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Monday, September 20, 2010

Autumn is Subtle...


...in northern alberta. we don't see the
brilliant blaze of red touched with gold that eastern canada gets. there's the occasional flash of red in a tree, but reds this far north like to hug the ground, and are more common in shrubs and undergrowth. gold is the most predominant autumn tree color here, framing the darkening green of spruce and pine. by winter the evergreens appear almost black - a combination of coniferous heredity and failing sunlight.... this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, just as the leaves began to turn.

the trails through the city centre follow a ravine shaped over the years by a muddy little creek. cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife meander back and forth across it on numerous narrow foot bridges. i haven't counted the bridges, but i'd hazard a guess of a dozen or so. the potential for under-bridge dwelling trolls is huge, but word hasn't reached the trolls yet... maybe they don't like the climate - or perhaps i'm unfairly stereotyping trolls. maybe they don't all terrorize travelers, demanding a toll to cross the bridge. still, i think of trolls every time i cross a footbridge.

the asphalt paved walking trails are strewn with gold. forsaken leaves lay at my feet in the bright, sun like shining pieces of eight on the dark surface of the path. more leaves whisper overhead as the fallen crunch underfoot. an occasional golden offering drifts down. we're at the halfway point of autumn now, with trees still beautifully garbed in brilliant color, and the earth scattered with brilliance.

there's a large, lone manitoba maple on the landscaped lot of an apartment building near me - brilliant gold with trunk and branches of jet. the grass surrounding it is still very green, as we've had rain for most of september. beneath the tree is a perfect circle of gold, a brilliant spotlight on the lush green, and against the upright black trunk of the tree. the maple's solo performance - its season premiere, against the darkening sky.

as summer exhales her last breath, the air redolent with moist earth and ripe berries. so thick and rich and sweet with scent i marvel that i can see through this dense aromatic, invisible olfactory fog.

there's frost every morning now. the world wakes, yawns and stretches. the first morning rays of gold pour over the horizon and prickle the edges of leaves and twigs with sparkling astonishment.

9 comments:

Gary said...

I love this piece my Billy Goat Gruff friend...

It certainly evokes the sort of beauty this transition time brings. WE get lots of colour in town here, because the settlers planted maple and oak. The mountainsides, however, produce rivers of gold as the aspen and birch turn, generally following watercourses.

There is a very clear outline of Jimmy Hendrix and his guitar on one mountainside - honest!

susan said...

It's a strange thing that no matter where we are on this good Earth that outdoors can always show us the truth of beauty and harmony.

You write so well about autumn in a place you love that I can almost see through your eyes.

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Granny Fiddler. A lovely post -picture filled with highly coloured descriptions to lift the spirits.
Best wishes

clairesgarden said...

trees starting to turn colour here, one very mild frost. unfortuantley today is 'more than wet' and shows no hope of stopping.
I prefer the cold to the rain, hate it when they both arrive together.

gfid said...

Gary - i think it's worth a trip to Nelson just to see the Jimmy Hendrix mountain.... does it require large quantities of certain beverages?

Su - it's been a beautiful fall. we often get a lot of wind, which takes the leaves away as soon as they begin to lose their grip. not so this year.

Lindsay - happy spring!!

Claire - Cold weather makes me bring out the woolies. Scotland and wool are made for each other. stay warm and dry.

Seraphine said...

don't start talking about autumn and the end of summer yet. it is 90 degrees outside here in northern california. the trees have barely changed- although you can see the first leaves showing their season-ness.
i think trolls are like everything else. there are good trolls and bad trolls and trolls that are just trolls and too busy to care about who crosses their bridges.

gfid said...

sera - gee, good thing you're in the NORTH of California- if you were further south, it could get hot! i can't help but think you're gloating.... fall is well advanced here now.... hardly a tree that isn't stark naked. No place left for a troll to hide but under a bridge now.

Seraphine said...

we're going to go outside today. it rained last night, so therre should be leaves all over the ground. i think trolls sometimes hide under the leaves too and trip the unwarm. the only way to dispel leaf trolls is to run thorugh the leaves and kick them with your feet.

Seraphine said...

oooo. bare-naked trees? how do they keep warm? and gosh anyone could see their sap...