The willow tree half way down the hill has turned a bright gold against the gray sky. The maples down along the river have gone red and orange.

Morning river fog, the leftovers from the rain last night, rises from the water. The draft of rising mountain air carries it past the evergreens on the other side, up along the mountain ridge to meet the low clouds.

Other than the fog, there’s no movement. Even the surface of the river has turned dark reflecting glass. And it’s quiet.

Life here isn’t always bucolic.

The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity. Contractors in and out for repairs sometimes showing up, sometimes rearranging schedules around them saying they will only to wait for hours. Contentious meetings. Community events where one must “show face.” Project deadlines looming. Company and the inevitable mad rush to make the house presentable.

Neither is the scene always so colorful.

Autumn colors will soon give way to November and everything will be gray. The wind will howl. Everything will be dead.

The Adirondacks are named for the Mohawk word for the starving time that comes every winter. The time when you’re so hungry you eat the bark off the trees to survive. hatiron’taks means, “they eat trees.”

I know the starving time is coming. This place isn’t exempt from the day to day grind.

But for now, the only place I really care to be is here, looking out my back window while the steam from my tea rises in solidarity with the fog.