gray November

The weekend was classic November: slate-gray skies, intermittent rain, cold wind, mostly bare trees. A thin sheet of ice formed on the windshield and windows of both cars in wee hours this morning, only to melt later under the feeble November sun. The slate-gray was gone today, replaced by November blue.

I wondered about that color, "slate gray." Is it really descriptive for days like Saturday and Sunday? So I looked into it and decided that it's close enough, especially if there's no need to be literal. I also found this table called "shades of gray," which also happens to be the cliché used when talking about nuance. Are all those colors really part of the gray clan? "Glaucous" seems blue-like to me, and the various "taupes," except for taupe gray, seem more aligned with brown.

But it is Wiki, after all. Take your glaucous and taupe with salt.

Around sunset on Friday, I noticed something new up in the branches of our back-yard honey locust: a nest. The last of the leaves finally fell only a week or so ago, exposing it. I'm pretty sure it wasn't there last year, so some birds moved in during the spring. Or maybe squirrels. Now I need to figure out a way to charge them rent next year. Trouble is, birds might want to pay in earthworms, and squirrels in nuts.

I took a picture of the nest on a whim, and caught the waxing moon too. Invisible to us under the clouds, it was half full the next day, and is headed for full on the 21st. The Farmers' Almanac quaintly claims November's full moon is the Beaver Moon, and maybe it was in 1818. In our time, the Almanac ought to consider selling naming rights to the full moons (or would that be the prerogative of the International Astronomical Union?). November, for instance, could be the Walmart Moon, in honor of the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

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