I love Autumn. Cool days, chilly nights, and the freshest morning air of the year. I like to go outdoors the first couple hours after dawn and take in the pure oxygen that was created overnight (before the rest of the world gets busy and dumps their junk into it). Deeply breathing-in the clean morning air not only feels healthful but also gives me a sense of connecting to nature as part of it.
An especially lucky Autumn morning will be overcast. Clouds work, but fog is better. With fog, dew drips from everything and distances fade into nothingness. This soft white backdrop that increases with distance focuses one's attention on only what's nearest, emphasizing close-by trees, their leaves, branches, any remaining fruit, and rendering any distant mountains into faint impressionistic suggestions. Fog also seems to enhance the quiet of the morning as if the fog itself were a muffling compound, a sound-damping insulation packed between everything. And colors seem deeper. Dew wets the reds, oranges and yellows of autumn leaves into opaque dabs of painter's oils on the palette, while later daylight shines through the leaves and illuminates them into bold displays of fiery translucence.
I love nature, cool temperatures, earthy colors and I always favor spirit-calming stillness over a noisy environment. So of course I love autumn most! And mornings. Bright clear daylight is too bold and loud for me: a brash and busy competition for attention. Morning is a whisper, a world of quiet where whatever speaks to you is profound for emerging from stillness. Midday is like a busy Jackson Pollock painting; morning, the meaningful single stroke of a Japanese calligrapher's brush on blank paper.
Can I please live where every day is a soft autumn morning? Cool temperatures, clouds and fog, even rain (which makes being indoors feel so homey. On a rainy day, bake something, drink cocoa, and light up the fireplace. Nothing is more comforting!). And the smell of smoke in the air from other people's fireplaces adds to the romance, putting you in mind of so many sharing your delight of being warm indoors on a chilly day.
For variety, toss in a few summer days during the year, with up to about 85 degrees max. And springtime. That's good too. Springtime, when winter's bare trees get tiny buds of green on their otherwise dark bare branches. That's one of my favorite sights of springtime: the hints of green on the dark 'bones' of a tree. But that's another tale.
I took all these photos in my own backyard on the overcast, in fact foggy, autumn morning of November 26th, 2011. When I was younger I would always move my camera back farther to capture more of a scene. But then a photography teacher told me, "You can't capture everything; instead, move in closer." Now, not only while taking photos but when just passing through the world, I'm not as fascinated by the big picture but by components of it: shadows on an object, the chance perfect turn of a person's head, and the blaze of color of a single fiery autumn leaf remaining on a tree of brown. There are amazing effects of light, shadow, line, texture and color when you look close; and doing so enhances your appreciation of the world by noticing even the small stories. In fact, if you look at the 'big picture' of my backyard you'd say, "What a mess!" But these are samples of what I see there. Enjoy your autumn. There's so much to love!