Saturday, December 4, 2010


"Autumn.. the year's last, loveliest smile. "
                                --William C. Bryant

The winter solstice will be here before we know it. This year it will occur on December 21 at 11:38 p.m. That's the same date that our Alaska visitors will arrive, but more about that later.

I love the above photo and those of you who have been constant readers all these years will have seen it before. It was taken when we were enroute to a jazz festival in Sun Valley, Idaho and I don't remember which state we were in at the time......perhaps it was Utah. The shot shows so clearly the path that water takes in its descent from the mountain. 

I'm sure we all have memories of particular autumns; jumping in piles of dried leaves as kids and if you're old enough, you'll recall the resulting bonfires after leaves were raked into those pyramid shaped heaps. I remember the year we, along with some members from our church, were on a fall foliage tour of New England and I fell ill suddenly with chills and fever. Riding in a bus with my head on Mr. Bob's lap, I opened my eyes now and then to catch glimpses of blazing red maple leaves that filled the whole window pane. It was the most intense color imaginable. I've heard it said that the fall color there is so vivid that even the memories of people who live in New England, can't retain the marvel of it and each fall brings a new sense of wonder. 

In the Western states, the aspens are prevalent and the quaking gold leaves are a sight to behold.

So often, people in other parts of the country express pity for those of us who live in California where, they think, we have no change of seasons.

We may have to look hard and stay aware, but I contend that we do have seasons even though the weather often turns unseasonably warm when we're least expecting it.

Our front lawn, before we moved to the Manor, would be filled with liquidambar leaves, which reminds me.......... Leo Buscaglia
used to be the "Love Professor" at USC and one autumn when students were holding a class in his home, a neighbor knocked on the door, asking Mr. Buscaglia if he might rake the leaves from his front lawn, and Mr. B. declined, but took the students outside where they all took part in carrying armloads of leaves inside, laying a thick carpet of them on the floor, from whence the lesson continued.
A nearby, Southern California sighting

Even here at the Manor, someone had the idea of strewing a few fallen leaves along a side table, bringing the outdoors in.

Just a few minutes ago, I looked out our window to the postage stamp sized park across the way and this is what I saw:

"It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. "
                                                                  ~P. D. James


  1. Beautiful! And I needed something beautiful just now, after a horrendous work day. (Gahhhhhhh!) :)

    I remember the yellow tree pictures, and I remember reading the Buscaglia story too. I loved him. That little park looks really pretty too--I love the curve of the pavement part of it before the green begins.

  2. I sure did enjoy seeing these fall shots!!!!!!!!!!!!! Snow here. A NonY Mouse

  3. I felt pressure (from myself) to read the postings I'd missed all week long as I feel like a kid who's lost her stash of Halloween candy if I miss an entry or two. No skipping this time, and never again. I laughed, I cried, found myself in awe, and learned a few things I didn't know. Really, Jane, better than any book I read before bed, and I've read some good books!

    With love from your CowTowner. Hi to Mr. Bob too.

  4. Those are some majestic shots of color there! And the first image is incredible. I haven't thought about Leo Buscaglia in years. Such a positive soul, I always thought. Happy fall--I came home to snow in NC! I'd been worrying up north that I'd run into it there, and I came home to it here! Who'da thunk.

  5. Susan H writes: Oh funny to see these Autumn photos in December. Anchorage had a very late snow fall by Alaska standards but we have plenty now, new fallen snow and sunny days that make the snow sparkle and crunch. I love the sound of crunchy snow. I love the winters in Alaska the dark makes me feel cozy. I have always thought of Justin as an old soul, his birthday is the day when the days get longer.....December 22nd. He is doing very well about not obsessing about our trip to Calif. Phone calls, "Hello Mom, this is Justin Humphrey. Aren't I doing great not talking about the trip?"

  6. Wonderful images....all the more so because they are in color, an essential for autumn photos. My favorite season, although spring comes in a close second. Karen Z