“The world is full of colour!
‘Tis Autumn once again
And leaves of gold and crimson
Are lying in the lane.”
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week on Cee’s Photography at http://ceenphotography.com/2014/05/06/cees-fun-foto-challenge-leaves-and-trees/ is Leaves and Trees.
One of the great places for taking Autumn shots in our area is River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois.
And of course, there’s The Morton Arboretum where, all year round, there’s always something beautiful to see in the way of leaves and trees .
There’s a song that’s stuck in my memory, from my days back in England, called ‘Green Grow The Rushes, O’. I seem to recall we sang it quite a lot at school.
Well, there’s not much green around here at the moment, not even the ‘rushes, o’ and, although I’m usually the first one to complain when it comes time to drag the lawn mower out, I wouldn’t be averse to seeing a little bit of grass growing, right about now.
Green, to me, means the smell of a fresh cut lawn, shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day and the burgeoning buds on the trees in Spring. It means tangy limes and crunchy apples.
I want to sit under a shady leaf canopy on a hot summer day, eat green salads and cool cucumbers. I want to sip mint juleps and watch the ivy as it climbs the garden wall. I want green!
I just love the colors of Autumn!
I prefer the word Autumn to the American term of Fall. Autumn conjures up visions of fiery red and golden yellow leaves, tawny grass and orange pumpkins. Fall, on the other hand, merely summons up a picture of me lying sprawled on my back on the ice last winter. It’s such a negative word! You can be heading for a fall, watch the stock prices fall (as my husband is always pointing out to me), fall out with people or fall by the wayside. No, I think I’ll stick to Autumn!
Every year I make my Autumn pilgrimage to the Morton Arboretum and I realized recently, looking back on all the photos that I’ve ever taken there, that I’m shooting the same scene, the same tree year after year. But its not the same, is it. Oh, it’s the same trunk, the same branches, maybe a bit bigger than the year before, but the leaves are different. They’re not the same leaves that were there last year. A new party frock, granted the same color but seen in perhaps a slightly different light, a little gaudier than last Autumn or a tad more subdued depending on the weather.
I’ve tried to vary my Autumn shots to include close-ups of leaves on the ground, floating on water, clinging to life on the end of a twig, swirling through the air or patterned against a clear blue sky. The trick is to take them so they don’t look too contrived. And to be honest, some of them are. Nature doesn’t always look the way we would like it to and there are times when you have to improvise. I remember my dear mother standing off-camera, hurling armfuls of leaves into the air while I tried to catch them on film floating gracefully to the ground, exhorting her to “Chuck ‘em up higher! HIGHER!!”
But it’s not just how the leaves look in Autumn that is so captivating. It’s the sound they make too. The crunch as you kick through them on a walk through the woods, the rustling, skittering noise they make as the wind blows them hither and yon, the swish as you rake them into a pile on the side of the road to await collection by the village vacuum cleaner.
Buy a kid the most expensive toys and they won’t have half as much fun with them as playing in a drift of crackling Autumn leaves.
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