Time to pay attention

T.A. Barnhart

No, not to that stuff; to something more important. The recent cold nights have brought on the most beautiful part of the year, at least in my opinion. Autumn is here, the colors are stunning, and it's just beginning.

What I love about the beginning of autumn is the juxtapositioning of summer and fall: trees still green and luxuriant with foliage next to others showing off their golds, crimsons, oranges. Here and there a few trees are completing their year and turning brown, but for the most part, the show is just getting started.

Some trees have gone full-on autumn, with no trace of summer remaining. I passed a line of trees this morning in solid, deep lemon yellow. I saw a wide variety of trees with red tips; the idea to change gradually but dramatically must be one many species enjoy. One of my favorites (and I know very few tree varieties, the oak and maple in general and I think I could recognize a lodgepole pine) is the one I think of as the Duck tree: yellow and green to perfectly match UO's colors. (Damn, I really need a digital camera. Somebody needs to send me a picture I can add to this post!)

It's only going to get better. Yes, more rain is coming, more grey days, cold unpleasant days of standing at bus stops and trudging home. Less daylight, the onset of SAD, the MSM heralding Hillary's ascent to the presidency just a wee bit prematurely. But despite all that might seem negative about this time of year, we're surrounded by the kind of beauty people sell their homes and move to Oregon to enjoy. We're already here, so don't let it slip past you as you worry about the other important stuff. Pay attention to these gifts of beauty that cost nothing but your attention.

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    Hey TA, that was really beautiful. I couldn't help but remember what the scenery was like on the way to and from and at the Dem Summit in SunRiver this weekend. Somewhere past Government Camp there was a flashy collection of trees changing their color. Oranges, yellows, greens and reds nestled in a backdrop of browns and darker coniferous greens.

    Then, the area around Sisters - the whites of the snow peaked mountains and browns and yellows of the hills as the sunset and we approached Bend. I got to take a long bike ride around the SunRiver resort area. I'd never been there before and it was a lot nicer than I had expected - there's room between the houses and paved trails that are easy to get lost on. The view from the lodge where all of the activities were held had a view across a golf course and many miles of flat yellow expanse to mountains in the distance. The air was crisp and cold and the nighttime sky was filled with stars.

    I feel grateful to have had the chance to travel so far and see such beauty and wonder.

    Hearing Earl Blumenauer speak also made the trip worthwhile along with a lot of other highlights I'm sure I'll post on the relevant thread.

    mmm, last but not least, walking in my neighborhood yesterday I stopped to ask someone for a head of their red sunflowers and they acquiesed. I can't wait to plant the seeds next spring and add to my street's color palatte.

  • Lewis (unverified)

    I am in love with this season. And in even more love with every tree I can find to look at.....luckily, in Oregon, there are plenty to see. Seems like on any given day, you can see about a million colors. I just took a few pics recently that someone may like to see. Enjoy.


  • dartagnan (unverified)

    " ... we're surrounded by the kind of beauty people sell their homes and move to Oregon to enjoy ..."

    Please don't take this personally, but I get irritated when I hear Oregonians bragging about the state's supposedly "unique" beauty. Other states have mountains. Other states have rivers. Other states have coastlines. Other states have forests. And, yes, other states have beautiful fall foliage. Compared to the fall foliage display on the East Coast, Oregon's is downright pitiful.

  • Harry (unverified)

    As an Oregonian, I am partial to our fall colors. But Michigan, especially the UP is great leaf peeping country, as is Vermont. Quite correct, there are lots of East Coast fall colors to gander at.

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