Thursday, October 29, 2015

Autumn Looks: Fallen Leaves Make a Garden Everywhere

          One of the best moments in autumn is when a big flotilla of leaves falls from some tall, handsome, colorful trees on your block, neighborhood, or especially right in front of your house, spreading their still vibrant colors all over your pavement.
            Those leaves will dry out, and the color will fail until all the fallen leaves appear uniformly 'brown, old, dead' or any number of unattractive appellations.
            But that time is not today.
            When the leaves come down it's time to look at them. All over town they're creating compositions, textures, ephemeral works of color shape, patterns, and mixtures of all these elements on the canvas of earth's surfaces. Those surfaces in densely populated ares are generally hard, impervious. But for a week or two, they'll appeal to the senses.
            Artists try to achieve some of the same effects in museums -- ephemeral, changing, disappearing -- with light machines, timers, filters, varieties of shadow and light, and natural materials that fade over time. But nature, the tilt of the earth, the apparent revolution of the sun spinning sine curves through the years, does it every year and all the time. Autumn is one its more stunning effects.         
            The same effect, a stunning transformation of the look of surfaces, this sublime cultivation of appearances, is duplicated in the trees. And while many leaves are on the ground, still many more remain in the trees. 
            It's a good time to look at them.      
            We won't have these color transformations to drink in much longer.