Text: Marilyn Armstrong – Photography: Garry Armstrong

The Blackstone Canal in Autumn

Autumn by the Blackstone

I have always loved the fall. I remember being a child on my way back to school. I was wearing new shoes. Leather shoes with leather soles, so I could hear and feel the crunch of leaves underfoot. Mostly, though, I remember the color of the autumn. The glow of the sun coming through the gold of the maple trees. The color of the sunshine is amber in the fall. Everyone looks beautiful in that light. Whatever natural skin color you have, it looks better swathed in amber light. Real amber light, not the plastic they use on theatrical lights, but the real sun being really amber.

A boy and his dog at the end of the world

Friends and foliage

The Canal and foliage

I once did a PR pamphlet for my college football team in October. Most of them were brown or browner, but in that light, they glowed. They were beautiful and so was the pamphlet. It was all about that beautiful light. And a really good camera, which was  (as I recall), an Olympus SLR. There was no D because it wasn’t digital. Cameras were mechanical and by today’s standards, relatively simple.

Marilyn as photographer

Marilyn with sunflowers


It didn’t mean they didn’t take amazing pictures because the truth is, all those dozens of options in your camera’s menu are mostly of no real use to your photography. In the end, four things matter: (1) the quality of the lens, (2) the accuracy of the shutter, (3) using the correct film, and the really big one, (4) your eye, your ability to see a great photograph. frame it and make it beautiful. None of those setting on your digital camera can help you take a beautiful picture if your eye can’t see one, and your lens is not sharp enough to grab the moment.

Stone bridge over the Blackstone River

Conversation on a bridge

Meditation by the river

In the end, photography is about your special gift to “see” something beautiful and unique. Meanwhile, it’s the end of September and as we fade into October, I’m all in it. For the color of the leaves, the color of the sun. The incredible beauty of this brief time of year.

Categories: Autumn, Blackstone River, Blackstone Valley, Changing Seasons, Garry Armstrong, Photography

Tags: , , , ,

17 replies

  1. What stunning photography! Thank you for sharing Autumn in New England with me because here in Utah? It’s been too strange a summer and maybe not quite enough water, and all the leaves are brown, not gold, amber, that gorgeous scarlet and red, nor even yellow (a few are, but damned few). You’ve given me a rare gift today through your photography. Thank you so much! ♥


    • This used to be our best season. Autumn in New England was so special. It is beautiful, but it’s early because of the drought. I’m hoping last night’s rain will mean that the drought is over for rea and all.


  2. a miracle, no mention of Trump, just sweet autumn, I suppose your just doing some PR stunt for the rest of the local bird community regarding your new menu for the fall season, stay well, amen


  3. Truly beautiful pictures. I was enthralled by them.


    • Right now — today — they are magnificent, as lovely as i’ve ever seen them. But. They are a month early which is probably because of the prolonged drought we’ve had with virtually not a drizzle for two months. We don’t have “city water,” so we have a well. It is a very deep well — more than 475 feet deep which is VERY deep — and so far, we still have water. But the baby trees are dying. Literally turning black. I didn’t know you could kill baby trees here. And our Japanese Maple is scarlet. This is normally the last tree to change color … around the end of October. Now it is red and losing leaves. I’m wondering how many trees will die over the winter unless we get rain very very soon. This is the longest drought I every remember. We had one a couple of years ago, but it only lasted for a month. This one, the winds seem to be blowing the rain inland towards the middle of the country and central Canada, so we are dry as dust throughout New England. Our rivers are VERY low and since we are a water-shed, our water is not only ours, but is part of the regional water system. We are 10 inches down on water here, as is Boston and parts of New Hampshire are even worse.

      I’m trying to enjoy the beautiful leaves and not obsess on the lack of water. It gets very frightening when you realize that your life depends on the water in your well and there has been no rain. We better have a serious snowy winter to rebuild the rivers and reservoirs! But yes, beautiful. As long as we don’t have a major fire!


  4. Very pretty time of year, Marilyn.


  5. Nothing wrong with your eye, or your camera… these images are truly beautiful!


  6. I just wish I cd LIKE all of this 1000 times. So much truth, such beauty. For me as a child autumn was walking through the forest and shuffle the singing leaves with my shoes…. Wishing you a blessed colourful Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Assuming we ever have a real world again, come to New England in October. It’s so worth it!


      • In my former life (1st husband) I stayed in Canada for <2yrs. Summers were far too hot and steamy, but the FALLS were too beautiful to find words. THAT was definitely worth it. We have regions in CH too where nature is painting glorious pictures. But of course nothing beats acers in my books.
        On an Israel trip in November, many years ago, I saw 5+m high poinsettias, since then I can’t abide those mini ones in the stores any longer… 😉


  7. You have the gift to take beautiful pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

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