Tag Archives: leaves

A meditation on a Fall afternoon

Discouragement: When you look at the big pile of leaves and realize that you still have several hours of work left to do — and there are still leaves in the trees!  

On a brighter side:  I don’t have any grass to cut during the summer.


After an autumn rain shower

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile. ~ William Cullen Bryant

Leaf After Rainstorm

Two Colors, Two views

Taking photographs of leaves this morning, I was struck by one pile, isolated from most of the other leaves on the drive, that was nearly monotone in color, with the exception of one bright orange-red leaf. I’m still stumbling through learning the basics in Photoshop, but I like the idea of transforming photographs into images that look like they’ve been painted or drawn. I haven’t been satisfied with my results yet though, as many of the finished images do not look how I envision them being.

Here are two edited versions of the same photograph, one with only the yellow-brown leaves blurred; the other with several PS “artistic” filters applied to give the image the look of having been created with watercolors and colored pencils.  In both images, I intentionally blurred the surrounding leaves so that the orange-red leaf stood out not only by its color but also by its size, shape and texture.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaves

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaves “Drawing”

I think I prefer the photograph rather than the “painted” image.   What about you — which is your favorite?


Two Leaves

I’m away for a few days. Will be back, well-rested and hopefully with lots of great fall photos, on Monday.

Looking up — or is that down?

A cluster of tulip tree leaves, brought down by the storm

I spent over three hours today doing yard work, work I had put off for far too long.   With the drought, there hasn’t been much grass for anyone to cut, but we live on a wooded lot, so there isn’t ever much.  We do have a small creek — a drainage ditch, really — that runs along our property near the street before going under ground.  Since there hasn’t been any significant rain for nearly two months, the creek bed is dry. It’s the only time in 12 years that I can remember that the ditch has been dry.

But that doesn’t mean that things won’t grow: there are plenty of tall, ugly weeds.  I finally took a weedwhacker to them today and got the few surviving blades of grass and the weeds cut down to a reasonable height.  As I was finishing up, there was a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning.   I went inside thinking that at last we were going to have some precipitation. But, the rain is a big tease.

Since the rain went elsewhere, and I was on a roll with the yard work, I attacked the leaves on the driveway with the leaf blower.  So many trees have gone into survival mood and many are dropping leaves in addition to the nuts and seeds that we usually find mid-summer.  It took me a few hours to complete clearing the tree debris.

I was feeling like I had accomplished a lot in the yard today — and I had some slightly achy muscle to prove it.   I had gone out for the evening, and upon returning, as my sister approached my neighborhood, I noticed that there were leaves and branches strewn across the road.  Oh no! I thought.  All my hard work and it won’t even look like I did anything!   But at least we got rain!  I sighed.   As we crossed the last intersection, the debris disappeared.  The base of my drive didn’t look wet.  But, as we headed up the driveway, we could see puddles and a few downed twigs and branches. Of course, I had to grab my camera.

It was after 9pm and the light was fading quickly.   Most of the shots were okay, but nothing was spectacular.  Had I more light and more time, I would have used my macro lens and worked for an image of raindrops on the leaves.   The photo above is okay and has some interesting textures but I’d have to spend a lot of time working magic to turn it into something that isn’t the standard raindrop on leaf photo.

As I was walking into the house, I noticed that there were nice reflections in the rain puddles.    How could I resist those?   The light wasn’t right, but this has given me some ideas for how I might shoot something like this in the future.  I like how the asphalt surrounding the puddle created a vignette effect.  I like how it looks like you are looking up from a pit into the sky.   I only had one or two minutes of day light left.  If only I had time to get a tripod set up, I might have created an entirely different photo.

Shadowy trees in the rain puddle

You never know what you might find






Roy G Biv



Leaf Rainbow

Leaf Rainbow: Deconstructed

Leaf Rainbow Reconstructed

The small unnoticed things

Been thinking a lot about the value of not grumbling about things that we must do. Attitude makes a difference.

Not grumbling about it, didn’t mean that I didn’t put it off. But, when I finally dragged myself outdoors with the leaf blower today to tackle the last of the beautiful autumn leaves, I was determined to do two things: 1) complete the entire task and 2) take notice.

Take notice I did and in doing so found a simple peace in what had been a daunting task. It was fun, a bit of harmonizing with nature, to take notice of the various leaves. They weren’t all “just brown”, but various shades of brown. I checked an online thesaurus that listed 27 different words for various shades of brown: amber, auburn, bay, beige, bister, brick, bronze, buff, burnt sienna, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, copper, drab, dust, ecru, fawn, ginger, hazel, henna, khaki, mahogany, nut, ochre, puce, russet, rust, sepia, snuff-colored, sorrel, tan, tawny, terra-cotta, toast, umber. I think each of those shades could have been found in the leaves on the driveway. Noticing the colors meant I didn’t notice how many times I walked up and down the hill, nor how my back ached, or worrying (aka “grumbling”) about how my arms would later hurt from trying to blow the large wet fallen leaves into one pile at the bottom of the steep drive.

Afterwards, I went back into the house to get my camera to capture some of the little, usually unnoticed things, in a large pile of brown leaves.

Each snowflake is different

Were you ever told, when you were a child, that every snowflake was unique? Perhaps the metaphor was extended and you were told that you, too, were unique — just like the snowflake.

Except snowflakes all look the same close up. They may indeed be unlike any other, but it is difficult to tell that when they are falling heavily in your yard or flurrying across the road.

I was thinking about this today as I prepared to blow the leaves off of my driveway. This is a task that I have always hated. In other seasons, I’ve paid someone to do this task for me. Since we have several varieties of trees, all shedding their foliage at different times, I usually paid them several times a season for this task.

This season is different though. I’ve been keeping leaf patrol myself.

I decided that I would enjoy the chore as much as I could. By doing so, I’ve found something much different than sore arms: the beauty that resides in the leaves.

I haven’t done an analysis to verify the unique as a snowflake theory — there are too many for that — but I think that each one, with its varying hues, its veins, its own insect-eaten damage is unique. What beauty there is in the variety. I’m not sure that I would have noticed it if not for the camera — and the damn leafblower.