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The Colors of Fall: A Walk in the Park

Updated on November 1, 2011

One fall day I found I had some time to kill in an unfamiliar part of town. Luckily, I was near a public park, and I saw that the trees were in full autumn bloom. Photographing the trees awash in reds, golds, and oranges was too good an opportunity to pass up. The park was serene, nearly empty but for a few folks meandering down the paths. The air was crisp but the sun was rosy and warm. Armed with a basic digital camera, I started snapping pictures of the trees and the landscape; however, I gradually moved closer and closer, trying to capture the unique texture of the leaves, the flaky bark of the tree trunks, and the way the light shone through the leaves, giving them a glowing luminescence.

Photographer: Painted Seahorse
Photographer: Painted Seahorse

One tree had a spidery web of branches, limbs climbing out in all directions. In the photograph, the darks and lights of the branches are joined with the shadows cast across the trunk. They twist and fork like gnarled, bony fingers. I'm reminded of the ominous trees in the dark forest that reach out, claw at, and frighten Snow White in the classic Disney film. In the daylight, though, this tree had a decidedly less threatening appearance.

Looking straight up at the foliage, it's like I'm in a tent of trees. The branches form a canopy of rustling, shivering leaves above me. The dark, shadowed limbs stand out against the golden glow of the leaves.

Up close, I can see the veins of each leaf. They are orange and glowing with vitality. In just a few short weeks, I think, they will have fallen to the ground and turned a crunchy, dry form. Now the reddish hues are edged with a hint of green, the last vestiges of the past summer.

With an unusual perspective, the tree limbs take on a dizzying, spiraling pattern. Branches and loop and curve with abandon. The leaves are a patchy mix of lights and darks, depending on how tightly clotted together they are.

Standing with my back to the tree trunks and looking straight up, I capture some shots that appear upside-down. The limbs seem to hang over the ground uncertain of gravity or direction. With my head craned back so far, my neck strained, I can appreciate the dizzy feeling.

I think of the days long ago when I still climbed trees. I think of carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, hayrides, and fall festivals. What person, young or old, doesn't love going on walks in the fall, with crunchy leaves underfoot, and the trees lit up like they're on fire? The autumn air so often has a chill, smoky scent to it I find intoxicating.

After the brutal Georgia summer passes, I look forward to the fall with an impatient longing. It's time to pack away the shorts and T-shirts and pull out some turtlenecks and thick socks. I'm glad I got to spend an hour or so at this park, taking an up-close look at something we normally view from afar with just a passing wonder.


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    • Painted Seahorse profile image

      Brittany Rowland 6 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      Thank you, Genna East. I'm just an amateur photographer, but I was happy to get out there and trigger those memories and feelings.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Superb photography! We are there; we can feel the sunlight breaking through the leaves, the soft breezes; memories of climbing trees and staring upward at the sky when we were children, jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pie.

    • Painted Seahorse profile image

      Brittany Rowland 6 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      Gracias, Carlizzle, for your nice comment!

    • profile image

      Carlizzle 6 years ago

      look at you ms photographer!

    • Painted Seahorse profile image

      Brittany Rowland 6 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      Thank you, everyone, for the warm comments! I was happy with the photos when they came out, and I'm glad others are enjoying them, too.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      How very beautiful! I can almost smell the crisp fall leaves and a little wood smoke in the air as I look at these glowing photographs. It makes me miss walking in the autumn woods. There's no other light like that filtering through those warm fall colors!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

      I just love the changing color of the leaves as the seasons wonder through nature. You have offered some lovely images of this, thank you.



    • SwiftFamily profile image

      SwiftFamily 6 years ago from Rayle, GA

      love the journey you took me on :)