1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


My Favorite Art Gallery

Herman King  October 16, 2010

Autumn is the most ostentatious season of all. When I think about the earlier part of my life spent in the Alleghenies, that portion of Appalachia I call home, it is the glory of autumn I remember most of all. Specifically mid-October when the biggest show-off, Acer saccharum, the sugar maple, is flaunting its regal attire. Hampton Roads has the red maple, which is lovely in the fall, but no tree can approximate the beauty of a sugar maple in full October flame. Trees have ceased producing chlorophyll until spring and their vivid fall foliage is due to the impurities that can be seen due to the absence of the green elixir.. (Would our human impurities result in such an apotheosis of beauty). Like spring, fall is a favorite season for poets. There are many, such as this verse by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Stevenson may have been thinking about toasting his toes on cold frosty nights, but I assume he was also thinking of autumn foliage as art. My home the Alleghenies is a veritable art gallery in October. When I was a child there was a sugar maple outside my window that I watched diligently for its leaves to change color, I was never disappointed round mid-October. I have never seen, nor expect to see, anything more beautiful. Feeling kinda down from the bad economy, lying politicians and such? Take a trip to Allegheny in a few weeks and wash away your troubles in Nature's grand gallery. And say hello to Acer Saccharum for me.