RETREAT

Gusts of wind gave the trees a quick cut, blow-out and style yesterday. The mountain passes got their first snowfall of the season and trees really swayed up there, plunking boughs onto the roof and deck.  I enjoyed the drama except when the lights flickered. Out the window, a gray rectangle shines in the expanse of dull gold pine needles whenever someone backs out of a parking spot. A lot came down off the trees – soon it will look like November out there. I guess that’s appropriate!

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These are Big-leaf maple leaves. The photo was processed in Photoshop with the “cutout” filter.

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When I get in the car there are often pretty leaves and things stuck to the windshield.  Snapping a photo with the phone isn’t going to make me any later for work, or so I say to myself.

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As the light quickly retreats this month, I’m compelled to look for the last wildflowers still blooming in a hidden spot along a deserted rail bed. I have to pick some and bring them home. I just have to. The last bouquet, posing on the dashboard:

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 For my botanizing friends, Big-leaf Maple, Acer macrophyllum, is a West coast native with leaves 6 – 12 inches across – like a dinner plate. In this area it’s a common host tree for innumerable epiphytes – moss, ferns, lichens and who knows what else!  Here’s a photo from last February of a Big-leaf maple with a typically rich coat of mosses and ferns.

The late wildflowers above are humble ones: California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, which Wikipedia says flowers from February to September, (but we know better) and White Campion, or Silene latifolia. It’s native to Europe and Western Asia and North Africa but, like many plants, it escaped to the New World and it’s doing quite well over here, happily mixing with the natives.  Hmm…it’s been 19 months since I moved out here, and I guess I too am beginning to do fairly well, happily mixing with the natives…


18 comments

    • And the windscreen shot was taken with the phone – it really takes better pictures sometimes. Crisp. The magic – I do feel it! And re the wildflowers still hanging on, I remember that in NYC too – the errant roadside flower on Staten Island. And the roses in people’s yards, like in Brooklyn or Queens – they’ll often keep on giving into late November.

  1. Beautiful photos, Lynn, and I especially loved the wind-blown abstracts. You caught that sensory feeling perfectly with a two-dimensional image, bravo! The last of the wildflowers made me nostalgic for the passing of the garden season. I just came home from a trip to freezing temps and frozen flowers, but, the fall foliage is glorious. Life’s little tradeoffs.

    • It’s hard to come back to freezing temps if you’ve been somewhere warmer, but like you said, the fall color helps. I have to work more on the blurry images – they’re not so easy! 🙂

  2. You certainly captured the atmosphere in your words and your images. Funny as I’ve just been looking at a Jackson Pollock painting and your third image reminded me of it. Yep, its well and truly November here too now, lovely and sharp and icy today.

    • Good description – sharp and icy – that doesn’t happen so much around here. It’s a feeling I associate more with New York. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. I was definitely going for that flat perspective & all over pattern but wouldn’t have thought of Pollack –


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