Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Autumn

Autumn is always an exciting time for me; in fact, sometimes I think I should have been a duck.

OK, I don't feel a need to migrate south or be shot at by duck hunters. But I want to find fall colors (not easy when you live in the desert!) and eagerly await the Big Three (to me) holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Funny -- if fall passes me by and I just don't get into it, I don't get into Christmas, either. Autumn seems to prepare me for Christmas.

I've shown this painting before, but it's one of my favorite fall paintings, as small as it was (8"x10"/20cm x 25cm):

We don't get many of these colors in the West. Cottonwood and aspens turn a brilliant yellow, and some aspens can develop orange-red leaves, as well. But in the desert, we don't get colors at all except for those few areas where water exists and cottonwoods are growing.

However, if one travels into the mountains, one is more likely to see fall color -- yellow, anyway. (Poison ivy sometimes turns red, but reds and oranges are limited to non-native plants planted along a town road or in a yard).

This painting shows a scene along a hiking trail on the grounds of the Wildlands Conservancy, a group that, like the Nature Conservancy, acquires land and sets it aside to preserve it.

The weather has been hot in the desert, so it just doesn't seem like autumn yet. I'm hoping that will change soon!

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