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Walking the Morning Mile | Signs of Autumn

This morning after the rain stopped, we walked our morning mile. I noticed the red leaves of black gum (black tupelo) scattered here and there on the driveway. They’re a subtle cue that autumn is on the way. Yellow sweet gum and wild grape leaves also decorated the wet clay and gravel road. And some of the most beautiful of our fungi often appear in the cooler mornings of fall. The ironweed is now blooming, too, another harbinger of the imminence of change.

As we passed beneath the canopy of leaves overhead, water dripped on me in scattered sprinkles. I couldn’t help but begin hearing one of my favorite songs of the ’90’s begin in my head, “Holy Water” by Bad Company. And indeed, the little spontaneous showers did feel like baptism, and were welcome renewals to my spirit.

Red Leaves of Black Gum

When I first saw the red leaves several years ago, probably on another morning mile walk, I experimented with them to see if I could make a paint from them. Well, the red never transferred, but I did gain a lightfast tan color. An instable green came from a lake pigment experiment with them. These colors and this source are not ones I really need, though, as I can get tan from the rocks easily enough, and I don’t like to use unstable colors, even if I could expand my palette considerably with them.



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