Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fall color

"A tree in Autumn is a lovely sight. One tree alone can concentrate the beauty of a whole woodland, leaf by leaf and branch by branch, as one flower can give the essence of a whole garden. The beauty of the turning woods is not alone in the scarlet of a maple grove or the sun-gold glow of a hillside stand of beeches. It is in the subtle change that creeps along the leaves themselves, from point to point and vein to vein. A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least; but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart.

Watch even a single branch outside a certain window, and you are watching the color of change. One morning there is a spot of yellow on a certain leaf, yellow which has not yet quite achieved the glow of gold. Another day and that glow may be there. It spreads. The spot becomes a splash of gold, edged perhaps with a thin line of scarlet. It creeps down the leaf between the veins, and then across the veins; and the scarlet edging widens into a band and then a border. Meanwhile other leaves have begun to turn, some to gold, some to dull bronze, some to blood-red beauty. All on the same branch, yet no two alike either in pattern or coloration. And finally it is a branch as full of color as the whole woodland.

Thus comes Autumn, leaf by leaf and tree by tree; thus the woods become a hooked rug flung across the hills with all its folds and all its colors as they came to hand. But pause beside one tree and look, and you can see Autumn on all the hills. Pick up one leaf of those already cast adrift and you hold Autumn in your hand.
"
--Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons. Image grabbed from the Web and tweaked.

Do me a favor, will ya? Find a tree that you admire dressed in fall color. Take a pic of your hand holding a fallen leaf and send it to me. I'll post them here to make it feel like Autumn despite the 75 degree temps. This'll keep me occupied for the next few days while I anticipate the weekend in Cape May. But do it quick - deadline is Wednesday at 6 pm. Use the close-up setting on your cameras. It'll be pretty. My email is lc-hardy at comcast dot net.

9 comments:

Mary said...

I'll be on it!

Larry said...

As long as I remember.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Will do. I've been meaning to take pics of some of our trees in color anyway. Now . . . incentive and a deadline! :)

vicki said...

You're on- camera back in hand after repairs, picked it up yesterday. I'll be out this morning to do this. Cape May will be WONDERFUL!

It's true- an oddly warm fall and not much turning- I suspect we'll have snow here in chicago muxed with heavy falling leafs, many that never actually turned.This quote from Hal Borland is just lovely- thank you.

Jayne said...

What a fun idea Laura! Although we don't yet have many colors, my photo is on it's way!

RuthieJ said...

Oh Laura, I'm so behind on blog reading and thankfully I found your request before the deadline. I've got some good colors in my yard and I'll try to complete the assignment this afternoon.

P.S. Did you take that photo at the top? It's absolutely gorgeous!

dguzman said...

Cool--you'll get (at least) one from me!

Cathy said...

oh, oh, oh - I gotta do this . . .

I love the way you think, Laura.

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks all - please remember to send them along by Wednesday. The ones you've sent so far are lovely!

Ruthie: Not my pic - I found it on the web and played with it some - but I agree that it's gorgeous!