The best of it is past us now. You’ll have to forgive me for lingering on fall color in these past few posts, but such intense beauty, lasting only a few weeks, deserves extra treatment. For what other season delights the visual senses like this one?
Oddly, in a year of record drought, when one might expect that dry leaves would shrivel and turn brown on the twig, this was the best year I’ve seen in southcentral Kansas. The river corridors turned brilliant gold as elms, ashes, cottonwoods, walnuts, and honeylocusts warmed to a neon yellow and colored the earth beneath them with a buttery glow. Reflected in the creeks and rivers, autumn trees and blue sky made wondrous natural paintings in mirror image, alive with the rhythms of ripples and wavelets.
And on a given morning when hard frost squeezed the last life from hackberries, the trees showered their leaves and gave meaning to the term, “fall.” If you’ve never seen this marvel in its wild glory (not on an urban lawn but in the quiet of a remote woods) then watch for a moment as this video records the event. It’s made even better as a flock of wild gobblers enters the scene and loafs on a cool morning while leaves fall.
Close your eyes and listen. It’s like rain, taking away the beauty that can stay no longer in this fading season. And the ground is soon covered with the cast-off foliage, eventual nutrients for life yet to come…