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Autumn Passes Away

Winter's chilly hand is plucking at the landscape now, stripping branches here and there, but it has not yet taken a firm and deathly grip. Autumn's brilliant colors have faded, replaced by swaths of antique brass, rust, burnt rose, honey and amber.

Sun does not ignite these colors but rather creates a warm glow, a testament to the season as it peacefully passes away.

Leaves are constantly fluttering to the earth in little groups, heaping up over the ground and leaving garlands draped across shrubs, outdoor furniture and garden ornaments.

I walk amongst them, kicking at crinkly piles in the woodland. We keep the lawn and the paths cleared, but otherwise the leaves lie where they fall. They will provide insulation to the plants through the winter, and then by spring most of them will have decayed, returning to earth to replenish and nourish the soil.

I am not sorrowful about winter. It is a season for rest and renewal. I feel its cold breath and I pull my sweater tighter, but we are fortunate. Our winter delivers enough days to complain about, but it is comparatively short and mild. I can continue to garden through the season, but our pansies, decorative cabbage and winter vegetables, such as collards and spinach, will probably come through the winter with little effort on my part.

Today is a beautiful, mild day. I take in deep breaths, enjoying the crisp air and the fragrance of earth, and I am grateful for all the wonders around me. 

Above two photos are Euonymus alatus, also called Burning Bush. This is an invasive shrub in some parts of the country but fortunately not for me.

May you all have a great week!

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Reader Comments (17)

I am watching Autumn fade here, too - although I really enjoyed the weather today while getting a start on outdoor Christmas decorating.

You are such an inspiration to me as a young (not in actual age - I'm 40 - but in years gardening) gardener & I learn so much from & enjoy each new post. Thank you for sharing you knowledge & experiences!

Hope you and your family had a lovely Thanksgiving! xo

November 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

You write so beautifully ... share inspiring thoughts ....and take gorgeous photos. My especial favorite this time is the red tree in the foreground with the mist behind.

November 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJane Strong

Autumn went by so fast and we had an early hard freeze. I hope for a mild December and for the winter months to pass off quickly.

November 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNell Jean

Deb, Your fading autumn colors are beautiful. Autumn passed dramatically here with over a foot of snow. It's very possible that we won't see bare ground again until April.

November 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJean

How wonderful to have flowers and veggies through the winter! We have a similar approach to leaves. We do rake some of the ones on the grass, but those that blow into the perennial beds stay in place as excellent biodegrable, natural mulch. But since most of our leaves are Oaks, I do have to rake some of them off in the spring because they decompose so slowly. I think I'd prefer either your mild winter, or the winter here in the north with snow. The cold, gray, rainy stuff in between is hard for me to take.

November 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

Very atmospheric photos Debs and I'm glad to hear you continue to adapt and garden in the colder months especially as winter has its own unique charms :)

December 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

have just discovered that the shrub in my garden, flourishing terracotta leaves is a fiddlewood. Which turns its leaves orange and drops them ahead of summer heat. That 'autumn' glow is a link between us.

December 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

The garden is still beautiful, Deb, although perhaps a touch melancholy (or maybe that's just me). You're a master at capturing great shots in the garden, like those leaves caught up in the cast iron furniture and ornaments.

December 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Beautifully written. God must be so pleased with your appreciation of his wonders. We've had some fall color here this year. Must have had just the right amount of nippy weather because all the crepe myrtles turned. They are everywhere because of a previous mayor.

December 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

After your wonderfully evocative description of the onset of winter the image of Euonymus alatus quite startled me! Your garden is always beautiful so enjoy the mild days outside and the cold ones by a warm fire. Have a lovely week. Christina

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love when the wind blows and it looks like it is raining leaves. A few weeks ago I was driving and saw little kids dancing under a huge maple tree, trying to catch the amazingly brilliant red leaves falling down. I hope their parents had a camera, it was such a gorgeous and adorable picture! Maybe by the time I have grandkids, our little maple in front will have grown that large :) Sadly, here the leaves are all gone, and it is already the start of a long winter.

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

Your words are as beautiful as your photographs Deb.The birds must be very happy in your garden with all the lovely little houses and all the leaves on the ground. I always enjoy watching the blackbirds rummaging through the fallen leaves.

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

A beautiful description of the colors of late winter! I love the pictures of the leaves on the ground; the light looks so warm and golden in that shot.

I was very happy to see my dogwood turn the same color as yours this year. Usually it's more of a dark burgundy rather than crimson. When I saw it I thought, it looks like Deb's!

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

I love how fall lasts in your area and I like how you described it. Even though it is fading, there is still a lot of color with trees still gripping leaves. Our fall is fleeting, especially when snow comes so early.

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Autumn colors are intense and beautiful ! Great captured the beauty of autumn !
Nice to watch your pictures !

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEla

Deb, a lovely feast of autumn scenes, to celebrate the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. Enjoy your wintry rest and renewal. We are bracing for what is threatening to be the hottest summer yet.

December 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

What a difference a couple of weeks makes....so much color and now gone....

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

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