October 11, 2008

Looking Around and Taking It In

The arrival of autumn has given those of us in the Northwest a few surprises this year. Our oddly warm and extended summer days, with temps in the 80's, dropped oh so quickly into chilly nights. This evening is slated for 28 degrees.

It's time to layer up and take the camera out in search of changing colors. Fall has always been my favorite season and this section of the country does it well. Deciduous trees are tucked everywhere in WA and as they begin their seasonal changes the colors can make your heart dance. This western portion of our state is an especially good growing ground for maples of all kinds, giving the appearance of fire at their peak of change. Those colors coupled with moist firs and soils are a treat for the senses.

My early years were spent where summers were very hot with fall not much cooler and little seasonal color change. The onset of winter brought unusually dense fog banks. Grey didn't bother me but after being wrapped in a few days of that fog I could hardly resist bolting. Spring was the special gift of the area. As a farming and ranching region, once the soil tilling, planting and early growth kicked off, the area became a feast of angles and colors.

On a flight home recently my seat mate asked about the colorful squared and angled shapes on the ground she sees each time she flies over the area? "What are they?" Before posing the question she mentioned coming from a town just up the road and returning often. While I explained what she was seeing, I was trying to imagine how it was possible to grow up not seeing the farms. Not noticing their road divisions, the different tilling and planting patterns and crop types distinguishing one from another. Or the endless rows of grape vines.

Practically the entire region is farm country! Hundreds of thousands of invisible acres of farm land. What had taken years of this woman's attention, causing her to look in, not out, down and not up? She was a kind and earnest person who had simply missed what surrounded her and the vastness of it all, while focusing on...something else. Not a crime, just amazing to me.

Are you enjoying the fall where you are too? It is a wonderful time of year to look out and up, draw in a deep breath and envision what the birds are seeing as they pass overhead bound for warmer climes.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Enjoyed my visit to your beautiful Blog! You are a wonderful writer and photographer...and soon a nuno felter! Hi from Mary

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