Monday, November 4, 2013

Paying Attention

Saturday, November 02, 2013

The commonplace also deserves our attention.  Taking the dogs around the block at midmorning, I came upon a red maple in full color.  I stopped, stood on the dogs' leashes, and took photos--some against the sun, others against a beautiful cloudscape, and at different distances--in an effort to capture this rarity.  Continuing on, I immediately encountered no fewer than three more, each as beautiful or more so than the first that I'd lavished attention on. 

I walk this same route regularly, yet was almost thunderstruck today by trees that must have been in their full glory on at least one earlier walk.  So what happened?  After reading in Autumn Tints, I "knew" that red maples are about the first to turn, and sugar maples only later.  I'd attended to sugar maples in full color, and then watched them drop their leaves.  I'd paid more attention to Thoreau's description of "reality" than the thing itself.  So I was surprised.  As well as paying more attention to the commonplace, I need to pay more attention, period.

The scarlet oaks I was disappointed of at Blue Hill
turn out to be fairly common in my neighborhood.
I liked the combination of colors here: sugar maple (I think) overhanging,
paper birch, then scarlet oak in the background.

Scarlet oak.

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