Autumn is beautiful and golden here. For a long time there was no great wave of color and I thought we'd end up with a relatively dull year for fall color 3 years running, but always there were flickers here and there. A scarlet Virginia creeper twining up into a Piedmont azalea; a sassafras in rich butterscotch and caramel tones; vivid crimson and wine accents by sumacs and blueberries. Then the leaves on the trees that hadn't been stripped by the wind came turned almost overnight. They glow in the slanting rays of the late afternoon sun. Callicarpa japonica leaves, which have never changed here before, look like miniature golden stained glass ornaments hanging from the branches. On the way to the feed store I saw a hickory clothed in its fall glory. Michael Dirr describes the color as old gold, a perfect description. Best of all, I saw a couple of perfect sugar maples. We don't have lots of sugar maples here, but those that are here really stand out. As much as I love red maples, to me nothing quite compares to the beauty of a sugar maple in fall. As I drove home, the trees are filled with golden light and cast dancing shadows on the grass. It's a privilege to be witness to such beauty.
It's difficult to fully capture the special beauty of that light on camera.
These golden days have been perfect for working in the garden.