October 31, 2015
The height of Fall Color is something we wait for. We wonder when it will come.
Day to day, colors change, subtly.
It begins with the grasses. Still mostly green, then species by species, each grass turns gold or red or any of many versions of the same until the hills are covered with thousands of points of color that glitter in the sunlight, each standing alone to create a tapestry of color that can’t be captured by camera or paintbrush without looking fake or enhanced. Memory must be relied on to relish its splendor.
Sumac leaves glow red, and when the leaves fade the rich red seed pods remain behind.
Thorny locust, a cursed invasive, turns a wondrous gold, earning our reluctant admiration. The wildflowers of summer evolve into interesting pods, and the plant whose name we do not know appears in golden splashes across the fields.
Then comes change in the trees.
Wooded draws become studded with gold and red. The giant leaves of sycamores turn a variety of color, and tall cottonwood trees catch the sunlight with a golden shimmer.
There is a crescendo of color until the first deep frost, and then it’s gone. You know you’ve seen the height of color the day after it ends.
And you’re grateful.
Photos by Patty Reece