How Beautifully Leaves Grow Old.

autumn leaves Japanese maple
black and white cat autumn leaves
autumn leaves

And just like that, the leaves have fallen and Autumn is gone. I know technically it doesn’t end until December but it feels over. The above photos were taken on October 24th when many of the trees were still clinging to the last of their leaves and that golden light was still there to meet us every sunny evening.

Around the time these pictures were taken, my brother was saying how we had had such a long, beautiful, peaceful autumn. It happens so quickly most years that, if you aren’t careful, it’ll pass you by and you notice a pool of bright leaves under a tree. But this year it stretched out for a while. Or maybe I simply made more of an effort to stop and appreciate it.

Now Sandy has swept through and left that bare look that will be with us the duration of winter.

Certain views are becoming more and more open as whole trees have disappeared over the years. And more will have to come down if this severe weather insists on creeping up so often.

And the leaves really are all gone for the season. Except for my Grandfather’s Japanese maple. We all protest when my father grumbles that it needs to come down—it’s roots are pushing up the sidewalk bricks. My Mother has an obvious attachment to it, as it was a tree her father planted. My brother and I never had the privilege of meeting my Grandfather but still feel a certain attachment to it, if only for it’s beauty.

Japanese Maple leaves always change later in the season and with such amazing beauty and fiery glow. Currently, the tree is still holding onto quite a few leaves but they are drying up and lacking autumnal luster.

Overall, this Autumn has been a beautiful one. I’m thankful for that.

How has your Autumn? Or how is Spring going, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere?

Title inspiration: “How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” ― John Burroughs


  1. Reply
    harmony November 8, 2012

    Love the quote. Our autumn is not as dramatic as yours – here in Northern California. It is the time of year that the redwoods lose 1/3 of their foliage…to me autumn will always represent the “Letting Go” season.

    • Reply
      Liesl November 9, 2012

      It’s so wonderful to live by the seasons, to learn from them. The whole cycle of things.
      Northern California is on my list of places to see someday. In your opinion, which is it’s loveliest season?

  2. Reply
    nicola lynde November 9, 2012

    Stunning. What a beautiful little kitty. Autumn here feels like its on the out too, I was just have the same thought the other day as I looked at leaves on the ground and wrapped my coat that bit tighter. The fleeting light here is the hardest thing about my move so far north but I’m trying to focus on the exciting things like christmas lights and candle lit evenings to get my through.

    • Reply
      Liesl November 9, 2012

      Thanks, Nicola. I really don’t know how people do with so little light further North.
      I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. :)

  3. Reply
    Stacy Spensley November 9, 2012

    A lovely read for my morning! In Southern California we don’t get a dramatic change for fall – it’s rained 2-3 times so we’ll start to see more green and the gum trees are about the only ones with any foliage difference. After moving here from the Midwest, it was strange, but now I’m learning to appreciate the subtleties of autumn in the desert.

    • Reply
      Liesl November 9, 2012

      Thanks for commenting, Stacy. :) I know there are equally lovely seasonal changes all over the US even if they are more subtle than that typical New England explosion of color.

  4. Reply
    Casey November 9, 2012

    Beautiful! We have snow here, it came before Halloween and we’ve got a snowfall warning this weekend. I love it though!

    • Reply
      Liesl November 9, 2012

      I love snow too. Pretty snow makes the cold winter enjoyable.

  5. Reply
    lori November 10, 2012

    what a beautiful post liesl, i love the slowing down of autumn (now that all my children are grown). the making of soup and bread, getting cozy with knitting in the longer evenings. even though we don’t have as pronounced seasons here in the central coast, it’s still there.

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