Photo a Week: Changing Seasons

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Changing Seasons

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) THAT DEPICT SEASONS.

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I live in the Northeast USA and signs of Autumn are everywhere.

My favorite indicator of the approaching fall season is what I like to call the “natural look.” The trees changing color on a daily basis.

It reminds me of the huge leaf piles I loved to jump in when I was a kid. I don’t recall having to rake them, but I probably did help. The sound of the crunch, the distinctive smell of…fall…drew me in one way or the other.

I clearly recall – one late fall afternoon in the backyard – lying face up on the damp grass amongst the fallen leaves. Watching the few clouds in an otherwise blue sky. The sun’s rays shifting. Leaves continuing to float down. I must have been 9 or 10. I will always remember this moment…I thought…staring hard…listening…trying to make sure the memory stuck.

There was also a dubious activity I took part in: hiding inside leaf piles at curbside. Dutifully raked by all the neighbors. Huge mountains of leaves…ready for the loud lumbering city trucks which came by to suck them all up every week. My game (along with my friend Kathleen): jumping out seconds before the trucks reached us. We shocked the heck out of those drivers.

Not smart, I know.

Remember, children were very unsupervised in the 60s. We played outside all day. One adventure after another.

We also got lucky. At least I did.

It was an exciting time.

natural fall

 

Other signs of summer changing into fall?

Walking downtown yesterday,  I noticed the local shops had updated their decor.

Orange is the new color-of-the-hour. As in pumpkins…and mums….

signs of fall

 

On the other hand…

During my afternoon trip to the local wholesale club, I was greeted by another type of decor marking the change of seasons.

Still orange, but not nearly as tasteful.

Definitely not the “natural look” I know and love…

commercial fall

 

[To my horror, this was also a few aisles away from a display of artificial 7 foot high Christmas Trees!! Yes, Christmas Trees on September 28th – WTH]

 

Windows

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #30: Windows

It is interesting to note what it is you miss after it’s gone.
Not appreciating its significance while you had it.
As cliché as that may sound, it can still ring true.
Which brings me to the subject of windows.

Two years ago we moved from a house into a condo. I don’t miss much about the house…but one thing I do miss is the kitchen window. Over the sink…facing the backyard. Watching the sun as it hit the trees, the grass, the deck.

My hands deep in soapy water…cleaning dishes, washing pots. Rinsing vegetables for cooking. I was a loyal spectator to the changing seasons…which appeared with comforting regularity. From my window in the kitchen.

A robin would perch on the clothesline, pausing between flights. Squirrels and chipmunks raced across the deck railing…their own private balance beam.  Over the years the errant cat from next door would creep close, sit right below and stare at me, as if to say…what are you going to do about it lady? So what if I use your backyard as my litter box? I’d glare back, the window between us. This game continuing for years.

Winter brought icicles hanging down – eventually blocking and distorting the sight of blinding piles of snow beneath. Storms poured gallons of rain over the eaves past the sill. Hurricanes hurled wet leaves and twigs onto the glass and screen. Mother Nature everywhere. Putting on a show.

Warmer months showcased children throwing balls, making sand pies, swinging on the swings, climbing on the jungle gym. Eventually cutting grass and raking leaves. Opening the window swept in sounds of neighborhood life. The whine of distant lawnmowers. Splashing in a pool. Voices…young high pitched and older booming ones. Dogs barking. Car radio volume cranked, music a dull roar as it passed by. The faint hum of traffic down the hill. Smells of steaks on a grill. Next door neighbor burning brush. Every day a little different. Every hour just a bit changed from the one before.

That’s the thing about windows.
They give you a peek at your world. If you take a moment to notice. Not just quickly glance as you hurry by. But really look. Noticing the world outside. As young children do, with faces pressed against the glass taking note of…everything.

Sometimes the sight will stop you. And you put down the sponge. The pot. Turn off the water. Slip outside…maybe even sit on the back step and look around.
Listen.
Be grateful for this patch of earth.

One of the final things I did on that last October day – almost as an afterthought – was take a photo of my view out the kitchen window.
Through the screen, crooked shade and all.

It may be the only photo I ever took from that spot at the sink…following an intuitive hunch that it would be important to me.
Like I said, I took it for granted.

IMG_3206

Although we have plenty of windows in our over-55 condo, there is no window over the sink.
I miss it.
And sometimes the world I left behind there as well.