Posts Tagged ‘Autumn colors’

“Some single trees, wholly bright scarlet, seen against others of their kind still freshly green, or against evergreens, are more memorable than whole groves will be by-and-by. How beautiful, when a whole tree is like one great fruit full of ripe juices, every leaf from lowest limb to topmost spire, all aglow, especially if you look toward the sun! What more remarkable object can there be in the landscape? Visible for miles, too fair to be believed. If such a phenomenon occurred but once, it would be handed down by tradition to posterity, and get into the mythology at last.”

-From “Autumnal Tints” by Henry Thoreau; 1862


One of our most memorable moments was on a fine October day, ten or so years ago, at Walden Pond. You can read about it here. On that remarkable day, Tom and I walked and talked and didn’t talk, seeing the original site of Thoreau’s cabin and a reconstruction of it. The air was crisp and clear and the scenery mystical. The photo on top was taken on Walden Pond on that long ago day.

Across the pond, a singular tree accented the landscape and glowed like no other. When Thoreau’s quote popped up in my internet wandering, I immediately thought of the scarlet tree at Walden Pond.

Thoreau’s quote and our Walden Pond walk came to mind once more as Tom and I walked, much closer to home, at one of our favorite spots, Lake Katherine. It was the same sort of cool, crisp October day, with the sun shining, powder puff clouds sprinkled here and there, the soft crunch of fallen leaves at our feet  – and the brilliant mythology of Autumn before us.

Right red


Where do you go to find your own myths of nature?


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“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. … In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”

 John Lubbock, The Beauties of Nature and the Wonders of the World We Live In

img_1376(This tree reminded me of the Whomping Tree at Hogwarts, taken from the inside of my car. I’ve had enough whomping lately. )

Still hobbled from my recent fall, long walks in nature have abated while my wanderlust has not. I miss my rambles, especially in this season when the trees  paint the sky with the russets and amber and crimsons of Autumn and fallen leaves create tapestries of color at our feet.

Fall colors are peaking late this year, giving us one of the most colorful November I can remember. The trees are putting on a brilliant show, but, this late in the season, the color is likely to be short-lived. I was anxious to take a drive to take in the colorful leaves – so, I did, on a misty, moist midmorning this past week. The silver lining behind the broken footed cloud is that it is my left foot that has the fracture. I can safely drive with my right foot.


I meandered like a lazy river along the leafy lanes of the Arboretum. For the most part, I was alone, able to stop the car, roll down the windows, and take photos to my heart’s content.

Winding lanes and panoramic vistas


greeted me at every turn.

All-in-all, it was a luscious, leafy escape into nature’s grand, golden, glorious goodbye.

Where have you escaped to lately?


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It is, officially, Autumn; and so begins the long, slow goodbye . . .


 . . . as the days shorten and the shadows grow longer, the leaves begin their free fall and many of us in a northerly climate begin to turn our thoughts inward as we relish the harvest of the cold crops, the gourds and pumpkins, especially the pumpkins.


img_0650Illinois is the top producer of pumpkins. Last year was a sad year for pumpkins here in the Prairie State, but, this year – ah, this year looks to be a a good one for those glorious orbs that are traditionally orange, but, appearing in other colors and shapes as well.


We stopped at a local farm stand, The Farm, where I often visit for fresh, local vegetables as well as the flowers they grow and sell. The zinnias have been particularly spectacular this year, and this bouquet caught my eye, but, it was organic tomatoes and pickles that I was after this day. I’ll be back soon for a bouquet – and I think I will try one of these pumpkins. Goosebumps. Their unique bumps are rather wart-like and the color and name are intriguing. I’m sure one will lighten up our little corner of earth here along the Cutoff.

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The Colors of Spice

DSCN3215Have I mentioned how much I love Autumn; its colors and scents and emotions?

I am invigorated by the cooler temperatures, especially come nightfall, eager to don the colors of spice that wear better on me than the seashores of summer. It is good weather for sleeping and good weather for walking, for pumpkin bread and hearty stews, and Robert Frost’s poetry about mending fences and hired hands, for harvesting crops and for candles glowing through window panes.

Yep! I love Autumn.

DSCN3210 DSCN3211 DSCN3206 DSCN3611 DSCN3998

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The magnificence of maples and oaks and birches with pines interspersed was dizzying. Ancient rocks pushing through the ground, reminders of ice age glaciers cutting through the vast valleys and hills of Northern Wisconsin, were powerful in the early morning sun. As I drove the interstate toward home, I felt as if I had been dropped into a bowl of candy corn.

I love Autumn so much. I can’t seem to let it go. Not yet. I want to see it and hold it in my view for as long as possible, a Midwesterner’s reward for the brutally hot, dry summer we had and memories to keep close when the long winter settles in. Do you ever feel like holding on to a season for as long as you can? 

I stopped at a rest area near Black River Falls and walked around a bit, stretching my legs after hours driving. In the thirteen years I’ve made this drive, I’ve never stopped at this wayside. I walked about and I wondered why, grateful to find something new on a familiar path. The view was picturesque and I learned that one of Wisconsin’s major crops is peat moss grown in the area. Who knew?

I stopped at the apple orchard I mentioned a few blogs past, happy to know it was still selling apples this late into October, and that it was open so early in the day. I hauled a half bushel of Cortlands, a red cabbage, and butternut squash into the car, deciding to gaw rather than gee as I drove out the drive. My reward was such a pleasant country road, with gentle turns and swaths of sun brushing across the farmland.

Oh, the russet colored wonders of corn stalks drying under such a blue sky with the colors of Autumn for company.

Pulling to the side of the lane to take pictures, I could hear the gurgling sound of Sandhill Cranes, so high I couldn’t see them migrating south, reminding me to continue my journey home.

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Warm days and cool nights have created a blaze of Autumn color here on the Cutoff. The sun catching the yellows and reds of the maples is a sight to behold. Nature’s palette in Autumn is my favorite. The rust colored sweaters, brown slacks, and pumpkin hued jackets have replaced the green and yellow tees of summer. I resemble the Great Pumpkin of Charlie Brown fame. Such is life.

Yesterday, I had an eye doctor appointment necessitating both eyes being dilated. I knew one would be, but not both, and was left the blurry task of driving myself home. Squinting behind dark sunglasses midafternoon was a bit of challenge, but, I made it, safe and sound, and rested my eyes for a bit. It is always good to be home, isn’t it?  My gift for persevering on the longish ride was the most amazing color display along the way, even if it was a tad fuzzy and impressionistic.

What does nature’s palette look like in your world today?

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