“It is remarkable that the latest bright color … should be this deep, dark scarlet and red, the intensest of colors. The ripest fruit of the year; like the cheek of a hard, glossy, red apple…. This late forest-flower surpasses all that spring or summer could do. Their colors were but rare and dainty specks comparatively … and made no impression on a distant eye…. It is like a little red paint ground on a saucer, and held up against the sunset sky.”
“By the sixth of October the leaves generally begin to fall, in successive showers, after frost or rain; but the principal leaf-harvest, the acme of the Fall, is commonly about the sixteenth. Some morning at that date there is perhaps a harder frost than we have seen … and now, when the morning wind rises, the leaves come down in denser showers than ever. They suddenly form thick beds or carpets on the ground, in this gentle air, or even without wind, just the size and form of the tree above. Some trees … appear to have dropped their leaves instantaneously…. Down they have come on all sides, at the first earnest touch of autumn’s wand, making a sound like rain.”
“October is the month of painted leaves. Their rich glow now flashes round the world. As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint, just before they fall, so the year near its setting….”
“In the autumn the sighing of the winds is softer than ever, the gentle ah-ah-ing filling the sky with a fine universal mist of music, the birds have little to say, and there is no appreciable stir or rustling among the trees save that caused by the harvesting squirrels. Most of the seeds are ripe and away … everything alike drenched in gold light, heaven’s colors coming down to the meadows and groves, making every leaf a romance, air, earth, and water in peace beyond thought, the great brooding days opening and closing in divine psalms of color.”
“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer…. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail.”
“These extraordinary autumn days! A godlike beauty to the countryside that cannot be described, and very nearly cannot be experienced — it is so amazing. One walks or rides along in a veritable daze. Surely there is no season quite like this….”
“The remarkable energy and passion of these autumn days: simply, a feast for the eye … almost dazzling, such beauty … maples, and ashes, and dogwood …. Why is my wish always, always and forever, if only this season would never pass.”
“I was in just the frame of mind to see something wonderful … and it put me on the alert to see more like it…. I let science slide, and rejoiced in that light as if it had been a fellow-creature. I saw that it was excellent…. It suggested to me that there was something to be seen….”
Sometimes you have to take a closer look to see certain colors and textures of autumn, especially in their late stages. The photo below, taken at Point Au Roche State Park in northern New York, shows the red and orange leaves of a withering vine hanging from the branches of a tree and running into the ground — where the colors blended with the forest floor, making the leaves nearly invisible.
Select the image to view a larger version. Thanks for seeing!