I'm now a year older, feeling a thousand years older, feeling completely exhausted to the ultimate point of no return. The unexpected pitfalls of life have a way of doing that. I'm used to them, of course, but they become more brutally incessant and draining with the passing of time.
Is this too depressing? I'm a hardcore realist seasoned with the morbid shadow of poetic flair. I've chased enough illusive rainbows to finally realize that they don't exist. Think what you like.
No rainbows in sight today, but my shredded nerves were slightly calmed by a brief walk in my back yard - shortly before the predicted rain arrived.
No ice today, no bitter cold weather like there was last week, but a penetrating dampness that chills the soul and withers the heart like the echo of death's kiss.
My camera batteries are dying....but they valiantly lasted during my trek in the woods.
The photos capture the essence of my environment but give no indication of the damp chill, the perilous mud and slippery moss, the persistent stickers that take up residence in my clothes, and the abundant thorns that delight in piercing my flesh.
December dawn, as seen from the back porch
....and the group of tall bleak trees that I love, which are near the back porch.
I took this photo from my bedroom window about a week ago - when the morning sun illuminated the neighboring mountain. This mountain is only visible during the winter months - when the trees are bare.
Another view of the mountain during my walk today.
A few distant evergreens in my "yard", which occasionally pique my imagination and make me think I'm in the Alps.
Tall, bare tree
(much taller in real than it appears here)
Meanwhile, in the forest, some lazy autumn leaves still cling to the trees.
My house (or shack) is just to the left of this photo (a tiny fraction of the back porch is almost visible).
The unnerving sound of nearby hunter's rifles encouraged me to cut the walk short and go inside. No matter, since my back and knee were hurting like hell.
Thank you for accompanying me on my walk.