11 November 2002
"Yellow Tree" © 2002 New Moon
This is my east side neighbor's tree, the way it looked a few weeks ago. Yellow. Now my world is turning to gray and brown and dark bronze and evergreen. The wild brightness of the autumn is gone, and though the air is still mild, the world is putting on winter.
Yellow. That seems to have been the theme over the last three months. I don't think it's merely my impression. I think everything has been much more yellow this year, probably because of the drought. The grass became pale and yellowed. Once we got into August the yellow mullein bloomed, and there didn't seem to be much in the way of other colors after that. Though, I do remember a few purple Michaelmass daisies and some liatris along with the goldenrod...
After that the trees started to turn, but my impression is that they didn't go all bright colors this year well, a few of them did, of course, some can't help but turn deep orange or red like the sumac, for instance. But those colors are dark and they recede from visual memory more quickly, I think...
There were lots of red berries in the dogwood trees. I remember watching the starlings making fools of themselves in the branches. But dogwood leaves never turn bright.
There were impossibly red cardinal flowers blooming below the dam late in September and into October but they were secret from most eyes, I think. And once the purple of the pickerel weed was gone in early September, everything growing by the water just seemed to darken to invisibility...
The pines all shed a lot of golden needles this fall. They made the grass seem even paler. And I walked on the thick, soft slipperiness of them, swept so neatly along the edges of the roads by wind of the traffic that they seemed to be planned sidewalks.
On all my walks I seem to remember the brightness of the yellow, even when it was raining...
Yes, the general impression all around this autumn was and has been yellow. Even the last tree to turn, the maple sheltered between me and my west side neighbor, was a paling green until yesterday. Today, what leaves are left on it (it's been quite windy) are bright yellow, and falling fast. They won't outlast the day I think. And that will be the last of the colored leaves.
Yellow. What I think I'll remember most about the autumn of this year is the bright yellowness of it.
Copyright © 2002 New Moon