Autumn Scenes, Quotations, and Thoughts

Fall leaves and fruit (gum balls) of an American sweetgum tree (Photo by Linda Crampton)

September, October, and early November are lovely months in my part of the world. The trees display a beautiful mixture of colours. Their leaves turn crimson, rust, orange, yellow, or gold, depending on the species. Some contain more than one colour. A few flowers are still in bloom, and sunny days still appear. It’s a significant time of year for many people. Some interesting and memorable quotations are associated with the season.

The intensifying leaf drop as fall progresses doesn’t sadden me. I know that the trees are dormant but not dead. Even the plants that die at the end of the growing season leave seeds behind to grow new progeny.

I took all of the photos in this article in the autumn of either this year or the last one. I always have some type of camera with me when I go for a walk. Nature often offers explorers interesting sights and sometimes lovely surprises.

Amanita muscaria or the fly agaric

The leaves are not the only attraction at this time of year. Fruits and mushrooms also appear where I live and are an interesting sight. The fly agaric shown above is poisonous, but its red and white colour is beautiful and reminds me of Christmas.

A public path in my neighbourhood travels by a garden wall with overhanging chestnut trees. I enjoy looking at the trees as the growing season progresses. In the fall, the prickly fruits fall to the ground and their seeds can be seen.

Chestnuts dropped from a garden tree

Harvest festivals are an enjoyable part of fall. I still remember a related scene from the church of my childhood. “Harvest Festival” is an annual celebration in the Church of England. Vegetables and fruits were piled in the front corner of my local church in what was a very impressive display for me. I don’t remember anything more about the event, but according to the BBC quote below, it sounds like a worthy celebration. Celebrating the Earth and its gifts can be significant events, and helping others is always important.

Christians use the Harvest festival to think about how God loves the world and cares for it. Churches are decorated with the things that Christians are thankful for, and they sing songs of gratitude. They also show they are followers of Jesus by doing the sorts of things Jesus himself used to do, such as looking after people who are less fortunate. (Quote from the BBC)

Some had knocked these Amanita muscaria specimens over, but they created a nice scene with the surrounding leaves.

The quotations about autumn shown below are some of my favourites because I think they are either beautiful or thought provoking. They are all related to nature. For me, events in the natural world dominate this time of year.

The leaves are changing: I feel poetry in the air. (Quote from Lara Jaworski.)

The heat of autumn / is different from the heat of summer / One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider (Quote from Jane Hirshfield, “The Heat of Autumn”)

Lara Jaworski is an American author, artist, and crochet designer. Jane Hirshfield is an American poet and essayist. She’s also a Zen Buddhist.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (Quote from Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby)

Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar. (Quote from Delia Owens in Where the Crawdads Sing)

It’s strange to think of life starting again as nature starts to fade in the latter part of autumn, but the human celebrations that occur then can be life affirming, as Scott Fitzgerald (1846 to 1940) suggests. The Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations are full of activity and joy.

Where the Crawdads Sing is on my “To Be Read” list. News reports indicate that a movie based on the book will soon be produced. I always prefer to read a book before I see the movie adaptation of the work.

Two sounds of nature are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese. (Quote from Hal Borland)

Hal Borland (1900 –1978) was a journalist, author, and naturalist. I think his description above creates a vivid image of nature. The rustling of the leaves as the wind gusts and the calls of the geese create a memorable image for me.

Autumn shows how beautiful it is to let things go. (Unknown author)

I understand the sentiment in the above quotation, but I don’t consider autumn a time for letting go permanently. It’s more like a goodbye for now. I know that activity in the world of nature will start in the very early spring where I live and accelerate from there.

I like to see wild mushrooms of any colour

Autumn  is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. (Quotation from Albert Camus)

Albert Camus (1913 to 1960) was an author and a journalist. He has also been described as a philosopher and obtained a graduate degree in the discipline. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Camus was born in what was then known as French Algeria.

The quote above is more applicable to certain parts of the world or to certain trees than others. It certainly applies to the maple tree in my garden, which develops leaves of multiple colors in the fall. The  pattern on each leaf appears to be different. As Camus says, the leaves do resemble flowers. Autumn can be a beautiful season.

Multicoloured maple leaves in my garden in September

I always look forward to the appearance of the first buds and the activity of spring, but for now I’m happy in the fall. Once the leaves have all dropped sometime in November, the scene can look a bit bare at first. Even then there are interesting things to see if I observe my surroundings carefully, though. A nature walk is always rewarding.