Entries in autumn leaves (4)


Autumn's Parting Gift

Autumn gave us a parting gift after another inch or two of rain and temperatures that plummeted into the frigid range. Wearing my warmest coat, I walked outside and then stopped in my tracks when I saw a blanket of colorful Japanese maple leaves on the path in the front garden.

I would have noticed a few lovely fallen leaves, but this EXUBERANCE took my breath away. 

Forget for a moment that someone is going to have to rake not only the paths but also the shrubs. (That would be Lou. I think raking has become his favorite pastime, and I praise the great job he is doing.)

The sheer mass of red leaves makes me remember another path - one covered in cherry blossoms. I think of great swaths of daffodils, a desert carpeted in wildflowers, a trail edged with clouds of blue woodland phlox, an orchard of row upon row of olive trees: all sights that stay with me because of the magnitude of their elements. 

Nature reminds me that beautiful gardens are not timid. They don't have to be big, but they must have commitment. OK, a hundred garish gnomes are not for me, but surely they would make a child smile! And that is more than some gardens accomplish. 


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!