A Kind of Seasonal Death


On gray, flat-light days like this my eye is draw to contrasts. Sometimes I am stopped in my tracks by soft moss crowding over a rough stump. But today, it is the push and pull of color that holds my attention.


The little dog and I are on one of the Gastineau Meadows. She refuses to leave the dry trail to join me out on the spongy meadow where clumps of golden grass grow on fields of their yellow-brown cousins. She isn’t unhappy. There is pee mail to check. But her eyebrows rise with concern if I venture too fare off the trail. So, even when a clump of now-scarlet sorrel would only require a few more steps for a good viewing, I turn my back on it.


It’s hard not to witness the meadow’s fall color without thinking about seasonal death. While people and dogs continue life through the winter, these colorful plants will die back to their parent plant’s roots. It’s a practical way to extend life for the plants but it is hard not to see the end of fall color as a kind of death. I certainly feel its absence during the brown time that comes between colorful autumn and white winter.


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