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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Changing Seasons

The changing seasons burst with drama in New Brunswick.  One week ago, the leaves were red, orange, yellow, and still on the trees everywhere I looked.  Now half the leaves lie on the ground, edges curling, turning brown and rust; the fragrance of damp earth and leaf compost in the autumn air.

Often autumn means time to mulch the leaves, to mow for the last time, to trim the garden’s dying tops, to bring in the lawn furniture, put away the lawn swing, cover the less hardy roses and wrap the magnolia.  Autumn means completing chores and preparing for winter.

But these last days of fall are full of gifts, not just work.  A sheltered outside corner and one remaining chair make a peaceful break for coffee and time to read, as I sit warmed by the sun. 

The last of October and early November paint a different colour palette, in shades of grey; the stones and rock wall show again, tree trunks come out of hiding.  Stark tree branches display silhouettes of black arches against a blue sky.  Spruce and fir and pine show off myriad tones of green and the larch dances gold in the damper areas.  The rich smell of the earth, the gently decomposing plants, the soon-to-be-resting shrubs all fan a faint musk to the breeze.

The sound of birds is different now from summer bird sound.  The “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” of Black-capped Chickadees, the buzzing rising “zzreeee” of Pine Siskins, the “jay-jay-jay” of Blue Jays and the raspy “ka-squawk” of Ring-Neck Pheasants predominate.  Red squirrels scratch over the pavement and crunch through the dry leaves as they seek and hide their treasures.
Small children walk by our house on their way to the playground or to school. Sometimes I listen to the bubbling voices calling out in astonishment. “Look at this red leaf. Oh, look at this dark orange one. I can use this piece of rock to chalk on the road. Hey, look, a worm. A ladybug. A pheasant. A feather.”   Every small thing is a source of wonder for them. Every puddle is a realm of delight.

How much of the changing seasons do we miss? How many delights do we pass by on our way to complete the chores? How many wonders are right in front of us? How much over-the-top beauty goes unnoticed?

Stop a moment, breathe, see and hear, fill your heart. Don’t miss the show.

The changing seasons burst with drama. 
Photos and words are copyright Carol Steel. 



jerilanders said...

I agree that the autumn palette is perfect. Like you, I just want to sit on the porch with a hot drink and experience the change, it happens, oh-so quickly. We were at an woodland Art fair over the weekend, where a little girl's shopping bag was filling up with the leaves she was collecting. I dropped in a few acorns I had found. She knew how to experience Autumn too.

Carol Steel said...

There is something about the colourful leaves and round acorns and prickly cones that makes each of us want to pick up their beauty and bring them home. It's a lovely season. Thanks for your comment Jeri.