"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

Autumn Remnants (2 of 2)

From “December” by Christopher Cranch in Three Centuries of American Poetry edited by Allen Mandelbaum and Robert D. Richardson:

No more the scarlet maples flash and burn
Their beacon-fires from hilltop and from plain;
The meadow-grasses and the woodland fern
In the bleak woods lie withered once again.

The trees stand bare, and bare each stony scar
Upon the cliffs; half frozen glide the rills;
The steel-blue river like a scimitar
Lies cold and curved between the dusky hills.

Over the upland farm I take my walk,
And miss the flaunting flocks of golden-rod;
Each autumn flower a dry and leafless stalk,
Each mossy field a track of frozen sod.

From “Wordsworth’s Mountain” in Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver:

“There is a rumor of total welcome among the frosts of the winter morning….

“The field I am looking at is perhaps twenty acres altogether, long and broad. The sun has not yet risen but is sending its first showers over the mountains, a kind of rehearsal, a slant light with even a golden cast…. The light touches every blade of frozen grass, which then burns as a particular as well as part of the general view. The still-upright weeds have become wands, encased in a temporary shirt of ice and light… Neither does this first light miss the opportunity of the small pond, or the groups of pine trees. And now: enough of silver, behold the pink, even a vague, unsurpassable flush of pale green….

“It is the performance of this hour only, the dawning of the day, fresh and ever new.”


This is the second of two posts featuring the last of my autumn color photos for this season. The first post is Autumn Remnants (1 of 2); and three related posts are Autumn Dreams of Christmas (1 of 2); Autumn Dreams of Christmas (2 of 2); and Seven Days to Christmas: When Nature Does the Decorating.

That’s it for me for 2022! See you on the other side! Of New Year’s Eve, that is.

Thanks for taking a look!

Autumn Remnants (1 of 2)

From “O Lacrimosa” in Ahead of All Parting by Rainer Maria Rilke:

Ah, but the winters! The earth’s mysterious
turning-within. Where around the dead
in the pure receding of sap,
boldness is gathered,
the boldness of future springtimes.
Where imagination occurs
beneath what is rigid; where all the green
worn thin by the vast summers
again turns into a new
insight and the mirror of intuition;
where the flowers’ color
wholly forgets that lingering of our eyes.

From “Nature” in The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“The production of a work of art throws a light upon the mystery of humanity. A work of art is an abstract or epitome of the world. It is the result or expression of nature, in miniature. For although the works of nature are innumerable and all different, the result or the expression of them all is similar and single. Nature is a sea of forms radically alike and even unique….

“A leaf, a sunbeam, a landscape, the ocean, make an analogous impression on the mind. What is common to them all — that perfectness and harmony, is beauty. The standard of beauty is the entire circuit of natural forms — the totality of nature….

“Nothing is quite beautiful alone; nothing but is beautiful in the whole. A single object is only so far beautiful as it suggests this universal grace. The poet, the painter, the sculptor, the musician, the architect, seek each to concentrate this radiance of the world on one point, and each in his several work to satisfy the love of beauty which stimulates him to produce…. Thus in art does Nature work through the will of a man filled with the beauty of her first works.”


Autumn color came to my neighborhood pretty late this year, butting up against the Christmas holidays and my Christmas photo project (see Days to Christmas 2022). I had taken quite a few leaf and tree photos in late November and early December, and associated the more brightly colored ones with Christmas on three posts…

Autumn Dreams of Christmas (1 of 2)

Autumn Dreams of Christmas (2 of 2)

Seven Days to Christmas: When Nature Does the Decorating

… then yesterday went through what was left from those fall color shoots. For this post and the next one, I put together some small galleries of those photos that remained in my catalog — mostly reds and oranges or yellows, all certainly now blown away with the passing through of last week’s winter storm.

Thanks for taking a look!

Autumn Dreams of Christmas (2 of 2)

From Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau:

“We heard the sigh of the first autumnal wind, and even the water had acquired a grayer hue. The sumach, grape, and maple were already changed, and the milkweed had turned to a deep rich yellow. In all woods the leaves were fast ripening for their fall; for their full veins and lively gloss mark the ripe leaf, and not the sered one of the poets; and we knew that the maples, stripped of their leaves among the earliest, would soon stand like a wreath of smoke along the edge of the meadow. Already the cattle were heard to low wildly in the pastures and along the highways, restlessly running to and fro, as if in apprehension of the withering of the grass and of the approach of winter. Our thoughts too began to rustle.”

From “Christmas Tide” by Eliza Cook in A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems:

Let the autumn days produce
Yellow corn and purple juice,
And Nature’s feast be spread
In the fruitage ripe and red;
‘Tis grateful to behold
Gushing grapes and fields of gold,
When cheeks are brown’d and red lips deeper dyed:
But give, oh! give to me
The winter night of glee,
The mirth and plenty seen at Christmas tide.


This is the second of two posts with photographs showing how nature gets ready for Christmas. The first post is Autumn Dreams of Christmas (1 of 2). Here we have some shades of red — deeply red maples and oaks filling the frame — followed by variations on yellow, orange, and gold. Someone, somewhere, once upon a time surely looked at sights like this and thought: hey, I should put these brilliant colors on a tree inside my house!

Thanks for taking a look!

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