Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bare Bones

After surviving three nights below freezing, the trees here are either completely bare or are sporting crunchy, brown leaves that resemble frisee. The house, which is surrounded by trees, is normally shrouded in green. For the first few months we've been here, I had never seen the whole of the house as I made my way up the driveway until I reached the clearing that appears just in front of the house. Everything seems so skeletal now, so exposed. There are benefits to such exposure, though. Lately, the evening sky has been aflame, and the bare trees afford me a full view from our back windows.

Few green things remain around here. I've rescued my container herbs on several evenings by carrying their crate to the garage, but they're starting to get a little leggy, a sure sign of their desperate need for a little more sun.

Soon I will have to surrender to the season and retreat to the indoors. That just ensures that I'll be drawing up more garden designs. It will also give me plenty of time to start opening the massive pile of seed envelopes I recently ordered and imagining a garden brimming with flowers next year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Season of Mists

My disappearances from the blog in the last few months may seem inexplicable, but if I shared my course syllabi (and the fact that I have 120 students) with everyone, the reason for my absences would become perfectly clear. The gaps coincide with due dates for essays. Under the heavy reading load, I find it challenging to keep up with other things. Assignments waiting for my grading pen seem to be falling from the sky in constant succession. Just as I sweep a pile of them off of my desk, others quickly cover the empty spaces all over again. That's just how it goes in the fall.

As the papers seemingly arrive in wind gusts, so too are the trees quickly shedding their leaves. Just before they do, though, they are putting on quite a show. In fact, the Japanese maples, are simply showing off. This one below normally sports lime green leaves with red stems, but once they started turning, they have been acid green, then yellow, then copper, then orange. It's incredible.

We wake most mornings now to a world shrouded in mist and varying hues of gold. I've been whispering the opening line of John Keats's "To Autumn" to myself lately, and for good reason. 

I get to enjoy these magnificent trees putting on their autumn color for weeks, even while they litter the property with those glorious leaves. I rake once a week to collect the leaves, and within a day, the area I've cleared is covered once again. It feels like an endless task, but it is completely unlike grading papers. In a year from now, they'll make the most incredible leaf mould, which just might be garden gold for someone who needs to change the structure of her soil.