I don’t believe I’ve got a favourite season; for sure it’s not the long drawn out summer, which is encroaching on fall with its long tentacles of heat wave after wave. The change of seasons is pretty awesome, when it happens slowly enough that one can notice. Overnight droppings or risings of temperatures are too abrupt for my taste.
Let’s talk about Autumn. As far as the leaves falling: that’s been happening in my back yard since July, and I’ve got leaves piled up at least a foot deep in flowerbeds. Lucky for me, there are three big trees that give the yard abundant shade, and two of them are great habitats for squirrels—an oak and a pecan. During lunch I was treated to the sight of two squirrels engaged in a game of tag, going round and round the pecan tree. I just came inside after sweeping away the left-over droppings of green pecans—all over the driveway, pathways and porch. Yep, the squirrels are busy, and they’re not waiting for the nuts to get ripe, the impatient rodents. They scamper boldly across the yard and stop to drink out of the birdbath in between harvestings. The neighbour’s cat has given up trying to catch them; now she merely sits on the fence watching, tail twitching.
So far this year, my autumn experience hasn’t been a riot of red, yellow and orange—except for walks taken outside my own backyard, where I’ve occasionally spotted a splash of red on a fallen leaf. Hoorah. Besides being a warning to me that winter is coming with its dark and cold frosty mornings, Fall brings an array of pumpkin and gourd displays everywhere. For several years I would create a still life out of a variety of squashes, and once again this year my fingers were itching to pick up some 99c mini pumpkins to draw.
The sights of avenues of trees with their leaves turned from green to all sorts of colours has inspired me to draw and paint—and once I even focused on one beautiful leaf I found on our driveway.
Of course we can get distracted by the way the season is commercialized: everywhere around, shoppers are either loading up their trolleys with a variety of shapes and sizes of pumpkins—or the children are dragging their parents and grannies to check out the new design of witches on display. Then after Halloween there will be Thanksgiving and turkeys, followed closely by the bling bling festivities of December.
However! We can still be still, not give in to all the assaults on our senses that could possibly make us deaf and blind to the beauty of nature changing. There are loads of open spaces and trails to walk along—it’s a matter of taking some time to stop, ponder and marvel—using all our senses to appreciate and adapt to the different sights, smell and sounds. Then hurry home and get that turkey in the oven.