Friday, October 2, 2009


I love the changes that autumn brings, the cooler temperatures, the colors shifting from the bright pinks and buttery yellows of the summer flowers to the rusts and burnt oranges of the leaves, as if summer had consumed itself with growing, and now it turning to colors that, while still beautiful, are counting down the days until the frosts. There’s a sweet melancholy about it, but also—perhaps because I was a student for a lot of years—there’s a feeling of a fresh start, of renewed optimism. When I lived in High Country, I would take more pleasure drives in autumn than at any other season, to take in the deep gold of the cottonwood leaves, the fading purples of the fireweed, and the crisp air carrying the sounds of the elk rut.

Along the north shore, the maple trees turn to flame, Virginia creeper vines go even deeper, into magenta, and the V’s of Canada geese are heard throughout the days. My autumn drives now take me past fields of faded cornstalks, waiting to be cut, and gnarled apple trees studded with a few overlooked fruit. The constant in both places is the autumn music I take along on my drives. I listen to everything from Berlioz to Enya to Don Henley, depending on my mood and the weather. Today, there’s a mild steady rain and not too much wind. The sky and the lake are almost the same pewter color, the waves accented by a few whitecaps. I’m heading out in a few minutes to run a couple of errands, and then take the long way home, and bringing the Don Henley CD with The Boys of Summer on it. I used to play that one a lot in bright autumn days in the foothills—so much it reminds me of one particular stretch of my old road. But in some ways that song is even more appropriate for here, beside the lake. Here are the lyrics to the first verse:

Nobody on the road
nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air
the summer's out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets,
the sun goes down alone
I'm drivin' by your house
Though I know you're not home

Since The Boys of Summer is a song about losing love, so it seems to fit the somber mood of the day. The photo was taken at the Point Pelee’s West Beach. You can almost hear the laughter echoing, see the ghosts of the picnic gear and umbrellas. The official video to this song, with its vintage footage, is a classic, too.

YouTube video posted by StuTTgartXpreSS


Aleta said...

The air being cool, does bring a fresh sense, doesn't it? I love fall. We don't have winter season in New Orleans. Our winters are "cold fronts" that actually make it that far South. It's doctor weather most of the time, because you'll have one week cool, one week warm and back and forth. In the meantime, I treasure the cool weather... bring it on!

Great Grandma Lin said...

love your very descriptive words and the songs lyrics certainly do create the mood for change. fall my favorite season...especially as winter comes here we have no snow.

bobbie said...

Great video!

Sylvia K said...

My, you stirred up some memories today! Our weather is pretty much the same as yours, cool, gray, rainy. The warm colors are beginning to show up and the green colors are fading. I'm a Don Henley fan, was just listening to some of his stuff yesterday, love the video, too. Enjoy the season, Deborah!


YourFireAnt said...

Wow. Thanks for an evocative sound, a good start to the weekend.


Cloudia said...

So well written and lived!
I would ADORE to cruise with you under the geese, smelling the far buring, stopping for produce....being together with few words - or MANY!

Thanks for this lovely Autumn ramble. Hawaii skies too have a Fall tinge....but not like where you are, Deb. Enjoy and, please; keep sharing :)

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Great video. Great words... I love Autumn also, Deb... It does feel so new and fresh...


Rose said...

I would take a long drive every day if I could...the fall just seems to bring that out in me.

I cannot believe I hadn't thought of the The Boys of Summer for a fall is so perfect....I wonder if it might replace Riley's "when the frost is on the punkin" which usually goes round and round in my head.

EG CameraGirl said...

I enjoy this beautiful time of year too. Your words are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Rain here today, too. We aren't even going out. I can just see you cruising around the great great north, with your music on.

Do you have maple trees there? As the crow flies I wonder how far we are apart?

kesslerdee said...

Love the pictures your words bring and love the song too!

Quiet Paths said...

A lovely piece full of fading color and whimsy. Those are drives that really go places...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful inspiring post. There is something about autumn, isn't there? Our colors are finally starting to turn bright reds, oranges and yellows. It's an amazing world out there.

John said...

Your post of autumn tickles a part of my heart that I can't quit figure out. Maybe it reminds me of my boyhood days back in the Southeastern US. An autumn so colorful and yet so lonely. Wind and rain, but a new start in terms of the school year. Don't get that feeling here in the West. One day I might go back to feel that again, but not on a long term basis.

gel said...

Hi Deborah,

Ah, I feel welcomed and identify with this excellent post. (I'm back in blogland hopefully with a blog that will stay working.) Autumn is my favorite season. Your picturesque prose lovingly and colorfully captured nature's ritual. From your first paragraph alone, I could paint to my heart's content.

Thank you for sharing that music as well.