Friday, October 18, 2013

Light and Leaves At Play In A Bright Autumn Landscape

It has been a gorgeous fall with leaves clinging to the trees far longer than I recall in recent years. The rain has held off, but the trees are slowly releasing their leaf fasteners and hundreds of their leafy members, like golden rain, are falling with the gentlest of breezes throughout the dry days and nights. The sounds of falling leaves . . . flights of leaves . . . piles of leaves . . . walking and kicking up leaves are all quintessentially 'Fall'. I am not one to run out and rake any away, however. 

The wind will have its way and scatter leaves throughout the gardens . . . some warm-yellow Black Cherry leaves will fly high in groups like small flocks of birds. Others will gently float downwards as they twirl similar to a kite descending free of its string and holder. Each tumble is uniquely choreographed by wind. The weight and form of the individually designed leaves, like those of dancers, will also determine their grace and movement in falling. Many will remain where they fall and may be used by some overwintering caterpillars for a cozy, safe place away from the cold and hungry eyes of birds or other predators. 

Light plays within the wide swath of forest and hillside casting its glow amongst the brightly colored canopies of Black, Gray and White Birch, Beech, Rock Maple, Oak, Black Cherry and more stately trees whose bare, crusty trunks and branches are revealed more each day as they shake their mantles free.

Sunsets bring about a particularly magical light show with an interplay of lights and shadows. Looking south easterly, towards Mount Tom, as the sun is setting in the west, slivers of light run along the ridges of hillsides . . . fleeing pursuing shadows.

Ending days pour a honey golden light along Carey and Walnut Hill changing the landscape while creating a spectacle of wonder. Mighty Oaks are only just beginning to wear a sienna or amber hue.

Changes are more noticeable day by day though they are happening minute by minute . . . hour by hour.

Each day the colors move into their full brilliant tints.

An overcast sunset casts a particular chroma within the colorful grouping of birches and the carpet of sumac sprinkled beneath and around them.

A soft fuzzy light remains as the sun sails away. 

Then on the days when there are a few wispy clouds, the lavender shades paint a lovely veil across the sky as the sun disappears. Above is our surroundings just two nights before full moon with a wide angle view.

One night before full moon after a dreamy temperate day.

October's near full 'Hunter's Moon' rising over Walnut Hill just as the sun is sinking in the western sky. If you are observing the moonrise tonight you may notice something a bit strange as there will be a minor eclipse called a penumbral eclipse. It seems the change will be very subtle. 

The changes going on all around the countryside are hardly subtle, however, as life is greatly adjusting to the coming of winter. Crops of apples, winter squash and root veggies such as beets and carrots are being harvested and put away for winter storage. Critters are scurrying around too . . .  storing acorns and other nuts for the long winter months ahead. It is an exciting time of year that many may find depressing. The cold and fading light can bring one down but there is the magic of a fire and more time to read, write and paint await. Autumn is a season of letting go and going under and deeper within. 

As I write about all this beauty and being able to embrace the seasons . . . others are trying to find means to keep warm and survive the coming winter . . . such as refugees in Syria or thousands here at home in horrid circumstances. There is such an injustice . . . inequality in our world and my heart breaks for all those who cannot simply live in peace and who do not have the simple basic needs to be happy and healthy. I never stop being thankful for the beauty that surrounds me . . . nor the freedom I have to enjoy and reap the inspiration it nurtures.

I would like to share a couple of links that I find hopeful. Food Sovereignty Prize and Center For Humans & Nature - Expanding Our Natural & Civic Imagination

There is change happening moment by moment in our fight to make a better world too. The odds are just so stacked against us, but there is hope in expanding minds the world over.

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