Friday, October 5, 2012

Autumn's Palette Peaks

 The sun peaks from behind clouds today. When at last it shines, the trees take on a breathtaking brilliance, one where the color is both dazzling and almost dangerous, where it might be too much for mere mortal vision. This is the peak of autumn's color. The lowering clouds hint of a cold rain just off in Indiana. It is a rain that will strip this beauty from the trees.

 The maples around the parking lot of the Germantown Public Library attract me every year with their fine display. As I walk from the car, I blink at their brilliance. It seems impossible that these leafy green canopies could chameleon to something of this brief grandeur.

 This is the reign of anthocyanin, carotene and lycopene, bleeding reds coursing through once-chlorophyll green leaves. Xanthophyll, favone and flavonol paint with yellow brushes. Anthocyanin carries a clown's garb, really, dipping its single brush in hues of purple, bruised blue. It is a leafy chemistry experiment.
 If you had not seen fall leaves before you would think the world of trees gone made.

 Maples are forever my favorite: apricots and reds rule. They are the regal tree of autumn.

 You need not look up to enjoy the season. The asphalt parking lot (this shot was taken a few days ago) is littered with leafy confetti. Any artist would envy this variety of paints, the freedom to dabble in nuances of hue, blending from this to that at random. An inch is enough space to try a whole rainbow of reds.

 And these canvases! Discarded at the touch of mere raindrops, masterpieces crumpled at my feet.

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