Autumn’s Palette

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.

~Albert Camus

hickory tree 1

Hickory tree canopy highlighted by late afternoon sun (click photos to enlarge)

Years ago I had a school grounds workshop scheduled for a week day in October near Asheville. I didn’t get a hotel room ahead of time since I figured it would not be a problem during the week. After checking various places with no vacancy, one clerk told me I would probably need to drive 30 minutes or more east before I could find a room…“After all, hon, it is leaf season”. Leaf season, of course. The annual display of leaf colors in autumn is one of the most magical aspects of living in a region dominated by temperate deciduous forests. While our mountains are highlighted as the place to see the most dramatic colors, I find beautiful hues across much of our state, and I love to take in the show, especially late in the day when the low angle of the sun makes the colors even more vibrant.

Chalk maple leaf

Chalk Maple leaf

These past few weeks when the colors have peaked in this area I have been very busy, and have not been out as much as I would have liked to capture the beauty. So, I went back in time to the files of previous Fall photos to bring out a few taken in the woods of Chatham County. Most are taken late in the afternoon on windless days. I especially like to shoot leaves that are back lit by the setting sun, as it really highlights their textures and imperfections. I only wish the show lasted a little longer…the strong winds and rain coming in the next few days will surely cause the few remaining colorful leaves to drop, leaving only the reddish browns of the oaks out front to hang on into winter. And we will all have to wait until the next leaf season to marvel at the dazzling beauty in the trees around us.

tulip poplar leaf

Tulip Poplar leaf

maple leaves

Red Maple leaves

hickory leaf

Hickory leaf

maple leaf 1

Red Maple leaves

maple leaf 2

Red Maple leaf edge

fall color

Chalk Maple leaf

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.

~William Cullen Bryant

maple leaf backlit 1

Red Maple leaf