The crown of the gum ball tree in my front yard, against the gray winter sky this afternoon.
Bleak -- but not quite as bleak as you'd expect.
The more observant among you will likely have noticed that, despite it being the end of December, lacking one day, and after more than a foot of snow and a week of sub-freezing weather, most of the leaves, though dead and brown, are still there. This is not an evergreen tree; the branches are supposed to be bare.
Everybody else was out shoveling snow from their sidewalks, I had to rake the leaves off the top of mine first.
It's always something.