Autumn leaves –Recollections of the sights and smells
Those of us who live in less temperate climates, such as Canada, and the northern U.S., are treated to the sights and smells of autumn leaves each year. The rich, vibrant tones produced as the leaves lose their chlorophyll, and reveal their true colours is a breathtaking sight, no matter how often you’ve seen it.
As the days grow shorter, and the nights grow cooler, the green foliage of summer gradually gives way to colours that span the gamut from dull browns to spectacularly vivid reds, oranges and yellows. The colours in these pictures are not exaggerated for ‘pop factor’ as many photographers like to call it. They really are that vivid.
I’m sure you find the scene above a very relaxing and peaceful one. You can almost walk into the picture. Listen to the crisp scrunching of those autumn leaves as you stroll along the path. Smell the rustic aroma that wafts up as you tread over the leaves. Breathe in that cool, crisp autumn air.
On a sunny autumn day, the vivid colours of this huge walnut tree provide a rich contrast to the blue sky, which somehow seems a deeper blue than in summer days passed.
As Summer into Autumn slips
As Summer into Autumn
And yet we sooner say
"The Summer" than "the Autumn," lest
We turn the sun away,
And almost count it an affront
The presence to concede
Of one however lovely, not
The one that we have loved --
So we evade the charge of years
On one attempting shy
The Circumvention of the Shaft
Of Life's Declivity.
An early fall scene...as the first trees shed their cover, and provide a striking contrast with the green grass and the still-green foliage on the other trees.
The warm colours of the autumn leaves, on a late afternoon, create a rustic scene on many a residential street, wherever you may live.
Autumn leaves also bring about a sadness for the passing of summer. Those warm, shirt-sleeved days seem a somewhat distant memory. The neighbourhood lawn sprinklers which kept the gardens lush and green, are now put away for another few months, until nature warms the soil to bring forth new life once again.
Squirrels and birds are scurrying everywhere, gathering the fallen acorns and other offerings of nature’s bounty, while they fatten themselves for the long winter ahead.
Many an autumn day is spent raking leaves into huge piles for children to frolic in, as they squeal with delight at the soft, cushy bed of nature’s rolling mattress….and the crackling sounds and remembered smells of the autumn leaves as their arms and legs crush the leaves against each other.
This is one of my favourite pictures. I captured this shot in the late afternoon from the hill above. The tree is growing near the bottom of a steep slope, such that the soil has washed away to a large extent, revealing the gnarly roots.
Everywhere you look, proud and boastful trees stand...strutting their luminescent shades of orange and gold, which stands out against a looming, and increasingly grey sky.
Another tradition in many locales, is a bonfire of autumn leaves, as the smoke permeates the air with its’ sweet, acrid aroma.
In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
Robert Louis Stevenson
The countryside presents its’ fall colours against a panoramic blue sky, while row upon row of spent cornstalks sway in the warm sun, only to shiver a few weeks later, as the blustery winds of winter come calling.
Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
The wild wind blows in a cloud.
Hark to a voice that is calling
To my heart in the voice of the wind:
My heart is weary and sad and alone,
For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,
And why should I stay behind?
As the summer leaves its’ warmth behind, and autumn brings out the warmer apparel, can the cold blow of the winter winds, and the flowing carpets of fresh, white snow be far behind? I shiver at the thought...but the winter has its' own beauty. I'll show you more when the time comes.
All photographs and content are copyright 2010 by timorous+, except as noted.
If you wish to use any of these photographs for commercial use, please contact me for further information. Thank you.
Some useful autumn-themed links...
- The Splendor of Fall
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- Mabon, the Fall Equinox
The autumnal equinox marks the end of the harvest season and starts the Pagan calendar turning towards winter. Learn about the customs of Mabon, the Fall Equinox.
- Autumn Colors in Photographs
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