Trying to appreciate fall.


Appreciating fall isn’t easy for me.   It’s my worst time of year and when my SAD is at its worst.   I find fall depressing, for reasons I’ve already discussed in this post.

Most of the trees around here aren’t very pretty in the fall.   In my part of the country, we don’t get too many of the brilliant fall colors that so many people crow on endlessly about. Every year, no matter what the summer weather has been like, the trees change from green to dull brown or sometimes this ugly shade of maroon and finally to bare.   It’s a depressing sight, and I’m not a fall holiday sort of person at all so that doesn’t make up for anything.   I don’t see what the big deal is about pumpkins and why everyone gets so excited about them.   They’re just an overgrown squash and nearly inedible too.  (Gourds are a little better because they’re more interesting looking).

My dislike of fall is weird because during my teens and 20s, fall was actually my favorite season.   I don’t know when this began to change.  I also don’t remember what I liked so much about it.  Maybe I never really did, and just convinced myself I loved fall because all my friends did and liking fall was considered much cooler than liking spring.  Only old people liked spring best.  Or so it seemed at the time.  But I really am kind of old now, so I don’t have to feel guilty about liking spring best anymore.

I’m trying to like fall.   I really am.   The weather is pleasant, at least through early November (then it’s all downhill).   We do have a few colorful maples here and there.   There are actually quite a few at the shopping center where I was this morning (probably planted there on purpose for their colors).    I decided to pick up a few of the fallen leaves that are actually showing pretty colors and arranged them on a black velvet pillow for this picture.

This coming Friday, October 21, the foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway will be at its peak, and I’ve taken the day off work anyway, so I plan to drive up there and just try to appreciate the fall scenery and spend some time in nature before the dreary November rains come and finally winter is once again upon us.

The progression of autumn: November 5

This is the last post in this series. Enjoy!




Previous posts in this series:
October 24th:
October 17th:
October 7th:
September 27th:
September 20th:
September 13th:
September 7th:

The progression of autumn: October 17

I got some good ones today! I think the season’s at it’s peak in western NC. Sorry — there was no post last week.
Click the photos to enlarge.



By the lake.

Fallow field.

Another one by the lake.

Previous posts in this series:
October 7th:
September 27th:
September 20th:
September 13th:
September 7th:

The progression of autumn: October 7

This was the first perfect fall day this year. More brilliant colors are showing now, especially yellow, and the day was warm and sunny with no humidity. My spirits were a bit higher today because of the brilliant sunshine and I even spent a little time on my front porch when I got home, just enjoying the perfect weather and the scenery.
I didn’t bother taking pictures this past weekend because it was still rainy and there wasn’t anything really spectacular to take pictures of.
Because of all the rain we had over the past two weeks, the grass also needed a mow.





Previous posts in this series:
September 27th:
September 20th:
September 13th:
September 7th:

The progression of autumn: September 20

A few scenes around my house today. The trees are showing a lot of red.





Previous posts in this series:
September 13th:
September 7th:

Summer into Fall: The Progression of Autumn: September 7

If you’ve been around here awhile, you may remember my “Progression of Spring” series, which I ran weekly from early March through early May. That series was a lot of fun for me, because spring is my favorite season. I love the way everything comes alive, the flowers are blooming, the days are getting warmer and longer, and the heavy winter clothing can finally be put away.

I don’t get as excited about Fall, because although it’s pretty (at least through early November or so), it depresses me. The days are growing shorter, the changes (to me) aren’t as spectacular as those in the spring (the changing colors–which are shortlived–just mean the leaves are about to die and fall to the ground to rot), and although the cooler temperatures are a relief after the hot days of summer, it also means the ice and snow aren’t far behind. You may have guessed I’m not a big fan of winter.

I do like Halloween and Thanksgiving, but the string of holidays during the Fall (including the ridiculously overblown and overcommercialized Christmas season), fail to bring that much cheer to the depressing, gloomy, cold chill of late fall with all its monotonous dark browns and gray overcast skies and long freezing nights.

All that being said, autumn is still pretty, so I decided to start a Progression of Autumn series. This is the first installment. Maybe by doing this, I’ll start to appreciate it more!

This year has been a strange one: Fall came early. I started noticing the trees changing colors as early as mid-August. Obviously this wasn’t due to cool temperatures since it’s still swelteringly hot, but probably having such a dry summer that stressed the trees.

So this is the first set of photos I took for this series, which I’ll try to continue each week until things start to look like winter again (ugh).

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Early changing colors.

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Crabapples on these trees!

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Early evening, around 5:30 PM

Has anyone noticed the trees are already changing color?


It’s still only August, but it seems like autumn has arrived early. I first noticed about 2 weeks ago that many of the trees in this area (western NC, US) are already changing to their fall colors. Normally this doesn’t start to happen in this part of the country until mid-late September, so this is about a month ahead of time.

It’s been swelteringly hot (and only in the past week have I noticed it’s getting a bit cool at night and in the early morning), so I don’t think the temperature has anything to do with what’s happening to the trees. Someone told me this can happen when the weather is very dry too, because without enough water, the trees can’t produce chlorophyll, which is what makes them green. We’ve had little rain this summer, so perhaps this is the reason.

Spring is just autumn in reverse!

October or April?
Photo credit: Deer browsing in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park courtesy of

I have noticed this too, especially this year because of the weekly “Progression of Spring” series I’ve been doing. It seems to be one of those things people just never take the time to notice. The “fall” colors are more muted, but they’re there.

Spring is Just Autumn in Reverse
By Richard Weisser

When we think of spring and photography, we usually think about all of the wonderful and colorful blooms that burst forth in our neighborhood. It is truly beautiful and I take as many photos of flowers in spring as I can.

But some years back, I also noticed that trees had a unique quality during the leafing process. As they initially set their seeds, they assume autumn-like hues for a very short period of time.

They can appear red, orange and yellow with a translucent quality that is very conducive to photography. The film photograph in this article, which appears at first glance to be taken in October, was actually taken in April 2000!

So while you’re out getting your spring flower photographs, why not take a second look at the trees?

After all, they only change colors TWICE a year!