I have so enjoyed the autumn colors this year. I think it’s because I started harvesting color for my natural dyeing experiments. Wherever I go I’m hyper-alert to the colors of nature, looking up at the beautiful fall trees and down at the grasses and undergrowth along the sides of the road.
I’ve traveled many miles this month so I’ve seen a lot of the colors changing. In late September we flew to Eagle River, Wisconsin where the colors were just getting started. In early October I drove to Western Michigan along the Blue Star Hwy, where the color appeared to be starting to peak. Then I drove across the state to the Detroit area and back, as well as a trip north of the city to a sheep farm in Romeo. There was so much color to drink in and I stopped frequently trying to capture the color with my camera. I took the side roads whenever I could because the slower pace allowed me to enjoy the color just that much more.
No matter how you try, it seems almost impossible to capture the intensity and variety of color in nature. I kept thinking I’d just passed the most amazing picture and every time I did stop, it didn’t seem like I’d found the perfect shot. At some point I decided the red of my car fit quite nicely into the autumn palette.
It’s not just the trees that caught my attention, but the undergrowth blooming with more delicate color.
And then, a different kind of color in the Lake Michigan sunset…
And back home, the colors harvested from my late autumn garden.
And Black-eyed Susan’s moved from where they popped up spontaneously in my raised vegetable bed to a more appropriate place next to their image painted on the garage.
One last trip up to close Balgownie, Mrs. Bendelow’s cottage in South Haven, at the end of the peak color was magnificent. Cranberry fields and more stunning trees.
A trip to the “arboreto” was full of subtle colors:
I’m trying to squeeze every bit of color out of every day right now. It’s been a spectacular fall, but I know it is going to be over soon. And then there will be a lot of gray days ahead and even on the bright sunny days, daylight will be limited. We’re heading toward the winter solstice (and the end of the world too on Anne’s 21st birthday, 12-21-2012.) Winter is sewing time so there will still be lots of color in my life! I will so need it by then.
In the meantime, here are my latest coloring projects, left to right: aspen leaves, sumac, and marigolds and the colors they produced.