Saturday, October 10, 2009

INTENSE AUTUMN

Today was a real show-stopper—one of those knock-your-socks-off October days that can make up for a week's worth of gloomy weather. As a photographer, you almost hate to see such days comes along because when you show folks your photos, they automatically assume you've pumped up the colors in Photoshop or some other digital manipulation program.
No way a maple can be that fiery orange-red, or a sky so deeply, intensely blue!
Hey, I was out there, Nikon in hand, looking at those trees and that sky with my own two eyes…and even I had trouble believing the extravagant reality of the over-the-top hues no artist with brush or lens could ever hope to capture. There were times when I didn't know whether to laugh with joy or cry from the sheer, soul-stirring wonder of autumn's impact.
When folks talk about moving to the South or Southwest—those lands of endless summer, where every cookie-cutter day is just like those days before and the ones to follow—I think about what I'd miss…these bright October days when summer's green woods suddenly becomes a patchwork riot of red and orange, yellow and gold, crimson and scarlet and burgundy and amethyst.
No amount of palm trees swaying in the tropics, nor cactus and hoo-doo rocks in the desert, could come anywhere close to comparing with an October day when the leaves don their fancy dress, and the sky spreads out an azure counterpoint.
Today simply reiterated what I've long believed…that if through some misfortune of logistics I were forced to miss what I consider a real autumn—even for a single year—my heart would surely break.

47 comments:

The Solitary Walker said...

Wow! Those autumn colours are just wonderful.

Debbie said...

What really gorgeous pictures. I'm not that good as a new photographer,so I use Picnik.Sorry.
I totally agree with you. I think I'll go outside and enjoy the color and throw some hoo-doo rocks at something;)
Debbie

Jain said...

The orange and blue contrast is eye-popping, unreal, downright beautiful. Great captures!

Val said...

Smiling a knowing smile....

Bernie said...

Your photo's and words express exactly how I feel.....Fall is my favorite season, unfortunately after a couple of days of Fall we have moved directly into winter, but I am enjoying the fireplace and even the snow today, what a gift you have Grizz and I thank you for sharing your beautiful day....:-) Hugs

madcobug said...

Those are such beautiful colors. The blue sky just set them off. Our colors are not very colorful yet. Just waiting. Thanks for sharing. Helen

Rowan said...

These photographs are just beautiful and I know they are real because I've been seeing similar sights in New England. I'd hate to live somewhere that doesn't have the four seasons, all have their own beauties but autumn has always been my favourite.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Absolutely agree with you Scribe. We might moan about the weather, shiver when it is cold, get grumpy when it is foggy - but every season has its wonders and you have really captured Autumn here.

bobbie said...

Your photos are stunners! We have nothing like that here - at least not yet. Weird weather.

Jayne said...

I need the changing of the seasons like I need breath. It reinforces my need to know that there is change and rebirth. I adore the anticipation of what is to come. When I think I've had all I can take of the heat, it cools off, and when I think I can't live another day without seeing green trees, it warms up and everything blooms again. It lets me know I'm alive. I love it. Absolutely love it.

KGMom said...

My thoughts, precisely.
I would ever eschew endless summer weather for want of shortening days, waning light, and wonderful splashes of color.
Several years ago, I visited Ghana--its equatorial location gives it equal days and nights--boring. I like longer days and then shorter days.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

That was pretty much my reaction, too…as it is every year. An astonished, flabbergasted WOW!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Debbie…

You could take every one of these shots with the most basic point-and-shoot camera. All I did was crop a bit the sort of "square" them up, which I think works better on a blog post. And, BTW, "hoo-doo rocks" are those weirdly stacked columns and shapes you see in some of the canyonlands of the Southwest. Beautiful, but no beautiful in the way a maple in October is beautiful.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

Yesterday was just an intensely blue sky and maples like flaming torches. The photos are pretty much as-is except for cropping. In fact, I took almost 500 shots yesterday in the space maybe two hours…and I swear, some of them have even richer, more saturated colors.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Val…

I understand…

Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

For three days prior to yesterday, I had a fire in the fireplace, too—and it felt really good in the damp, rainy, cold (40sF) temperatures. Yesterday was our first really day of color. I do hope we do better than you and I have at least a week of getting out and enjoying the leaves before it snows! :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Madcobug…

It was just a quintessential October day here yesterday—one of those days when all of nature conspires to stun you with it seasonal beauty. And I was properly floored!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

I don't know yet whether today will be quite so gorgeous—the morning began with a lot of fog and so far, the blue sky is not heading in the direction of indigo. But maybe I'm just finding flaws because I have to work on a project here at the cottage all day and I'm just bummed because I can't go out and play.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

I love seasons…including the cold and snow, the rain, the damp (nope, I'm not a masochist!) and all the rest—though I could do without those hot, breathless, energy-sucking 100 F days of late-July and August.

Might as well warn you, I'm not done photographing and posting autumn shots. Yesterday was only a warm-up!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bobbie…

Hey, we didn't have this, either, last Tuesday. Then we had three days of rain and dark and cold. So hang in there. You may get a dose of autumn yet, in spite of weird weather.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

You've said it exactly right…the changing seasons do make you know your alive—and make being alive worthwhile. For me, anyway. I love the anticipation—the need—for change, and I love the transition. The cycle of the year, in all its heights and depths which furnish the contrasts, and thus make each new change such a beautiful gift, is the wonder of life—creation, growth, maturity, reward and rest.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Oh, yes! Longer and shorter days and nights. Cold days. Hot days. Sunny days, cloudy days. Winter, spring, summer fall. Rain, snow, wildflowers and patchwork autumn leaves. Life woven from a rich tapestry of color and texture.

Down with boredom! Up with seasons!

Gail said...

HI GRIZ-

Oh my - your pictures are so beautiful - the colors are magical and your words of praise for such glorious gifts of Autumn are a true tribute to this season and God's gifts of nature to us. Amen.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I'll tell you the truth…my words and photos don't come close by even half of doing justice to the leaves and sky. But God knows, I loved every minute I got to spend out there yesterday.

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Grizzly :D
I'm still on vacation but I saw your gorgeous autumn pictures and had to stop! What brilliant colors!

Coming from a cookie-cutter weather state, I can't even begin to express how awe-inspiring your photos are to me! We do get the fall leaves here too but to be able to walk under skies so blue and leaves so brilliantly colored....pure heaven. I would be laughing with joy and crying from the "soul-stirring wonder." Your neighbors would probably call the paramedics thinking some crazy woman had escaped the mental institution and crawled in your yard to bask in the glory of your trees!

So wonderful! What a blessing your pictures are! Thanks for sharing and see you when I return from my vacation :D

Have a Happy Day, Grizz!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

ChickGeek…

I suspect my neighbors have simply written me off as harmless—weird, but otherwise not worth worrying over. And by extension, friends and visitors are therefore ignored as equally harmless/weird. Besides out here in the semi-rural township, paramedics don't come unless you can't staunch the blood flow with a wad of paper towels and duct tape. Folks crawling about on the ground, underneath bright colored trees or not, are rather common…especially on Saturday nights. They'd never look close enough to know you were basking.

Hey, enjoy the rest of your vacation. But check in here again should you need another fix of fall color before you get back home.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Stunning photos, Grizzled! I love the autumn too, both the golden-leaved blue-sky days, and also the lovely grey skied atmospheric days when the leaves are luminous in a different way, and there is a wistful joyous feeling in the air.

I've just been gardening until the last ounce of light, and the smell of the damp earth, the sound of the rooks flocking above and the mingled autumn leaves with the already-forming buds for next year really made my heart sing!

giggles said...

Beautiful!! I am sooooooooooo there with ya!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…

Yes, you are so very right—it isn't just the blazing leaves and gorgeous skies that lifts the heart in autumn, but also those days when the light is soft and lambent, glowing with pearlescent luminosity that is just as attractive, though far more subtle to the eye.

I've been doing some building outdoors today. It was sunny but cold. Ducks gabbled from the river, squirrels busied themselves carrying walnuts and scolding Moon, and the vultures wheeled low in the sky, just skimming the treetops, curious as to what was going on.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

I bet you're having just as pretty a time of autumn up your way—providing you have nice weather. If not, live vicariously!

giggles said...

Oh. Let me tell you. Me and the kids (I know,not grammatically correct....) went up to "Hawk Mountain" to watch the yearly migration yesterday.... Sharpys by the hundreds!!! Eagles, osprey, and occasional merlin and peregrine, many more. The folks that went with us (as well as our actual trip leader!) said they have never had a better day! It was truly a glorious day... Not much color here, yet.... It's on the way and you have inspired me to do my best to find some interesting photos.... (so that I have a good resaon to break out the watercolors...!)

Robin said...

I, like you have no use for endless summer days.

I saw trees today that looked like they were GLOWING, and I nearly cried.

Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

That's one place I'd dearly love to visit, Hawk Mountain. I've read about it and similar "watch points" along the migratory route for raptors, plus recently, Carolyn of "Roundtop Ruminations" (see blogs list) has been doing these wonderful posts…and now you…so maybe year I'll try and finally make that longed-for trip. I hope I can manage, for sure.

You may have to look a bit for the color. Even around here—and in spite of the photos—it's mostly yellowish-green; those were just a few early maples. I'd say at least another week hereabouts for the peak, and of course you'll have oaks that, like they always do, wait for the third act to show their stuff.

Scattering Lupines said...

Bright as fire! Makes me think of these lines:

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Scattering Lupines said...

And I agree! We lived in Florida last year and I YEARNED for a Fall! I'm so thankful to be in NC this year where at least we get a touch of it!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robin…

I know exactly what you saw and felt! There were trees Saturday that I photographed that simply glowed in orangey red. How anyone can look at such amazing colors and not have their breath taken away is simply beyond my understanding. Half the time when I should have been making photos, I was simply standing like a spavined moose, gaping at the sheer wonder overhead!

Wanda said...

Didn't the Autumn Color just seem to intensify overnight...it did here at least in my yard...To me Autumn is the most soul touching season of all...maybe I just link it to Thanksgiving, Harvesting and Change. Loved your post and photos, but I always do!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Scattering LupinesX2…

I've never heard the bit of verse by Stevenson before.

Hey, I don't know which part of NC you live in—but the western, mountain end of the state, say around the Nanatahalia Gorge or the Big Snowbirds, have some of the prettiest fall colors of any place in the country. From Ashville west, including the NC side of the Smokies, is absolutely stunning in mid-October. As pretty as New England or Upper Michigan. Worth a weekend junket or daytrip.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

It sure did change overnight!

I was out Monday and Tuesday, and there wasn't much color at all. Then we had three days of cold, clouds, and rain. Saturday was still cold (you needed a jacket pretty much all day) but clear and intensely blue of sky…and somewhere in that span of rainy days, those maples had all turned red and orange and yellow.

Spring is still my favorite season, because I love to watch the land reawaken, witness again that miracle resurrection of life. I love to go wildflowering and listen to the birds singing their hearts out. But from a sheer beauty standpoint, and all the bittersweet connotations of the season (plus I also delight in Thanksgiving!) you have to love autumn.

And the best part of all is that you don't have to choose…you can simply enjoy the seasons in their turn.

P.S. Thank you for your nice words; I feel the same way about your photos and posts. :-)

Carolyn H said...

Griz: Wonderful photos! I think your color is a bit further along thatn mine right now. Though mine took a big step forward this weekend!

Caroyln h.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

These maples were really the first—and they turned on their bright colors almost overnight. It's a bit more colorful today than Saturday, when I made these photos (no deep blue sky, though) but still more green than anything.

Autumn's a'comin'…but it ain't here yet!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I am so loving these photos! There is nothing like a maple tree in fall...the vibrant colors are amazing. Alas, fall passed us by and dumped snow and blustery winds in the Dakotas so I am relegated to enjoying your fall colors. Trust me...they are food for the soul!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Alicia…

Man, I sure hate to hear you were robbed of autumn! What a bummer! But never fear…I'll keep shooting and posting photos from here for as long as autumn endures, or until readers get sick of seeing gaudy red and gold maple leaves. So keep making regular stops here for your fall fix.

P.S. Sorry to be so slow in answering your comment—I was beat to death last night when I got in, and couldn't manage more beyond falling into bed.

Sydney said...

Oh! Aaaaaaah. I'm just speechless. Beautiful shots Mister.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sydney…

Well now, that was the point. Oos and aahs and sheer speechlessness! That's how I reacted.

Thank you… :-)

Brenda said...

Beautiful! This is one of the posts I've been waiting for -- fall in Ohio is gorgeous and I knew you would capture it with your usual appreciation for the sheer joy of nature's artistry.

Enjoy your October, Grizz!

Brenda

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Brenda…

Thank you for those nice words…and I assure you, I'll enjoy—also write and photograph about—every bit of fall I can!