When it rains, more impressively, like brightly clad children in yellow against the towering trees, their trunks black with moisture.
A great flock of birds, silhouetted against the dawn, shifting and swirling together until they settle on the bare branches of some skeletal trees, and even there they skitter about, bird after bird flying to a new perch, until they all swoop off, and reveal that some of the shadows on the branches were in fact the small number of unfallen leaves.
A rosebush in October, flowering away. Full-blown roses in shades of pink, and the buds still furled up with the brilliance and intensity of the pink before the flower opens. On one branch, the rose hip with its red touched with brown, and little pink bud -- hard to distinguish at a glance.
A bird ambles across the road, and in the gloom of early morning for a moment I think it's a pigeon -- the commonest sort of bird I see walking, and some indeed are very dark -- but a bit closer its size and its blackness are clearer. Besides, there are two other crows by the side of the road. I drive by. The other two fly off. The ambling one, its chest and feathers puffed up -- ambles a little faster.
When a bough breaks off the tree, there is no mistaking where. The raw wood, unweathered, looks like nothing else.
It seemed that a great oak bough had broken off a tree on the way out of the neighborhood, but the most careful inspection of the environs shows no oak tree with the open wound. It must have been a full tree.
The first driftings of snow across pavement where leaves have fallen: bright yellow leaves, frosted with silvery crystal.
A stand of birches arched over, never to rise again, and easily within sight, another stand where every one is still upright.
An enormous cloud of birds, whirling together -- and sometimes it seems to dissolve like smoke, as the birds all whirled to be slantwise.
A mingling of the sunset, to the north of it, where pink and subdued yellow and blue shade so subtly and delicately together that there are no transitions. Closer to the west, the clouds are bright pink and yellow against the sky blue, far more brilliant and distinct.
Three birds winging along, low enough that their white wings can be seen and known to be swans'.
Swans serene and white on a pond, against the gray trees bare of leaf, and the oaks with their russet brown leaves still in masses.
Looking out in the gray morning finds that the tree just out front has burst into yellow and red, flaming all the more brilliantly against the mists.
A broken-off branch, hanging from a tree, often looks like an upside-down tree, for a while. But even if the tree is already turning yellow or coppery brown, the leaves on a broken-off branch wither to dull, drab brown, shriveling up as if mummified, making clear what is alive and what dead.
Saplings standing in coppery brown leaves, sturdy and bright against the drab trunks of taller trees.
A tree turns fiery red, but the upper leaves, touched by frost, wither into blackness, hanging like rags from the branches.
A tree turns like an opal, with red and orange and yellow and green, all intermingled on the same branch or even the same twig.
Standing far apart under the trees, fiery red bushes against the drab bark and forest floor of fallen leaves. The leaves start to fade with time -- not to pink, but once past a dull red, to an off-white.
A waterfall by the side of the highway -- the trees have grown so that by summer, you can scarcely see it -- but let November come, and the barren tree branches can not hide it. And after the rain, it foamed down three streams of water. Except of course that daylight savings has gone, and winter days are shorter, so it often hides in nightfall.
New amaryllis bulbs sometimes start to sprout before they are properly planted, and the sprouts are an uncanny off-white like some Call of Cthulu monstrosity. Sunlight and water still give a while when it acquires only a touch of yellow that leaves it looking more like wilting celery. But in due course it shows hints of green and still more a tinge of reddish shade, which make it look like a growing amaryllis.
The loss of leaves lets you see things in the woods, driving by. Like old stone walls in median of a highway, slowly crumbling among the dead leaves. Or a rivulet running under the trees -- though perhaps that is the plentiful rain and it dries up by summer.