"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Autumn Gets Ready for Christmas

Autumn Gets Ready for Christmas

From School of the Woods by William J. Long:

“And lo! … the flutter of tiny wings, light and laughter of little bright eyes, chatter of chickadees calling each other cheerily as they hunted the ice-bound twigs over and over for the morsel that Nature had hidden there, somewhere, in the far autumn days; and then one clear, sweet love note, as if an angel had blown a little flute….”

From A Garden of One’s Own by Elizabeth Lawrence:

“In the pale autumn sunshine, it looks too ethereal to be true.”


About ten days ago, I scoped out a few previously unphotographed locations for some more fall color hunting, and while much of it had already dropped off the trees, there were some big old oaks and maples around the park and the ‘hood still showing off their orange, yellow, and red. I didn’t have my camera with me at the time — I was running some errands and getting my “hair” cut — but planned on going out the next day. That night the rains moved in, long dreary rains that make that sound that’s very relaxing for a while — like for a day or two when you first wake up — then starts to get on your nerves when it just doesn’t stop. It didn’t clear out until yesterday, and all those same oaks are mostly leafless now, with more than my fair share or leaves deposited as a four-inch thick blanket in my back yard. Too bad they didn’t melt in the rain… yeah, I know, it doesn’t work that way….

From my previous photoshoots, I had saved a few images for a last autumn post, knowing it would be closer to Christmas by the time I finished them up. All of the images below are photos of Japanese Maples, the first seven showing that deep fall red that these maples are known for, and the rest — of a Japanese Maple Shrub or maybe a Weeping Japanese Maple — from one I found where the leaves showed so many different colors. I always think sights like this are nature’s way of decorating for Christmas; the leaves from the shrubby one remind me of multicolored twinkle lights.

If you’ve been visiting here for a while, you might recall that I have a Christmas photography project that I call “Days to Christmas” — where I post quotes about Christmas and photos of my Christmas decorations every day for the ten days leading up to the big one. That will start this week — what!?! already? — so I’ll be buzzing around here assembling decoration montages pretty much daily from now until the 25th. My foyer gets transformed into a makeshift photo studio, and I use the project to experiment with color and light, trying out different lenses with different lighting combinations to see what I can come up with. Many images get thrown out but many make the cut, and those that do will show up here as I finish them.

If you would like to see my previous “Days to Christmas” posts, here are the links:

Days to Christmas 2019

Days to Christmas 2020

If you would like to see my previous fall color posts for this year, they’re all organized under this tag:

Autumn 2021

Thanks for taking a look!


    1. Dale

      Thank you! Those Japanese Maples were amazing this year, and I got to them at just the right time, I think. The Days to Christmas project is one of my favorites … especially since you can throw some lights and glittery sticks on pretty much anything … and voila! it’s a Christmas decoration!

      The weather… omg! It seemed like it was never gonna stop raining, once again… but finally it did.

      Thanks for the comment!

    1. Dale

      Hi, Ann. I have three Japanese Maples on my property, have been here for fifteen years. They’ve never sustained any wind damage, even in serious thunderstorms. They seem to withstand strong winds really well.

      In my area, I see many people — as well as parks or the botanical gardens — grow them in large containers. I’ve never tried it but I asked at a local garden center and they showed me some smaller varieties and some shrub variations that do well in pots — where they will be fine for five to ten years before they need repotting or ground planting. I may try it myself next year, as I’m wanting to add some new shrubs to my front yard.

      If you do a Google image search for something like “japanese maples in containers” — there are some great photos and ideas.

      Thanks for the comment!


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