Everything is On the Run

November 1, 2014

My daughter running through fall leaves, 1991

My daughter running through fall leaves, 1991

Fall Wind
by Aileen Fisher

Everything is on the run —
willows swishing in the sun,
branches full of dip and sway,
falling leaves that race away,
pine trees tossing on the hill —
nothing’s quiet, nothing’s still,
all the sky is full of song:
“Winter’s coming. Won’t be long.”

Everything Falls

October 30, 2014

“It is the fall.  And everything falls — not just the leaves.  The temperature falls as the earth again tilts away from the sun.  Darkness falls more quickly as the days shorten.  Plants droop and dry up and break apart.  Trees fall into dormancy and stop growing.  Their leaves and seeds fall into the cool air, and then to the ground, where they will rot and root and become something new.  This is the season of decay — a word that means “to fall away” — to return to your constituent parts, to what you are made of.”
— Tom Montgomery Fate, Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father’s Search for the Wild


Watercolor sketch of fallen leaves

Watercolor sketch of fallen leaves

Circle of fall leaves, watercolor sketch

Circle of fall leaves, watercolor sketch

I was captivated by how these leaves were changing color from tip to stem

I was captivated by how these leaves were changing color from tip to stem

Watercolor sketch, circle of fall leaves

Watercolor sketch, circle of fall leaves



The Sound of September

September 30, 2014

“Sometimes I like to be alone and listen to the sound of leaves about to fall, which is the sound of September.”
— Gladys Tabor, Stillmeadow Daybook

Watercolor sketch of fall leaves

Watercolor sketch of fall leaves

Turning so beautifully

“Envied by us all
The leaves of the maple turn
Beautiful, then fall.”
— Shiko

Under a Japanese maple

Japanese Maple Leaves Stitched Together by Andy Goldsworthy (1987), from Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature


A Cloak Spread for a Queen

November 12, 2011

A gallant cloak of red

“A queen might be proud to walk where these gallant trees have spread their bright cloaks in the mud.”
— Henry David Thoreau, “Autumnal Tints”

Beautiful red maple leaves

Maple leaves hanging like red jewels

Watercolor sketch of maple leaves

“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days, which occur more frequently in memory than in life.”
— P. D. James

Vacant bench along the shores of Green Lake

This was one of those nearly perfect days of fall in the Pacific Northwest.  Join me for a virtual walk around Green Lake.

Lake path with Bathhouse Theater on the distant shore

An alley of yellow on the north side of Green Lake

Old evergreen trees

Puddle in the footpath

Lovely pattern of yellow and green leaves

On the dock

Foraging squirrel

Maple leaves along the shore

Fall color at Green Lake

On the shores of Green Lake

I returned home to Seattle just in time to catch some of the local fall color, which is particularly beautiful this year.

God’s World
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour!  That gaunt crag
To crush!  To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this:
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart, — Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me, — let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

Late fall foliage along Hwy 52 nearing Rochester, MN

Patch of remaining fall color, taken from the airplane window as I departed Minnesota

I arrived too late to enjoy the peak of fall color in Minnesota.  This was a disappointment.  Everyone told me that the brilliance lasted just a short time this year and was gone in a flash.  I can’t seem to time my visits right to catch the gorgeous color.  By the time I arrived, the Minnesota landscape was mostly shades of brown and green.

Late October
by Maya Angelou

the leaves of autumn
sprinkle down the tinny
sound of little dyings
and skies sated
of ruddy sunsets
of roseate dawns
roil ceaselessly in
cobweb greys and turn
to black
for comfort.

Only leaves
see the fall
a signal end to endings
a gruffish gesture alerting
those who will not be alarmed
that we begin to stop
in order simply
to begin



Autumn Leaves

October 22, 2011

Fallen maple leaves blanketing the ground

“How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
to lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care.
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly,
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.”
— Elsie N. Brady, “Leaves”

Watercolor sketch of fall leaves

Watercolor painting inspired by fall

Another watercolor sketch of autumn leaves


Wanton Beauty

October 21, 2011

Sumac's fire-lit torch

Sumac in October

by Lexie Dean Robertson

First days in autumn make me catch my breath
In sheer amaze that I shall see again
The fruitful beauty of the earth in death
Across the painted pageant of the plain:

A lilac dawn comes up and fades to gray,
A thin white scarf of wild birds trails the sky,
The sumac’s fire a torch to light the day,
And pearly rustlings of the frost drift by;

Against the curve of distant hills, the blue
Of smoky mist falls into purple night;
The pale gold sickle of the moon lifts new
To hew a circled radiance of dim light.

How strange it is that autumn days will lend
Such beauty wantonly for death to spend.

Watercolor sketch of colorful sumac leaves

Watercolor sketch of sumac leaves