The Beauty Left Behind

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Wind driven leaves filled the air like great golden snowflakes.  The air was soft and moist, unusually warm for a Virginia November.

And it was beginning to rain again.  The road and lawns, slick with new fallen leaves, glowed as golden as the forest in this muted noon time light.


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Great fronts of wind and rain, snow and ice rake across the country transforming the landscape.

The season has been rushed along its way.  No lingering, languid autumn this year. 


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No, the wind strips the leaves as they’re still turning and whips them through the air to their terrestrial demise.

You have to be out in it to fully appreciate the spectacle.

And we were.


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What could be more beautiful than driving through the golden showers of bright leaves flung against a low, grey sky?

And the world is transformed yet again; the finely crafted beauty left behind, revealed.


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Ivy and mistletoe, sculpted branches and mottled bark shine now that their leafy drape has blown away.  Tiny buds dot each branch.


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Silhouettes of vines, pods, fruits and berries etch fine figures against the sky.


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The forest’s canopy is  melting away, opening the woods once again.

Sunlight penetrates what was shaded since early summer.


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What was dense has opened; the hidden treasures of the forests revealed.


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This is our time to see down to the bones of things; to explore and discover the structure of the landscape.

Which trees harbor the nests of birds and squirrels?  Where might grapevines be found?


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And what tiny promises of spring might already be waiting along the woody limbs of trees and shrubs?

What beauty has been left behind by the cleansing winds?


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Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014


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Holiday Wreath Challenge 2014

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

4 responses to “The Beauty Left Behind

  1. You’ve some really fantastic photos here, Elizabeth! The pond reflections and marsh grass are particularly stunning. I need to get outside again, if it would only stop raining! Today was unbearably gray. Your pics have cheered me up!

    • So happy to have some small part in cheering you up, Eliza. And thank you for the kind words. I hope you’ll have a clear day soon, and warmer temps, too. Do you have any color left in your trees? Our Ginkos are just turning that outrageous shade of golden yellow which takes one’s breath away. Stay warm! E

      • It is clear today, but what a windchill -6!
        The leaves are gone, except a few oak and beech that will hang on all winter, but they are a dull brown. Brown and gray, yep, that’s November!
        I know what you mean about the gingkos, like they are lit within. Heavenly! 🙂

        • Frigid here today, but not -6! We went out to get photos this afternoon. Temps in the high 30s, but oh, the wind! I had to quit and warm up in the car. Brr! Lots of color here still, but blowing away too quickly. Stay warm! Hugs, WG

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