FIRST HINT OF AUTUMN

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I looked out the back door and realized the aspens are turning yellow. They are always the first trees to show color, and always bright yellow. Because they are the first, they are hard to miss … yellow gold in the sea of dark green oak leaves.

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But, if you look closely, the oak leaves are changing too. They never develop real color, not the way the maple, birch, and aspen do.

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Instead, they slowly change from light green in spring, to very dark green in late summer … and now, slowly, develop veins of bronze until sometime in late November, they leaves are all bronze. Almost red.

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By the time the oaks completely turn, all the other trees are bare, so they become the last remnants of the autumn. Sometimes, those leaves will cling to the oaks until well into the snows of winter.

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It’s the herald of things to come. The warning bell has rung. The last fuchsia are popping on the hanging pots, the roses are finally giving it up. And the ragweed is blooming.

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CHANGING

If you are any kind of photographer, this is very busy time of year. The season is so fickle, so fragile … and the months that follow are gray. As photogenic as is autumn, the weeks that follow — as we move into winter — are drab and dull.

I take as many pictures as I can because in the months to come, nature will take off her party clothes and dress in workaday rags and not dress up again until the snow flies.

The bright yellow woods is my backyard. It’s hard to capture; it isn’t flashy. Not much scarlet or orange, but it’s beautiful with the sun filtering through yellow leaves. Difficult to catch the quality of light, but lovely to live amidst it.