Red and Gold

As autumn nears its end and the leaves become more scarce, the vibrant colors that set the trees on fire every day are fading. To keep this lovely season going as long as possible, I thought I would share a compilation of some of the majestic shades of gold and red I’ve had the joy of seeing this autumn.

Hope you enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Autumn Meets Winter

My last post was pretty negative about the whole situation with the snowstorm, since the blackout was definitely not very fun. But having a snowstorm in the middle of autumn also provided some beautiful and astonishing scenery. It was very unexpected to see flashes of gold, red, yellow and orange peeking out through the white carpet that covered every branch, leaf and patch of grass. Obviously I couldn’t help but take lots of pictures, so I figured I’d share some of them with you, to share the good side of the snowstorm too.

Hope you enjoy and please feel free to comment or share any of your pictures.

The pumpkins were confused...
I loved seeing the flash of orange under all that snow!
The snow was definitely piling on at this point...but the branches hadn't started breaking - yet.
Still before disaster struck - branches were still up, power was still on. Although I had to admit, whether with or without power, the sight was beautiful.
The colors were even more stunning the next day - most of the snow had melted off the trees, but just enough was left to make such a beautiful contrast between autumn and winter. And that gorgeous blue sky was the perfect backdrop.
The fiery colored leaves on the white, crisp snow was definitely one of my favorite sights. It was such an odd and unexpected mix, but truly lovely.
Couldn't help taking a close-up! Really, really loved those gorgeous autumn leaves on the fresh snow. The storm caused a lot of damage, and the blackout was pretty awful, but it also made some beautiful and rare scenery that we were lucky to see.

A Walk in the Park

Today it’s a VERY gray and EXTREMELY rainy day – I had to put that capital emphasis, because it seems the skies just decided to open up and dump rain by the truckloads, not even bucketloads. On a positive note, the rain seems to really bring out the colors of the trees and I’m lucky I get to enjoy all that beauty from my windows. So, in order to brighten things up and share the beauty with others, I thought I would post some pictures I took on another gray and rainy day not so long ago!

A few days ago I went out for a walk after the rain. I find that the rain seems to cleanse everything so colors are brighter and more stunning after a rain shower. The gray clouds also somehow manage to enhance all the brilliant autumn colors and make for amazing spectacles of nature. I hadn’t planned on walking in this park, but as I passed by, the colors of the trees caught my eye and dazzled me. Those magnificent colors beckoned me, and the further I followed the park trail, the more amazing the scene became. I was rather grateful I just happened to choose that direction for my walk, because it would have been a real shame to miss out on all that beauty.

Oh, and as a little side note: I know there are a lot of pictures of that one bench, but I just fell in love with how beautiful and romantic it looked, nestled between the trees and with all those leaves on and around it.

I hope you enjoy seeing these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pine Needle Crowns and Piles of Leaves

Moving back to the States after last living here as a kid (I left when I was 8 years old) has been an interesting and enlightening experience. I’ve been back here since then, but only to visit, and trust me when I say that visiting has NOTHING to do with actually living somewhere. In some ways I feel like my life as a TCK has been one big anthropological expedition. Hm, come to think of it, I’m sure that TCKs would make great anthropologists, but maybe I’ll cover that some other time. Being back in the U.S. as an adult has opened my eyes in a lot of ways, and has obviously led me to make a lot of comparisons with other countries I’ve lived in, especially France, as it’s the only other country I lived in as an adult. Some of those comparisons are positive and others, not so much. But moving back here has also conjured up a lot of childhood memories from when we lived in the States.

When we lived in Wisconsin as little girls, fall meant piles of leaves all over the yard. Those leaves meant a lot of hard work for dad, and a lot of fun games for me and my sister! He would rake up the leaves all over the yard and make different piles to make them easier to pick up. But before they could be picked up, we loved to let ourselves fall into the piles and just watch the leaves fly up around us. To be fair, I believe we did help him put the leaves in the bags later (I hope!), but until they went in those bags, they were a joy to play in! Another favorite of ours with the autumn leaves was to look for the most beautifully colored leaves lying on the ground. We would scour the back and the front yard, looking for the reddest or most golden leaves. And every once in a while we would fall upon a real treasure: a transparent leaf. I remember we loved those, they were something special and rare. Those leaves were the ones we would press in books to dry them so we could admire their beauty whenever we wanted.

We were lucky to have a big yard, with lots of space to run around with our dog, and a swing-set to play on endlessly, but one of our favorite places in the yard was our hidden pine tree ‘cove’. To get into our secret lair, we had to crawl or crouch under some of the low-hanging branches, but once inside we were surrounded by 2 very large and beautiful pine trees. We would sit on the carpet of dried, golden pine needles and make all sorts of stories in our heads (and out loud!). While we were sitting there, lost in our own little world, we would make crowns and even bracelets out of the fresh green pine needles. It was delicate work and a talent acquired with practice, but we were diligent crafts-girls. Those crowns would adorn our heads, and those of our parents. Our lovely and patient dog might have had one too, if we could get him to sit still long enough. He was a patient and kind dog, but not stupid enough to let us put one of those on his head! How we loved those pine trees, complices to our princess-like fantasies, secret-keepers to our hidden world.

Now in Connecticut, there are a lot of those same pine trees around as well as those glorious autumn leaves, and oh, the memories they bring back to me. The smell, the sight, those golden pine needles carpeting the floor, those beautiful pine trees, green even in the weary whiteness of winter. And those autumn trees, glowing brighter every day, slowly covering the ground in stunning shades of red, gold, orange and yellow. How I long to be a little girl again sometimes, if only for a little while. To throw myself in those colorful piles of leaves, to crouch once more under the low-lying branches of our pine trees and to make pine needle crowns while imagining stories of princesses, evil wizards and knights in shining armor.

Third culture kid, relishing the ‘kid’ part, signing off.

Welcome Back Autumn

Out with the new, in with the old,

Flickering flames of red, yellow and gold.

Clear, crisp air and dazzling blue sky,

Hear the wind through the trees sigh.

Squirrels and chipmunks scurrying around,

Picking up chestnuts fallen to the ground.

Although it is yet but a pale blush,

Soon it will spread with a rush,

Bringing with it warm flames of red, yellow and gold,

As we do out with the new, and usher in the old.

As much as beautiful spring allows things to grow,

I welcome you back autumn, for I have missed you so.