Look Around – Nature is Painting with Light, Awakening Our Senses

The Arrival of Autumn Provides Welcome Reminders of Nature’s Beauty

Fall is finally starting to arrive in my neck of the woods. Not a moment too soon. I, for one, had enough of a long, hot, dry Summer weeks ago. How great it is to feel the first hints of crisp air. Last night we slept with windows open to savor the cool night air. Halleluiah! This has always been my favorite time of year.

Such weather invites one to spend more time outdoors. We are fortunate that our back patio is completely private and very scenic. It faces a gently sloping hill covered with mixed vegetation and trees. Some we planted; some came to be there naturally. At the top of the hill is a very popular wildlife trail. We get all sorts of wild creatures stopping by to see what we are up to at the bottom of the hill. Bunches of the smaller ones live on the hill. Our good dog Lizzie reigns over it all, snoozing on the patio settee in the cool air.

I find the very best times to be outside with my hillside is quite early in the day, just before dawn, and around sunset. The light is pure magic at those times. Everything looks better. And the light subtly changes constantly.

I became something of an amateur photographer many years ago. Early in that pursuit I encountered the well-worn thought that photographers “paint with light.” Indeed, we do, but not nearly so well as Nature. I find great reminders of this in my Fall outings. It is hard to decide what is better; the ever-changing scene before me or the aroma of that crisp seasonal air.

Taking advantage of all this reminds me of another lost pleasure. Sitting back comfortably, I now spend an obscene amount of time watching the clouds. They are always on the move and changing shapes here in the mountains. Endless fascination.

We all enjoyed watching clouds as kids. When was the last time you treated yourself to this? Go do it, and not just for a minute or two. Do it today. You will find they are as beautiful and ephemeral as ever. Give yourself the gift of watching clouds purely for the fun of it.

If you share my good fortune in being in a low light pollution area, stick around after the sun has set. Enjoy the stars. I have developed the habit of stepping out all through the night and in the early morning to revel in them. The power of star gazing is endless. I am convinced that if everyone did this for 15 minutes every night, we would all be more thoughtful and humble people.

Enjoy the Fall, everyone. Should you call or email me in the coming weeks, expect a slow response. I am likely to be outside soaking all this up. An electronic interference does not stand a chance.

         Bill Clontz


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