Tree-Watching Project: Catching Falling Leaves

October 8, 2012

“To experience the idiosyncrasies of falling leaves on a visceral level, try catching them.  ‘Every leaf you catch this month means a happy month next year,’ I once read, and I’ve made it my business to catch twelve leaves each fall ever since.  It’s harder than you think, nabbing leaves from air.”
— Nancy Ross Hugo, Seeing Trees:  Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees

Fallen maple leaf, early October

“The action of leaves in air, when they’re falling, provides the most compelling images of this season  . . . leaves twist, twirl, or spin . . .”
—  Nancy Ross Hugo, Seeing Trees:  Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees

“Down, down!
Yellow and brown
The leaves are falling over the town.”
— Eleanor Farjean, “Down, Down”

Well, I’ve heard “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket,” but I’d never before heard about the beneficent powers latent in falling leaves to bring happiness.   This year I will have to try to catch a few.  I imagine this might be harder than it appears — you have to predict just where those wayward leaves might land!

“The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
As if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning ‘no.'”
— Rainier Maria Rilke, “Autumn”



5 Responses to “Tree-Watching Project: Catching Falling Leaves”

  1. Chris Says:

    Well now I will certainly try catching some falling leaves, if nothing else, it should be fun!! I was watching them swirl down the other day in a light wind…kind of reminded me of giant snowflakes flying around. My 3 lil goats stand with their heads tilted upwards waiting for them to fall too….because to them, they’re very tasty!! 🙂

  2. Chris Says:

    PS. love that back lit photo of the maple leaf…beautiful!! I love maple leaves and Canada so much, I am having a Canadian friend knit me a sweater with the red Canadian maple leaf on the front!! 🙂

  3. shoreacres Says:

    I’ve never before seen someone else mention Eleanor Farjean. She’s the author of the words to my favorite Advent hymn – “People Look East”. And of course as soon as I saw “Catch a Falling Star”, I heard Perry Como’s voice.

    We’re still weeks away from falling leaves here, but I love the conceit of catching a dozen to ensure a happy year. With my luck, I’d focus on a leaf, trip on a root and spend the next three months in rehab. 😉

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