A lot of trees this year, especially in towns, where the air hums with stray photons from the omnipresent street-lighting, are this year toting a little frill of still-green leaves, like a monk's tonsure. Most of the leaves are gone, but a few linger, stubbornly green despite the dark days and the cold nights, a green torch lit through winter.
So far their optimism has been justified. No bitter weeks of frosts have descended to brown and curl their perky greenness. Photosynthesis continues through winter's unchill. The plants stay half-awake, and hope no arctic blasts will come.