Saturday, November 13, 2021

As summer sighs into fall

 Silent wet earth beneath dry and papery leaf quilts, woven and stitched by summer, and a new story begins.  Fall to me always feels like a time of resting, a pause, a completion, but also a preparation for the next chapter.

 In southwestern Florida it is a quiet story, bathed in cooler breezes and high-weather clouds.  The sky a different blue, more hints of violet than the turquoise of summer.

A bit tattered and faded
at the end of summer, but still thriving.
 Many shades of brown beneath my feet crumble as I step; my nose flares with the rich earthy fragrance of decomposition.  Flashes of green against the deeply corrugated oak bark: a sturdy vine, thick as my thumb, grips with tiny tendrils to climb the sunlit canopy.  Virginia creeper -- this summer it has not been creeping, but steadily pacing itself, suddenly five more feet of leafy vines cover walls and tree trunks.

 The tiny greenish-white summer blooms became small green berries, and are now a velvety navy blue on scarlet stems, ready for bird and wildlife consumption.  A few of the leaves are already blushing with the cooler weather.


The slash pine tree has added girth – almost impossibly so.  Surely ki was a slender youngster not that long ago.  Now a stately column, dressed in large plates of bark in rust and gray and tan.  The cones will be dropping soon, hiding nut-seeds under tight scales, waiting for the time to open and feed the squirrel families nearby.  Right now the squirrels seem to be feasting on live oak acorns, sea grape and coco plum fruits. 

 The fruits of summer will continue as the marlberries ripen and new acorns continue to drop.  The wild coffee and Simpson stopper berries did not last long, but I think there may be some wild grapes out there.  These are all I have to offer, but I like to think that it’s enough of a way-station among the unsafe harbors.   

 Chittering background birds.  A mockingbird flips a tail and scolds.  Anoles skitter and skate through damp leaves.  A quiet time, but still full with the sounds of life.  There is alchemy brewing as summer sighs, and autumn whispers new secrets into the breeze. 

A flash of yellow, and fluttering wings in the birdbath.

 Media used: 

Canson All-media 90 lb. sketchbook
Mechanical pencil and Micron Pigma black artist pen 01
Mission Gold watercolors




  1. Fall in Florida has its own beauties, doesn't it? It was good to see your post pop up in my feed reader. Hope all is well with you.

  2. Hi Kathy -- it's good to see your comment on my post. There has been some grieving and other issues, but things are good. I appreciate all the positive thoughts you share on your blog, thank you!