Usually, this time of year, I’m vacationing in Southwest Florida. I love going to the gulf during October. It is still warm, but usually not too hot. The beaches aren’t crowded, and you miss the winter traffic. In fact, it’s a bit early for the snowbirds, so many places are like ghost towns. And, if you’re there Oct 15 or later, it’s Stone Crab Claw season.
For several reasons, we didn’t go this year. I thought that I’d really miss going. But, I realized the other day, that I typically remark, upon my return from the airport, driving up the leaf-covered driveway, that I feel like I’ve missed something with the turning of the leaves.
As I’m discovering this week — a glorious week weather-wise in the Midwest — the leaf-turning does happen quickly. Trees fully covered in the morning can be bare-boned by sunset. It’s been in the 70’s this week, above the average temperature, but since it was colder at night last week, the trees have received the message to stop photosynthesizing, revealing the magnificent colors that were in the leaves all along, hidden by the chlorophyll.
I remember years ago my former husband, who had grown up in high mountain desert, comment that he thought the landscape in the Midwest was boring, because everything was green. To me, that is like saying that the sky is the same color as the ocean. Yes, the leaves are green, but the maples differ from the oaks from the hickories from the firs, each reflecting light a bit differently. Perhaps it is their underlying colors, the ones you see only in Autumn, that vary the green. Doesn’t matter, though, how the color wheel of nature combines it all; it is beautiful.