Thursday, October 9, 2008


The autumn season in spectacular fashion with nature's annual show of pyrotechnics, the explosion of red and gold that blazes across hill and valley is a sight to see. We immerse ourselves in the last great display of the year, the silent song of the leaves.
It's easy to develop a split personality in October. There's a love-hate ambivalence connected to it. We love it. Summer's heat has been tempered by crisp fall air.
I remember how happily we brought them to school and learned to preserve them in waxed paper...the red of sumac, the yellow of birch, ash and the russet and burgundy of oak and, always, the glory of multi-hued maples: scarlet, orange, vermilion, gold and even purple.
I always preferred to believe that Jack Frost painted the trees for my delight until some spoil-sport had to explain more than I ever wanted to know about the the warm, bright days encourage sugar production, while the cold nights trap it in the leaves, causing red pigmentation. Did I need to know that the decrease in chlorophyll meant less green as natures chemicals flamed the leaves?
But all that is the UP side of October. The day of reckoning...or rakin' the down side. The falling-down side? Time to gather and dispose of the dull brown remnants of glory. When the dance is done, we're the ones who clean up the dance floor! As one neighbour put it one Saturday afternoon, "The family that rakes together, aches together!"
The sight of leaves spiraling downward often inspires me to visions of innovative, if bizarre, disposal methods. Perhaps a sneaky way with a wind machine, revved up in the dead of night, to blow all my leaves into someone else's territory. But would I do that? Of coooourse not! I just always listened to the weather report, and when I heard the prediction of high winds, I prayed they, just float away, into the neighbours yard a few doors down. My problem solved!
Fallen leaves have their uses, I suppose. When I was younger we lived in an older house and would put our leaves in bags placed around our house foundations, as added insulation against the winter-to-come. It's called "banking the house" and can be surprisingly effective at reducing floor-level drafts. Now, I just see big orange bags with Pumpkins on them, filled with those hard raked leaves, to set out as Halloween displays.
Then, there are compost heaps. Compost heaps are a pain in the butt, really. Occasionally I see a well-tended heap going about its job of rotting into a compound over which a gardener, some future day, will gloat as he enriches his soil. For a moment, I might have felt a twinge of envy but never a strong enough twinge to go and do likewise. I think I'm more into instant gratification.
Then, remember when we could burn the leaves? Today, I can close my eyes and delight in that wonderful smell of leaves burning in a small bonfire at the side of the road. Then, with tired aching muscles, but a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and just the plain great feeling of going back into a lovely warm house and looking back at a job well done, until at least the snow flys and we tackle another job!!
Ahhhh, it's great living in a condo now!!! Honestly though....I do miss all the above!!

The following pictures where taken by my sister, during her trip to Algonquin Park in Ontario, this past weekend. Also some from my friend in Hamilton, and some from Owen Sound, Ontario from my Cousin. I don't think they will mind if I share them with you.

Roxanne and Kass

Now for a few lovely ones from my friend Sandy in Hamilton, Ontario

A couple more beaut's from my Cousin Dorothy in Owen Sound, Ontario

I took one of Ambleside the other day also.

That's it for today! It was fun today, but I'll show you and tell you about that tomorrow. Adios!

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West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment! In love with a wonderful husband!! A Capreol Girl from 1959-1975, Belleville 1975-1985


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