The gentle days of Fall see the first of the change. In my part of the Appalachian Mountains we’ll see peak color in about two or three weeks. In a good color year the forest looks as though the mountains were painted to match the sunset. Brilliant leaves fill the streams in a parade of reds,yellows and golds. Among the first to turn are the dogwoods. Almost overnight the lush green leaves turn to velvety red. Small biscuits form on the twigs in promises of a beautiful Spring day when the sleeping forest will burst into bloom. I’ll be watching these buds all winter and waiting for signs of renewal.
Fall tends to bring out the kid in me which isn’t really all that hard. I look at leaves floating in the creek and I’m instantly taken back to carefree days when my brother and I hike down to the creek and race the leaves in the eddies like little boats. A stack of pebbles on the banks served as cannon balls on days that our leaf boats were manned by pirate hunters. We always found a treasure after sinking the leaves. Sometimes broken glass worn smooth by the current served as gemstones and the native painted sandstone pebbles made for good coinage. A few other things that make Fall a great time of to be I kid in mountains is the huge pile of leaves. Those were the days when Evil Knievel was at the highlight of his career. Young boys, bicycles and a pile of leaves and we had the best stunt show on the farm We raced down the dirt road and used an exposed root for a ramp and landed in the leaves bike and all. Even now as I focus my lens on the scarlet Dogwood leaves I have the urge to find a rake and pile as many as I can and with one giant leap land deep into my childhood.
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