Posted by: Michelle UluOla | October 26, 2011

Phasing Faces Of Fall

Here on the ridgetop in southwest Wisconsin, Fall’s having a bit of an identity crisis this year. The Autumnal Equinox was ushered in during a drought made all the more so by the following few weeks of unusually sunny, delightfully balmy weather that might otherwise have been dubbed “Indian Summer” except for the lack of frost preceding it. Depending on latitude and elevation in the Northern Hemisphere, Indian Summer usually happens between late September and mid-November and is defined as sunny and clear weather with temperatures considerably above normal after there has been a sharp, killing freeze that ends the growing season.

While we’ve had a few mornings with light frost on rooftops, even tender plants like Impatiens are still blooming in my gardens. That scenario has me hoping those earlier weeks of warmth were simply a hold-over from the previous season, and that once we do have a freeze, we’ll be treated to an “official” Indian Summer–anything to delay the onset of Winter!

While we’ve had some rain recently, it was too little too late to facilitate the kind of colorful autumn we’re accustomed to. Many trees simply didn’t have enough moisture to hold their leaves, so rather than doing a gradual turn from green to gold, red or purple, leaves went directly to brown, dried, curled and dropped. They were so crunchy that at times when the wind picked up, their descent sounded like a heavy downpour of rain. This is the first time I recall that happening.

Despite less color than usual, Fall has still demonstrated some faces of its beauty, which I’ve chronicled in a photo-journal to share with you. Other than basic resizing and cropping, no photographs were enhanced.

Just after dawn, Ol’ Sol breaks through the clouds
departing in the east.
Just after dawn, Ol’ Sol breaks through the clouds departing in the east.

An early morning shower left a rainbow in its wake.
While I couldn’t get back far enough to capture the full arc
spread across the western sky, I smiled at the way it ended
in the top of a rare tree displaying great autumn color,
looking very much like a pot of gold.
An early morning shower left a rainbow in its wake.

The sky cleared quickly providing contrast for an already
bare tree across the street to the east of me.
The sky cleared quickly providing contrast for an already bare tree across the street to the east of me.

Turning southwest, a peaceful calm morning is in evidence.
Turning southwest, a peaceful calm morning is in evidence.

Early morning shadows cast across the
crunchy leaves in the side yard.
Early morning shadows cast across the crunchy leaves of the side yard.

 Ol’ Sol moves through the day, tree branches
functioning as an autumn sundial.
Ol’ Sol moves through the day, tree branches functioning as an autumn sundial.
Ol’ Sol moves through the day, tree branches functioning as an autumn sundial.
Ol’ Sol moves through the day, tree branches functioning as an autumn sundial.

Potted plants on the south-facing patio
refuse to acknowledge the changing season.
Potted plants on the south-facing patio refuse to acknowledge the changing season.

 Stone feet hold to their path through the leaves.
Stone feet hold to their path through the leaves.

Ol’ Sol beams overhead.
Ol’ Sol beams overhead.

The tree-branch-sundial counts off the hours.
The tree-branch sundial counts off the hours.

 Surprise visitor! A lady monarch stops by to sip nectar and droplets of water left a few minutes earlier by a very brief, passing shower. She wandered all over the mum’s flowers, allowed me to walk right up, then posed for her close-up before continuing her migration south. She’s very late in traveling through here, so I hope she made it to safety before the rains arrived later that night.
A lady monarch stops by to sip nectar.

Ol’ Sol shows off some extra colors.
Ol’ Sol shows off some extra colors.

 Sundial’s last ticks.
Sundial’s last ticks.
Sundial’s last ticks.


Ol’ Sol sinking quickly.
Ol’ Sol sinking quickly.

A flash of razzle-dazzle before saying good night.
A flash of razzle-dazzle before saying good night.

With the last blush of sunset, an orb appears in the western sky.
With the last blush of sunset, an orb appears in the western sky.

Clouds build in the eastern sky with
a small orb forecasting rain on the way.
Clouds build in the eastern sky with a small orb forecasting rain on the way.


A trio of orbs gather in front of clouds along the northern horizon.
A trio of orbs gather in front of clouds along the northern horizon.

Orbs dance in a light shower—
a particularly bright one hovers over the roof of my house.
Orbs dance in a light shower.

There’s a big party going on out in the back yard.
There’s a big party going on out in the back yard.

Friends stop by to say hello and punctuate the Fall night.
Friends stop by to say hello and punctuate the Fall night.

*********

Over a decade ago, I had the great good fortune of having allergies eliminated, but I know a lot of folks who are impatiently awaiting a hard freeze and the end of the growing season. For those who don’t find Fall quite so appealing, here’s a little ditty especially for you:

The Not So Charming Sides of Autumn

Falling leaves of gold and red,
Flutter down upon my head,
While pollen borne on the autumn breeze,
Tickles my nose and makes me sneeze.

I rake and rake till blisters burn,
Still, there’s leaves at every turn…
With itchy eyes and stuffed up head,
I wish I coulda stayed in bed!

******©UluOla 2011******

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Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing the wonderments of an autumn day in the Driftless area. Nothing better than being tuned to the natural rhythms of the land and sky. Very nice!

    Like

    • Thank you, Paul, for your lovely comments and support…always much appreciated! And I’m always happy to share the Driftless region with you.

      Like

  2. How beautiful! Thank you so much!
    Maureen

    Like

  3. Hey there! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, photos and poetry. It’s been a long, dry and very hot summer here in southern KS (Wichita) and the all too brief fall and its attendant colors are more subdued this year. I’m worried that La Nina is going to keep us in this drought which we can’t seem to shake. It’s gradually spreading up out of TX into OK and even NE KS. I hope the winter is kind to your neck of the woods. Each season has it’s own blessing. Namaste, Jeff

    Like

    • Hi Jeff…glad you enjoyed my blog. Sounds like your fall has been much like ours. Sure has been a lot of unusual weather. I hope winter is kind to all of us. Aloha! M

      Like

  4. Sistar Love,Once again you have carried me along with you on a wonderful journey via your beautiful words and awesome photos. I Love sharing the day with you *** Thank you for the heart smiles you gift me with ❤ Suli

    Like

    • Oh dear Suli, Thank you for your kind words. It’s always a joy and honor to have you sharing my journey. I hope for the day when we can do it in person! Love and (((HUGS))), M

      Like

  5. Namaste’,

    How warm and wonderful – painting the language of life at this season in both words and photographs. You are a master observer, translator and interpreter. Thank you for taking the time to share that gift.

    Shalom,

    Jonathan

    Like

    • Thank you, dear Jonathan, for your kind words and support, which I treasure and appreciate. Aloha! M

      Like


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