Oct 16 2011

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Autumn Walks

Posted at 7:28 am under Blog Post

It’s that time of year again.  The leaves are turning and tourists are streaming into Vermont.  Or has it passed already?  The foliage season is fast and furious, often leaving folks with the feeling that they’ve missed the better part of it.  That is why I made it a point to walk the Rail Trail several times during the past few weeks, camera in hand.  I wanted proof that I was there when the colors peaked.

Too warm, too dry, too much green this year.  Those were the common complaints.  A run of cloudless days made a lot of people happy, but the autumnal brilliance didn’t quite live up to the advertisement.  Mother Nature was off her game this year.  Not that many snapshots of blazing leaf color were taken.  Not as many “oohs” and “ahs” as usual.

A few days ago, the chilling October rains began.  Then a rowdy wind knocked some leaves off the trees prematurely.  Oh sure, there is still plenty of color – especially here in the Champlain Valley – but the season is past peak now.  And it won’t be long before all the trees are naked.  Like springtime, when the wildflowers bloom, this season is brutally short.

While walking the other day, it struck me how marvelous the world is – peak color or no.  Every day there is something special to see and feel.  And smell.  What I like most about autumn is the smell of fallen leaves drying out and rotting slowly.  Here’s the smell of eternity.  Here’s sensual proof of endless growth and decay.  But that can’t be packaged, can it?  I find this thought consoling.  It’s nice to know there’s at least one thing about the season that can’t be bought and sold.


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