November, December, January. These are dark times for Canadians, darker still for those who live further north than I do, and dark enough for me here in the bottom end of the sock of southern Ontario. Daylight hours are numbered, and seem darker still when in November we set our clocks back an hour resulting in even less available sunlight for anyone on a regular work day schedule. Sundown happens sometime around five o’clock, so there’s not much of it left for a pre-supper walk, and given that the season is also notorious for heavy overcast skies (not to mention rain in November hopefully snow by December) darkness falls fast.
It has it’s perks. Darkness, like snow transforms the familiar into something else entirely. How you interpret this depends on you and the weather. It’s hard to get a good cozy feeling out in the woods on a moonless overcast night. Try it sometime, by yourself; if you think a dog helps, go for it. Just see how you feel when that dog starts looking nervously over her hairy should every half minute or so.
On the other hand, there really is nothing better than walking at night under the light of the moon, add in some snow and it’s easy to believe in elves and fairies, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Or, you can just open your eyes and be in the world as it is and see that even in darkness the forest lives and breaths and glows with life, more than you will ever know.
Images: All 2.5”x3.5” cards, recycled (that means chopped up bits of aborted watercolours) paper, ink and watercolour pencils. Top image inspired by the golden November tamaracks that fooled me into thinking the sun was still shining after sundown. The second inspired by a very dark session on an overcast moonless nights (not so much fun at all). Last, a beautiful full moon night with a gauzy overcast halo effect, and yes, there actually is a big rock in the Hollidge Tract. These are from my 365 Art Card Project.