Autumn has seized the countryside

Our neighbors' yards are particularly beautiful in the fall.   Yorktown, Virginia, October 2008

Our neighbors’ yards are particularly beautiful in the fall.  Yorktown, Virginia, October 2008

“The magic of autumn has seized the countryside; now that the sun isn’t ripening anything it shines for the sake of the golden age…” Elizabeth Coatsworth

I would miss so much if I didn’t get out and walk.  This neighbor’s yard, like so many, would be harder to appreciate through the windshield of a car.  Walking by it allows me to rejoice in how stunning a picture it makes.  Having a camera allows me to catch it and enjoy it again later.

As autumn seizes the countryside, I hope you will seize the moments of this golden age and save them, in memory or in snapshots.  Feel free to send us some photos or word pictures of what fall is like in your neighborhood.

One year ago today:

Autumnal sunshine




  1. Good morning, Julia! This year, the trees in New Hampshire appear to be exhibiting an interesting phenomenon. Apparently the weather must have been just right for this, but a tree will have started turning closest to the road, or some exposed area, but not on the other side of the same tree. Some even will have crimson on the most exposed leaves, then yellow behind that, and green on the rest of the tree. Other trees are catching up now, but the effect prior to the rest of the trees turning was similar to seeing someone with a one-sided sunburn amongst a bunch of pale office workers. 🙂

    • Susan, that is so interesting – I saw a tree very similar to what you describe when I stopped along the Natchez Trace Parkway recently. It was crimson on about 1/3 of the leaves, those directly facing the road, and the rest green, and surrounded by other green trees. Almost as if a giant vandal had taken a can of spray paint to it! I took photos of it and intended to ask someone who knows trees, how that sort of isolated color change could happen. Maybe I have just never noticed it before, but it was striking to see. I wonder if the surrounding trees shaded it and kept the sides and back from turning – but that still doesn’t explain why none of the other trees had started turning at all (and there were lots of them). I like your image of a sunburned person amongst palefaces!

  2. Kathy

    Autumn brings both agony & ecstasy. The ecstasy is the glory of the golden light through the trees, the crimson tinge on green-yellow trees and hillsides mounded with orange- brown-red forests. The agony is that I have to step on thousands of leaves, walk on without rescuing them and never press all of the beautiful ones between the pages of my giant dictionary. I want every one of them, but there’s too many! I will never outgrow the wonder and amazement of spotting the “perfect” leaf nor my childish delight in bending to touch the wonder.

    • Kathy, I agree! I tried pressing leaves between the pages of heavy books, but they seem to lose their color over time; do you have any secrets for keeping them bright? I used to iron them between sheets of waxed paper when I was a girl, and couldn’t understand why my mother didn’t want me using her iron on waxed paper! 😀 I was just sweeping the leaves from our cherry blossom tree off our walkway today. They are scarlet and so pretty! It would be nice if there was some way to capture those gorgeous colors but I suppose the brevity of their adornment is part of what makes it so special. Hope you are doing well – it’s so nice to hear from you!

  3. What a great view from home. Their yard is really big! You’re so lucky to get the vibrant reds with the golds. There just aren’t too many red leaf trees that grow well in our climate. Rather ironic given our nations flag. I’ve been out twice with my brand new leaf blower, doing diligence and bagging them all. That’s how I lost track of time yesterday. I’m so sorry to have missed our visit on Skype, I just couldn’t believe it. I was so looking forward to seeing everyone.

    Sending you a little postcard in lieu of my absence. xoxK

    • What a lovely surprise! I never thought of making a digital post card. As always, I find myself saying “I’ll have to try that” when I see your creativity. Everyone missed you and Dani last night! But we all know how easy it is to let the time slip away. For me, the afternoon would be the hardest time to “show up” so you have a tough time slot. I guess that’s the down side of gathering people from all over the world. I remember how hard you worked to get everyone’s time zone on the chart the first time we did that. But it’s worth it because it’s so amazing, at least it is to me.

      You are right, Canada is the first place I think of when I think of red leaves, especially maple. I was sweeping my walkway today where the red cherry tree leaves were everywhere. I do love so many of the homes in our York neighborhood. There are some huge lots and quite a few people spend much time on their yards and gardens. When we first moved from California I quit walking because I was used to walking every day in a park with a sidewalk (neither of which we have nearby), but I was soon drawn outdoors by the lovely homes and the friendliness of seeing people out walking dogs and working on their yards.

  4. Great photo, Julia.
    But, it IS better to be in the beauty of autumn, rather then viewing it in a photo.

    • I agree! I have been caught up with a lot of household projects lately and haven’t had as much time outdoors as I would like. I can tell the difference in my mood and how I feel physically. I’ve got to get adjusted to the changing hours of daylight and plan my day a bit differently.

  5. Julia, this day of sunbeams, wonderful temps, people outdoors, early evening grilling, after dinner walk with Bill and Jack just made for a day to remember. 🙂 Your street is beautiful in every season!

    • Sheila, I love hearing about your day, especially since mine was spent on bathroom renovations that turned out to be much more complicated than we thought at first. I hate it when builders are too cheap to finish the tile floor underneath the vanity! Now we have a new one that doesn’t go all the way to the floor and we are going to have to find tile to match…no luck so far…plus our granite counter top turned out to be cracked when they took it out of the carton! Matt will have to use the guest bathroom awhile longer. Oh well, the good part is that after all Jeff has been through, this kind of irritation never bothers us much anymore. BUT your day sounds way, way better! Thanks for letting me have a vicarious moment or two on the beach tonight!

  6. Thank you for your nice message J. I really missed you all too. I’ve been late on things all week. Racing to work, running out of showers to appointments and today I took Alys’s Birthday gift to UPS to mail, thinking it was 2 days with UPS. No such luck, now I’m late on that too 😦 It’s been one of those weeks.

    It’s easy to see more colour in Ontario, Quebec and BC. They enjoy milder climates than the Prairie Provinces, so they do represent all the colours in the spectrum in the Fall. Many private yards in Edmonton will have lots of colour in them but Maples don’t appear naturally in our river valley though. There are a few varieties sold at good greenhouses, I’ve not tried one because they’re prone to attack by aphids and I never wanted to attract them to my garden.

    When we lived in the country, there weren’t any sidewalks either. We’d sometimes jump into the forest, where Buddy loved to run along the trails. He’d have the biggest smile on his face. I really do love wandering thru neighbourhoods and admiring the landscaping and the entry ways. I like to see what colours they’ve put together on their facade. Do you read Diane has just changed the facade of her 100 year old home, I love the change even though I thought the previous facade was very nice too. Here’s her post xoxox

    • Thanks for the link, I loved it! I am following that blog but as with all the others I am so far behind I might as well not be following. I was thinking of everybody out in blog land tonight while I was taking my walk, and so many I need to go check up and and see what they are up to. Don’t worry too much about Alys’ gift being late – you know what a sweetheart she is (hi Alys) and besides, now she will have something to look forward to even after it’s all over. I didn’t even realize it was her birthday, shame on me. It’s been one of those weeks for me too, this “minor” bathroom renovation is making me crazy!!

      • Geeeez, I didn’t get to hear about your reno ! What’s going on? New fixtures? Paint? Cabinets? Tile? I need the skinny, the down low, the scoop 😀 I was just telling someone on another blog that I’m way too old for any more of these reno nightmares. I cringe when I think of the delays and whatnot. Hope it’s looking how you want it soon 😀 xk

        • The plan was to replace the bathroom vanity cabinet, sink and counter, light fixture, mirror, towel bars etc. But now it looks like we may end up replacing the floor tiles, too, unless we can find a match. I should have thought of that when I picked this vanity. But I didn’t dream there would be NO tiles under the old vanity. 😦 Wish us luck.

  7. Michael

    Here we have some Staghorn Sumacs with just a few leaves turning a golden auburn. It was 70 yesterday again and some plants are confused and someone said the tulips are coming up, but they may mean the fall crocus.
    Yesterday was Presiden’t Carter’s B.D. number 90. He says he wants for his birthday to see his grandson defeat Mr.Deal to be the next governor of Georgia. Also you can go to the Carter center for 90 cents and they are dedicating the new garden at the Center which I hope to see on my next visit.
    It looks like a beautiful neighborhood.

    • I didn’t realize there was such a thing as fall crocus. I might try to get some. The Carter Center is definitely worth a visit, especially if they have a new garden there. I thought the grounds were lovely when we went a few years back. It is in a very nice area, not too far from Emory and also near where Drew lives– he is close to, but not in, the gorgeous neighborhoods of Druid Hills, which you may have seen in the movie Driving Miss Daisy.

  8. Michael

    Our fall crocus are lilac and look like miniature tulips. They are in bloom now. They don’t last that long -maybe a month.
    What was the name of the soul food restaurant you mentioned to me close to the King.
    center- Ms.Bees? Something like that.
    Have you heard the expression-” squeezing more squeal out of the pig?” Is it Southern? Supposedly said by a Centenarian who is still on the job at 95- James Harris.

  9. Michael

    It’s the Busy Bee Café at 810 -ML King Blvd. Supposed to have the best fried chicken in Atlanta.

    • Thanks for the tip, Michael. We will have to try it sometime. I was thinking it was in Sweet Auburn, but it’s actually near the convention center, close to the Morehouse campus. If Jeff goes back to the Hinman Dental Meeting anytime in the next few years, it would be a great time to have a meal there. I am not a fan of fried chicken, but I bet they make a mean cornbread and cook the veggies I love best to go with it.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: