Friday, November 6, 2009

November Light

I walk through the garden now and notice the changing light of November.  The sun shines lower in the sky.  And with this change comes the glow of November.  Even here, where the leaves are not changing, but the temperatures are now in the 50s at night, the quality of the light changes. It is like transparent honey which is spread over the objects it finds.  Sitting in the garden this afternoon as the sun moved toward sunset, I could see the shadows offset the golden yellow light streaming through the leaves and my bamboo fence.

The chrysanthemums changed color as the fading sunlight fell on their blooms.

I remember many Novembers for this kind of light. One in particular, I was recovering from a serious illness and had time to look at the November light. The light became the focus of my days, as I would wait for it to fall upon plants, corn stalks, red tractors, fallen leaves. It changed the objects it met, leaving them with the same glow.

Here the fronds of an Australian tree fern change color in the rays of this afternoon's sun. And I begin to notice a rose's glow, bedding plants set apart by the light and pansies' bright faces.



English Daisy 'Bellis'


Some of the new plants in the garden take on this light and look renewed and transformed.


 Sedum 'Golden Carpet'

Such looking brings me a great sense of peace and tranquility.  Does the light enter me?  Or does the concentration bring me to this state?  I think both. Observing the garden rather than working in it can bring some new revelations.  So I found myself sitting and letting the light move and change about me. And the mood followed me inside.  Gifts of the garden and the gardener who observes.

I have trouble sitting and observing the garden without wanting to do something to improve the plants-- pruning, sweeping, picking up debris. There are always so many tasks that ask to be done. But to learn to sit in the garden and observe is a fruit of taking more and more photographs for my blog.  I cannot be so busy when I take a picture. I must move slowly and observe more closely. Then I see the subtle changes that can fill my spirit.

I remembered today how much I love November light.  Nature offers such simple gifts. I must just pause to notice them.

"And to see takes time. Like to have a friend takes time."  Georgia O'Keefe


azplantlady said...


I think you hit on something that I have not given a whole lot of thought to. But, when I think of the different seasons and their differing levels of light - I love how different it makes my garden appear. Especially after a hot, bright summer - I love the autumn light because it is not as intense.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

You and Georgia O'Keefe are both very wise. I think it's a bit of both. It's as if the whole world is trying to get our attention before winter.~~Dee

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Good morning Mary! I am so glad you can sit in your garden and enjoy watching light playing with plants. I can only swim in my garden right now, our famous rain season is here! I love Australian tree fern. Can't overwinter it in my place and need to get a new one every spring. Have a great (dry) weekend!

gloria bonde said...

Your garden feels lovely! One of the first things I wanted in my garden was "walls". I told my husband that without walls, the garden was a yard. Gloria

vrtlarica said...

I was just standing in my garden today and as it was a sunny day, I have noticed this warm colour of light that you are writing about... it definitly changes the appearance of the garden.
And just like you, I cant sit down and enjoy the view. Days are shorter and there is just so many things to do. I hope for a snow soon, as then there is nothing to do but to sit and enjoy.

Kiki said...

What beautiful pictures..very serene and also uplitfing at the same time. I love that english daisy..super adorable!Beautiful post in word and image!I too enjoy taking in the beuaty of the garden and appreciating its gifts!

Joanne said...

A lovely interesting post and how true the light makes all the difference.
I popped round the garden to take some photos of my last blooms and it does make you stop and appreciate their beauty and their preciousness at this time of the year.

Rosey Pollen said...

I am going to seek out that Echeveria, it is simply wonderful!
I liked the G.o'K quote you shared. Very nice post about light!

Mary Delle said...

I am glad that so many of you notice the difference in the light. I know it changes at other times of the year, but this time of year has always struck me most.

Azplantlady- The change from summer light to autumn does alter how we see our plants. Reading you talk about other seasons' light makes me realize I need to notice this year round.

Dee- Autumn does try to get our attention. Us gardeners often take more time by necessity to see it. I love that quote by O'Keefe.

Tatyana- Wishing you some dry weather to sit in your garden. Though you are lucky for the rain. We never get any here. Rainwater is so much better for the plants. Bet yours will shine after the rains stop.

Gloria Blonde- I've had this bamboo fence for some time and love it. It lets in light, but makes it seem private and cozy in the garden.

Vrtlarica- I'll bet in the country with your beautiful soil and plants you can really see the warm quality of light. Hope you get even more time to sit and enjoy it soon.

Kiki- The English Daisy is one of my favorite winter flowers here. When I saw your comment, I thought you would enjoy the idea of sitting and enjoying the garden. One gets more insight into things then, don't you think?

Joanne- So glad you are enjoying this season of changed light. Taking photos of it is really fun. I did find, though, that my photos never did justice to the quality of the light, as hard as I tried with Photoshop.

Rosey- You could have the echeveria as a potted plant. There are so many varieties of it to enjoy. Glad you liked the O'Keefe quote. You have such great quotes on your site.

Wendy said...

good points. I also have trouble really seeing what I have going on instead of just making mental lists of what I need to do.

That bamboo screen is a great backdrop, and I also love the echeveria!

Jo said...

I love your bamboo screening, it's less harsh than the fence I have in my garden as it still allows the light to filter through it. It is hard to wander round the garden just taking notice of everything growing without doing all those jobs.

Jo said...

There's an award for you on my blog. I hope you will accept it.

James Missier said...

Its amazing to note that shimmering light fall on the bamboo fence & the ferns. Sort like gold dust feeling. Thanks for sharing this.
Im now appreciating my November season now in my garden.