Thursday, November 14, 2013

Autumn's Colors are Full of Peace

Leaves in full bloom. There are still a few on the trees.

"Geepers, JJ... don't you think the blog has been a little 'heavy' lately? Or, to use the Italian term: Pesante!" (With the appropriate hand gesture, this term says something like "c'mon please, stop, you're killing me here, enough"!)

Che pesante! Janaro, troppo troppo. Basta!

Yeah. Basta cosi! (enough!)

Heck, my parents read this blog: they are two of my five faithful readers. ("Don't worry Dad, Mom, I'm okay... really, just the usual usual, you know... I'm fine.")

Cool cloud formations!
Its time to look at nature for a while. Clear, crisp cool days, and fallen leaves. Autumn's glory is passing, but I do want to revisit a few pictures of these beautiful weeks.

Its great to look at the colors and breathe the air. Sunshine, even with its November slant, just fills a person right up.

Autumn started crazy with rain and then August-like heat. But once things settled down, all the beautiful colors came in. They turned out to be quite exceptional this year, for a Virginia Autumn.

The driveway to Chelsea Academy. No comment necessary.

If you can take your eyes off that blooming red tree, you can see the Blue Ridge.

This is our stretch of the great ancient Appalachian mountain range, some of the oldest mountains in the world. They surround us in this valley; they stand over us quietly with patient faces of stone bearded with trees. At this time of year, other colors become clear in that blue horizon.

Some of the best colors this year, however, were right in our neighborhood. I love to go close to the leaves and just look at them:

We have maples too in Virginia.

Here's a rare one that I took a couple of weeks ago: I aimed the camera at a parking lot and, zoom, voila, everybody! (Except me, of course.) It has become pretty rare to get Mommy and all the kids all together in a picture in an unplanned, unguarded moment. Unfortunately, its not very clear, and I only got Eileen's back (Jojo too, but we see plenty of her in pictures). Still, it gives a sense of how the family occupies space in the Fall of 2013. (And, yes, the big guy is John Paul. There they are admidst the colors. I love these people so much!)

The Janaros in the parking lot. The one constant over the last nine years is that odd white
minivan, the fabulous antique 1993 Toyota Previa. This is the one with the engine under
the driver's seat, and what an engine it is! This van was already old when we bought it,
and the engine had a bazillion miles on it, but it was a Toyota. After nine more years and
five kids and another bazillion miles, the engine still runs sweet! Which is just as well, be-
cause if it ever did break down, there aren't any mechanics left who'd know how to fix it
(or even how to find it). No matter; the doors will fall off this van before the engine goes.

The weather has gotten cooler since then, which requires people to wear warmer clothing in the mornings when they go to the Montessori Center.

You knew I'd find a way to get her into this blog. And the pretty lunch box too!

This time of year, when I step out my front door and walk down the street, its a bright and colorful place, with the Blue Ridge mountains rising up gently beyond the curve further down the road. A few weeks ago, there was still quite a bit of green mixed with changes:

Our street, sometime late in October.

For contrast, I decided to take another picture this afternoon, as the sun was already quite low. We often have unusual angles of light this time of year. Once the trees become bare, new vistas open up. Winter is not so depressing, really. In fact it lets us see many things we can't see when the trees are full. Right now there are still some leaves, and some color, on the trees:

The low sun speckles gold light on the shadows of the mountain.

The ground is now thick with fallen leaves. Now is the time that we begin to appreciate winter greens, like the ivy in our yard. Its all the green that's left.

Time for the rake! :-)