Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autumn Is Here

Today is the first official day of Autumn. I've noticed color creeping into the landscape. In some places, only one leaf has turned so far. In others, like this, there are a couple of trees that are much further along than their neighbors. I took this in the river bottoms near Barlow, Kentucky, a few days ago.

I just read recently that what makes leaves really pretty in the fall is not what I've always heard, which is a wet year. Apparently, rainfall has nothing to do with it other than if there has been enough rain to keep the trees alive. What really makes them pretty is if the temperatures have been hot enough and there has been lots of sunshine so the leaves have made lots of food over the summer. That is what gives them lots of color.

I was struck when driving through the game refuge near where I grew up a few days ago that we never really appreciate what is nearby. I have known that intellectually, but thought I was really good at avoiding the trap. However, I found myself exclaiming over how pretty things were. They're the same things I spent more than 20 autumns with, and barely noticed. What is that part of human nature that discounts whatever is "easy" in our lives? What we have near us? Convenient?

Maybe I need to renew my vow to see the world with new eyes every day. That gives ample opportunity for finding new and different when you're seeing things fresh. Why is that a struggle for us? Or is it only a struggle for me?

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