Fall In Pieces

Thanksgiving walk.

Fourteen degrees as a daytime high is somewhat easier to take now that the calendar reads December…even if that same calendar assures me that winter is, technically, still more than two weeks away.

Just…pretty carrots.

We are on the far side of fall. The autumnal show is over: the leaves, having revealed their not-green alter egos, have dropped. The grass is faded and brittle, no longer shimmering like sleek fur under the hand of the wind. In September and October, the sun’s rays tilted at that singular angle, pitched to high-contrast enlightenment.

Bear-claw-marked aspen.

Low to the horizon now, the sun’s light skates, flat, over a landscape that’s given up all but its most elemental neutral hues.

Aspens below Flat Top Ridge.

On the other side of fall, back in those early days, I meant to wander among the reddening scrub oak. As with all things 2020, however, the opportunity to mingle was all too short. In a matter of days every patch of lurid red faded to ordinary brown. It’s just as well, perhaps. We walked to and in and among yellow aspens in that spectral light one day in early October. The bright spatter sizzled my retinas: a beautiful ache, and I felt like my mind just might short circuit.

Saffron crocus in the garden.

Abbreviation: that’s what I feel capable of these days.

Harvest detail.

The brief, the small, the easily framed. I am fine with fleeting. Wee is welcome.

Lone, late sugarbowl clematis.

Small bright bits, ephemera: these I can manage.

Fall, writ small.

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8 Responses to Fall In Pieces

  1. C.M. Mayo says:

    Such a lovely meditation, thank you for this.

  2. Jenny-Lynn says:

    “Wee is welcome,” what a reminder for these days. Lovely post!

    • Andrea Jones says:

      Jenny-Lynn, sometimes I just have to listen to my worn-out brain and follow its guidance. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Hi there. Autumn is my favorite season. Not too big a fan of winter. Your last photo in this essay is a beauty. Take care. Neil Scheinin

    • Andrea Jones says:

      Autumn here can be so lovely, Neil, although it’s often a roller-coaster ride–winter seems to feel like it can butt in any time.

      Our fall colors, like our summer wildflowers, are often small and secretive. Year-around treasure hunt! Be well.

  4. Thank you for the reminder of fall and spring on a day when it was 2º with the wind chill!

    • Andrea Jones says:

      Nancy, these past few days have been rough, haven’t they? I know I’ll regret saying it when things get scary dry again, but I’m looking forward to warming up and thawing out.

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