DRY LEAVES THAT FALL BEFORE THE WINDS – Marilyn Armstrong

I am not as nostalgic about the past as many people. I had a difficult and often unpleasant childhood. It’s hard to put aside the unhappy childhood memories to find happy ones. They get tangled up.

Maple along the Blackstone

It is in the autumn where good memories live on. That perpetual autumn I can sometimes smell in the air as October arrives. It is probably why I love this season. Fall signals the return to school and what passed for “normal” in my world.

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I was a New Yorker. I’m sure it was cooler there 50 plus years ago than it is today. Especially in the fall.

And, I loved school. I know this was not a popular point of view in the kid world, but I loved it. Home kind of sucked.

Crunchy on the lawn by the river

School was better. Orderly. I had assignments. Things to learn. Teachers didn’t beat students and there were very few moments of sheer terror with which to cope. Unlike home at home.

In generating fear, schoolyard bullies were amateurs compared to my father.

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The thing I remember best and most fondly were the sound of the leaves crunching under my squeaky new leather shoes. The shoes always gave me blisters, no matter what salesmen in stores told my mother about the perfect fit.

I don’t know why she believed them when they told her the shoes fit, but never believed me when I told her they hurt.

Colors by the Blackstone. Photo: Garry Armstrong

Fall seems to be shrinking and disappearing. It is the most saddening part of climate change in this region. To lose the season that always brought me joy is very sad and I hope we can bring it back.

At least we are still getting some of it. Not like we used to, but a week is better than nothing.

THEN IT WAS AUTUMN AFTER ALL – Marilyn Armstrong

October 19, 2019 – Autumn Leaves

It looked hopeless. It was a month late and there was so much rain. And it was warm too late into the season. So most of us — especially me — sighed and decided we weren’t going to get a real Autumn this year. Kind of like last year where it just never happened.

Instead, after a huge storm of torrential rain and high wind — the kind of storm that usually knocks the leaves off the trees and gives us naked limbs. But that’s not what happened.

The deep orange maple over the little house with the blue door

Golden leaves in October

Wide view of the old stone bridge, river, and canal

Along the canal pathway

The storm came. It went and suddenly, it’s really Fall. The colors are up. It was impossible — but it happened anyway.

‘Il n’y a plus de saison” – OUTSIDE, IT FEELS LIKE … WHAT? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOTD – November 10, 2018 – Autumn Leaf


I still have autumnal pictures, even though it’s raining. The wind came up and all day, it was like being in an oak leaf storm, with whirling leaves everywhere. It’s supposed to be over tomorrow morning, but the next day, new storm.

A rose and a brilliant Japanese maple.

The weather never really stays nice anymore. We haven’t had a single weekend without rain or three days of sunshine since last winter.

Evelyne Holingue commented that in France they now say “Il n’y a plus de saison.” Which translates to “There are no more seasons.” 

There’s definitely a seasonal blurring. We have winter and we have summer, but winter is longer than it used it be with intermittent weeks of almost summer-like weather followed by blizzards. Spring doesn’t happen and summer is one storm after another.

And there are places where the weather is more extreme than here.

Really, there are no more seasons and I think if you want to understand what climate change means, this is the beginning, that blurring of seasons and the loss of the “interim” short seasons of spring and fall.

I don’t know what comes after this because although we’ve always had erratic weather patterns here, this is somehow different. It feels different. I’m just hoping the rivers don’t rise.

This valley can flood. We’ve seen it, but never in November. Flooding is something for spring rains and snow melt-off. Meanwhile, it sure is raining hard outside.

WILDFLOWERS AND SOME AUTUMN LEAVES – Marilyn Armstrong

FOTD – November 4, 2018


Photos: Garry & Marilyn Armstrong

We had a serious wind and rain storm last night and this morning. Big limbs all over the driveway. Watching the oaks wave in the wind … which is actually kind of eerie.

Those oaks are big (tall!) trees. When they fall, they take down a lot of stuff with them. Watching them move with the wind is a bit scary.

Wild asters and a big bee

But so far, so good. We just lost a lot of branches which Garry tossed into the woods. The driveway was effectively blocked.

Women by the river – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

In the course of events, most of the trees are bare. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, but Monday and thereafter? Who knows? More wind, more rain, and the rivers are beginning to crest. It was bound to happen.

The last branch

And Garry’s best shot of October, introducing THE SQUIRREL!

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Gray squirrel by the Blackstone

AUTUMN LEAVES – RICH PASCHALL

Les Feuilles Mortes

The falling leaves
Drift by the window
The autumn leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter’s song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall.

Notes: Roger Williams had a number 1 hit with the instrumental version in 1955. Above he is playing in 2010 on his 86th birthday.

Andy Williams (no relation) appeared with Jose Feliciano in 1969. He first recorded the song in 1959.

Yves Montand introduced the song in 1945 in the movie “Les Portes des la nuit.” Above is from a 1951 movie “Parigi è sempre Parigi.”

Songwriters: Jacques Prevert (music) / Joseph Kosma (lyrics) /  Johnny Mercer (English Lyrics)

BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE – Garry Armstrong

FOTD – Be It Ever So Humble – October 26, 2018

It was a beautiful day. Actually sunny from earliest rays of the morning until sunset. I went out to clean up our front walk — the dogs, you know — and everything looked bright. We didn’t get much in the way of reds or orange, but the woods are quite yellow and the oaks are beginning to turn to bronze.

I went in to grab my camera and took a few pictures.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Aldrich Street

Photo: Garry Armstrong -The oaks are changing color

Fred the Flamingo is still in the garden – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Down the driveway – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong – West past the shed into the woods

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME – Marilyn Armstrong

FOTD – No Place Like Home – October 23, 2018

It rained in the morning.

These days, it always rains in the morning. Every morning. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow morning, too.

With a little luck, it’ll stop before they start the World Series.

Sassafras

Which starts tomorrow evening. It’s on Fox network so most people with American television will be able to see it. Probably in Mexico and Canada, too.

Route 98, heading north

We had a bit of sunshine right before our doctor appointment, but by the time we got out, the sun was gone.

There’s no place like home.

There wasn’t much to photograph until we got home and I realized that at least our street had some nice color. No sun, but the trees look pretty nice.

SUNSET THROUGH AUTUMN LEAVES – Marilyn Armstrong

FOTD – Sunset Through Foliage – October 22, 2018

It rained in the morning, cleared up briefly mid-morning, went back to drizzly and gray by lunchtime … and suddenly, just before sunset, the light turned that beautiful amber that screams OCTOBER!

The sun, just over the gate. If you look, you can still see the roses

Towards the road

It was cold, but I pulled on a heavy sweatshirt and a camera and took pictures. For almost an hour, it really looked like Autumn.

Leaves are gold

A hint of scarlet and a flash of sunlight from the setting sun

About half an hour later, the meteorologist on the news was pointing out t was a beautiful sunset, but we should not be deluded. It will be even colder tomorrow.

I took in the aloe. I was afraid it would freeze tonight.

ALONG THE BLACKSTONE IN RHODE ISLAND – Garry Armstrong

FOTD – October 18, 2018 – Autumn Foliage


And so, on the only sunny day of last week, we went back to the river in Rhode Island. The rain had been pelting down every day for more than a week. Not all day or all day every day, but for at least a few hours every night and most mornings. The leaves falling were green and many trees were beginning to strip.

Yellow trees east of the bridge over Route 98

Golden leaves — and a bit of orange — south of the bridge on Route 98

So we figured we might as well get as much of autumn as we could. It wasn’t going to be a good autumn and very far from great, but we did get at least a nice burst of yellow and a bit of orange in the trees along the river.

From the base of the boat slip on the Blackstone River in Rhode Island — and the stone wall along the river and canal

The only bright colors were the maples in River Bend. Maybe I’ll show them tomorrow.

LIKE DRY LEAVES

WEEKLY WORDPRESS PHOTO CHALLENGENOSTALGIA | THE DAILY POST


I am not as nostalgic about the past as most people. I had a difficult and often unpleasant growing up and it’s hard to put aside the unhappy child to find happy memories. They get tangled.

72-Driveway-Autumn-MA--1009_026

It is in the autumn where whatever good memories exist continue to live. That perpetual autumn I can sometimes smell in the air this time of year. It is probably why I love this season. Fall signals the return to school and what passed for “normal” in my world.

72-dry-leaves-112215_32

I was a New Yorker. I’m sure it was cooler there 50 plus years ago than it is today. Especially in the fall.

And, I loved school. I know this was not a popular point of view in the kid world, but I loved it. Home kind of sucked. School was better. Orderly. I had assignments. Things to learn. Teachers didn’t beat students and there were very few moments of sheer terror to cope with. Unlike home. In generating fear, schoolyard bullies were amateurs compared to my father.

72-fallen-leaves_04

The thing I remember best and most fondly were the sound of the leaves crunching under my squeaky new leather shoes. The shoes always gave me blisters, no matter what salesmen in stores told my mother about the perfect fit. I don’t know why she believed them when they told her the shoes fit, but never believed me when I told her they hurt.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

AUTUMN — HERE AND GLORIOUS

It still hasn’t rained. Rain is in the forecast and maybe it’ll be enough to make a difference. There’s more predicted for next week, though I have no idea how accurate prediction for 10 days from now can be. We can certainly hope.

On the up side of the drought, the foliage is glorious.

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Autumn is our finest time, when New England shakes off her drab old clothing and puts on her coat of many colors. It’s a party for nature and it’s special and gorgeous. A simple ride to the grocery store is breathtaking.

I think it’s heading for an epic-level Autumn. But I’m still hoping that after the leaves have peaked, perhaps Mother Nature will take pity on us and send the rain.

NOTHING TO COMPARE

Autumn Leaves – Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?


This morning ... our early autumn woods.

This morning … our early autumn woods.

Talk about mixed emotions. I love autumn, by far my favorite season. The color. The smell of the air with that tang I can’t even describe. The sun changes to amber and the entire world glows. Of course, here in New England, foliage rules. In a good year … I hope this will be one such … it is incomparable. Magnificent.

But Autumn also comes bundled with its own sadness. Always there is a melancholy overtone to remind us this is the end of the warm time. The finish of a cycle that began when the ice broke at the end of last winter. Now, the visible shortening of days begins and the chilling of nights.

In our latitudes, snow will follow. Snow, ice, bitter winds will blow. We will hunker down, locked in our houses and wait for spring.

Note: I took all the pictures this morning, between writing the first paragraph and publishing the post. Hot off the presses.