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.