By Wayne William Cipriano
Like many in Douglas County, unfortunately not all, we had a spectacular year so far. Now, it’s the best season of all – Autumn! The bugs are inactive, the sweltering heat is gone, it’s cool and not yet cold, and humidity is not a problem. Firewood gathering warms you twice. Halloween. Thanksgiving. And, all those colors are on the way.
The Northeast has the autumnal color advantage it’s true. So much so that nightly television news programs often include charting the advance of forest colors day by day as it moves southward. Many take vacation days to revel in and photograph what at times seems like mountainsides covered in frozen fire.
Maybe we don’t have that intensity of color, but what we do get is worth waiting for each year. We may not know which trees and bushes produce the purples, reds, oranges, yellows, browns and all the colors in between, but that is part of the rush. Almost everything is green in the spring and summer and you do not know which will provide the eye-pleasing bursts of color that autumn always delivers.
We are told that warm wet springs and dry summers give the greatest shows in autumn. Or, is it dry springs and hot wet summers? Who can remember?
Then, as late-year winds kick up, and leaves helicopter down coloring the ground as well as the trees, we experience contradictory emotions: the breath-catching beauty of the show, the realization that only a finite number of leaves were assigned to us this year and they are falling faster and faster. Autumn is not only a celebration of color but the inescapable truth that the threat and promise of winter awaits.
And, how can it be that the fragrance of those leaves as we walk through them is an unwavering annual surprise even though it happens every single year?
Just another miracle of Autumn!