Last weekend a relative, in from the Pacific Northwest, remarked on the drabness of the local winter. We were in Rock Creek Park at the time, with a line of sight up slopes drifted with brown leaves. The trees were mostly bare. I couldn't argue.
Out for a walk this evening, I saw that the area looked anything but drab. The high ground west of us across Rock Creek had brown trees, but under a sky that was blue and gold with sunset. Though there were plenty of brown leaves on the ground in the woods, we looked over and past them. The lawns were green, and the red brick of houses made for a warm tone, as presently did the street lights. And we have evergreens here too, if fewer than in the Pacific Northwest; some are holly, with red berries.
The best light in Washington, I think, is late afternoon light, at a low angle through trees. I became accustomed to it years ago on the trails along the west side of Rock Creek Park. Now and then, in our neighborhood, or on the road up toward Carter Barron, I'm reminded that east of the park one has it, too.