Sunday, October 11, 2015

Peak leaf color not leaving (yet)

There are Asian Ladybugs everywhere today: inside the screen porch, inside the door to the screen porch, inside the vehicle, swarming in clouds down the road. If the old superstition holds true, I'm due for a new left ear, a new cap, a new vehicle and, depending on interpretation, a new house, or maybe not.

The St. Croix Valley around Taylors Falls either is or isn't showing a lot of leaf color, depending on where you look. Downstream from the falls, the color this morning was very sparse and spotty. Upstream, there was lots more color showing, but I wouldn't consider it peak yet. What do you think?

Taylors Falls Autumn color, St. Croix Valley, 2/11/15
Taylors Falls Autumn color, St. Croix Valley, 2/11/15
Photo by J. Harrington

Taylors Falls Autumn color, St. Croix Valley, 2/11/15
Taylors Falls Autumn color, St. Croix Valley, 2/11/15
Photo by J. Harrington

A year ago, but a week earlier than today, the area shown immediately above looked like it does in the picture below. I don't know if the difference is because this year we haven't as yet had a hard frost. If that's the case, and it doesn't appear likely in the forecast that we'll see one before this coming Friday, all week and next weekend  should be prime time for trips along the St. Croix Scenic Byway. Once again we have an example of Nature's calendar being more flexible than our grid of days and weeks and months. Think we should follow her lead more than we do? Consider playing hooky and enjoy some of the season while you can.

Taylors Falls Autumn color, St. Croix Valley, 2/4/14
Taylors Falls Autumn color, St. Croix Valley, 2/4/14
Photo by J. Harrington

One more thing, that I just realized this morning. October is national cookie month. Pick up some at a local bakery, or bake some yourself to enjoy on a drive. We can only reminisce about the smell of burning leaves, but the colors are there now. Add a day of color and cookies to your pleasant memory bank.

October

Bending above the spicy woods which blaze,
Arch skies so blue they flash, and hold the sun
Immeasurably far; the waters run
Too slow, so freighted are the river-ways
With gold of elms and birches from the maze
Of forests. Chestnuts, clicking one by one,
Escape from satin burs; her fringes done,
The gentian spreads them out in sunny days,
And, like late revelers at dawn, the chance
Of one sweet, mad, last hour, all things assail,
And conquering, flush and spin; while, to enhance
The spell, by sunset door, wrapped in a veil
Of red and purple mists, the summer, pale,
Steals back alone for one more song and dance.


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