AUTUMN WASHING AWAY

As I sit in my office listening to the sound of the rain, I can look up and see the rain dripping from our gutters — probably clogged with leaves — and see the way the leaves droop under the weight of water.

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This is the third day of rain in a row. Yesterday … even the day before … the rain was only intermittent. The sun peeped out occasionally just to give us hope and at one point, enough to allow the Red Sox to beat the Devil Rays 12 to 2. And then the rain came back. A bit heavier, a bit steadier.

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This morning, it’s a very steady pouring rain and the leaves are beginning to fade. What just yesterday held the promise of an exceptional autumn is morphing into a repeat of so many autumns in recent years. Just when the leaves are showing real color and we harbor the dream of a glorious fall … the rain comes. The gold and the red turn to dull brown. The leaves slither off into sodden piles on the ground and autumn never hits its peak. Over before it entirely began.

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Maybe if the rain stops today … just maybe we can salvage the season. I so very much wanted this one perfect season. For so many reasons. I wanted this one, this time, to be right.

A QUALITY OF LIGHT, THE BRIGHT LEAVES AT HOME

It’s beautiful everywhere right now. I don’t have to go far — just my front yard. Typically, we don’t get much color on our property since our woods are predominantly oak which don’t — as a rule — produce bright colors. This year is different.

It’s coming along very nicely. Spectacularly. A few years ago, we started letting a neighbor harvest some of our trees to thin the woods. Let more light in. The oaks had formed a solid canopy; it was killing off the maples and sassafras that don’t grow as tall and need sun. And the oaks were not looking as healthy as they could either.

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The result was exactly what we needed. The remaining oaks — hundreds of them — look healthier and the maples and sassafras surged back. We lost a few of our most colorful trees to Sandy, but nature has replaced them.

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This year, for the first time since we’ve lived here, there is scarlet and yellow in our own front yard and in the woods by the driveway and behind the house. It  looks electrified. The best color we have ever had!

We took Bonnie to the vet today and just standing in the parking lot gave me plenty to shoot. And it wasn’t a bright day. The sun peeped out for a few minutes, but mostly, it was drizzly and gray. Yet the trees were still aglow.

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