And just like that, Mother Nature has flipped a switch and we’re at the end of fall. It’s been a glorious and unusually long season this year in the upper Midwest but like all good things it has come to an end. Five days ago the wind was still, the sun was shining, and the only colors remaining were from the oaks with their remaining rusty leaves. Today the temperatures have fallen, the wind has removed any remaining leaves from the trees, and we have a forecast of snow.
Sometimes the change of seasons can be disconcerting to me, especially the ones where the days become shorter and the darkness becomes longer. But I’m reminded that just like the leaves that have fallen from the trees, it is all temporary. There will still be beauty in the coming season and days but it will be in a different palette – one of white – and the landscape will take on a new cloak of loveliness.
We’re now in the midst of the fall season, surrounded by vibrant and glorious colors. Each day brings something new – a tree whose leaves have turned overnight or a tree whose leaves have dropped to the ground. Fall is correctly referred to as the season of change and this year that change seems to be especially dominated by the colors of yellow and gold. The colors are vibrant when painted with sunshine against a bright blue sky and they stand out amidst a gray sky. And once those lovely yellow and gold leaves have dried and fallen to the ground, they crunch and crackle under the weight of shoes and boots.
Our short season of fall asks me to admire and appreciate it each day.
Fall is here in all its glory! The yellows, golds, oranges, and reds, all aglow against a dark stormy sky but lit up by a short-lived stream of sunlight, and reflected in the quiet and still waters of the lake. This is the beauty we look forward to every year in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The winds have been from the south, bringing warm and summer-like temperatures into Minnesota. But the days are shorter and nature is anticipating the change of seasons into fall. Some of the trees have started the change in colors – a glorious outburst to the beauty of nature and autumn. I was riding my bicycle on the Gateway Trail yesterday. The sunshine was warm and I was breaking a sweat but the air didn’t have the fresh green smell of summer. The path was littered with dried leaves that had already fallen, and they crackled as my bike tires ran over them — reminding me of being a child and using clothespins to attach playing cards to my bike so they would snap through the spokes. The sound was delightful and I found myself swerving to ride through the leaves on the trail. Change is in the air.
Our cool nights and warm days earlier this week provided the perfect recipe for bright autumn colors. With a blue sky and a sidelight provided by a rising sun, I knew this tree would be brilliant. The colors were intense and the leaves that were already on the ground provided a subtle crunch as I walked around the grove of trees to frame this image. What you don’t see is that I was right next to a busy street during morning rush hour, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the people passing by were aware of this brilliant display that Mother Nature was providing. I hope they paused for a brief moment to appreciate the colors, to be aware of the smells of fall, and to know that it is all fleeting as winter will soon be on the heels of autumn.