Recent cold nights have started the leaves turning in earnest in the mountains near me. This inviting path led along a grove of trees with brilliant colors, side by side with summery trees with green leaves. I imagine soon we will be approaching peak colors, but there are still many trees that don’t seem to have gotten the memo the season changed almost a month ago.
My dad and I used to go to the Adirondacks of upstate New York for a week in early October, the height of fall foliage there. He always remarked how he preferred a forest that wasn’t all just brilliant Technicolor leaves, but also had lots of green. At the time I didn’t agree, wanting every leaf to be super saturated and almost surreally bright.
But as time has gone on, I have adopted his perspective. When all the leaves have turned, then many are already on the ground. Now at the start of fall color, there is a riot of red, yellow and orange mixed with a subtle green that only shows signs of color if studied up close. Soon enough these leaves will also turn, but for now I enjoy the contrast. In this moment the season has paused, and with the forecast of cold there will be a sudden burst of color before they all fall down. For now I enjoy this quilt of autumn, green and brown mixed in to hint at summer that has gone before, and winter yet to come.