Friday, November 19, 2010

The Red Season

The Red Season, 2006

We’re headed into the Red Season. I call it that because the maple tree outside my office window is about to turn red. This maple has two big days each year. The first one’s in the spring when it leafs out. That’s merely dramatic, the transition from bare limbs to buds or a full leafy canopy that shades the porch and patio through the summer. The other’s in November when, usually in the space of a single day, all the leaves go from fading green to bright red.

The transition is thrilling, not the least because it’s also short-lived. I try to be in town to see it happen because almost as quickly as the leaves on this maple change color, they fall to the ground and form a velvety carpet that lasts until the first steady gusts of winter blow them away.

About this time of year we also have some wonderfully foggy weather. It rolls in off the ocean and the Chesapeake Bay and winds its way down the Lynnhaven River to my house, where it cloaks the sky and trees in a coat of white that silences the sounds of man and nature, leaving you with just the sound of moisture dripping from the trees and a heightened awareness of things close by.

Leaf Series 3, 2006

Come spring I might tell you that spring’s my favorite season. And by all rights the birth of the season ought to be more thrilling than the time of the year when things go dormant, turn brown and nature shifts her workplace to under the ground. But for now, I’m going to get ready for Red Season because the leaves on the maple wait for no man.

Leaf Series 6, 2006


  1. It was a fitting tribute to the last election - red filled the country side.

  2. The Red Season is long gone here. We're in the Brown/Gray Season now.

  3. These photos are each just wonderful--you've captured such nuances of fall in all of them. Love "the Red Season."