Fallen Japanese maple leaf on hydrangea flowers

“Now the last leaves are down, except for the thick, dark leaves of the oak and ghostly beech leaves that click in the breeze, and we’re reduced to a subtler show of color — brown, gray, and buff, perhaps a little purple in the distance, and the black-green of moss, hemlock, and fir.  To my eyes these hues are more beautiful than the garish early autumn with its orange leaves — orange, the color of madness — and leaves the color of blood.  Let hot life retire, grow still:  November’s colors are those of the soul.”
— Jane Kenyon, “Season of Change and Loss”

“As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint, just before they fall, so the year near its setting.  October is its sunset sky; November the later twilight.”
— Henry David Thoreau, “October, or Autumnal Tints”

These photos show the late November color palette in the Pacific Northwest:

Tree-lined driveway at Maplehurst Farm, Skagit Valley

Rose hips

Stewartia pseudocamellia fruit

Stewartia pseudocamillia

Another fallen Japanese maple leaf on hydrangea plant

Fallen Japanese maple leaves on Atlas cedar trunk

Watercolor sketch of oak and maple leaves


“All these little, unlooked-at details create the fabric of memory.  By writing them down, we are refusing to let the experiences of our lives get subsumed in the tsunami of time, the onrush of the next, and the next, and the next.”
— Andy Couturier, A Different Kind of Luxury:  Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance

Tree rings — one of Nature’s ways of recording the passage of time

Tree rings from an Atlas Cedar

This blog has become my way of recording the ordinary and special occasions in my life — my attempt at creating an online tapestry of memories.  The practice of writing and posting has become my meditative moment in a sometimes busy and largely routine life.  Blogging helps me integrate things that I observe around me, things I read, things I photograph, things I eat, things that happen to me, and “forces” me to create something meaningful from these seemingly unrelated parts.  Finding that nugget of meaning and then making a post about it feels like a creative act.

So I’m still finding this blog worthwhile.  And yet, after more than 3-1/2 years of blogging almost every day, I think I need a bit more time off to devote to other projects and other aspects of my life.  So I plan to cut back to posting just five days a week, Mondays through Fridays, and take the weekends off.  Let’s see if it makes a difference!