Here in the Northwest we are enjoying a very belated bit of summer weather. Regardless of the fact that the thermometer hit 82 degrees today, there is no doubt that we are rapidly moving into fall. The days are shorter by hours, the sun has traveled southward in the sky, afternoon shadows are longer and the spiders are out in full force. The early morning dew clearly smells of the coming wet winter. In spite of knowing what is in store for us, I truly love the fall, and I truly love my fall garden.
At this point in the year I have given up, given in, or both. I let the slugs and deer eat whatever they will and it bothers me not a whit. My lettuce plants are all thigh high and gone completely to seed. Sadly, the basil is long gone – the slugs won that war when I wasn’t even looking. And even though the tomatoes never got ripe, the pumpkins show great promise for Halloween, and the zucchini are now the size of small submarines. It’s been a long hard summer in many ways and I now have no energy left over for keeping up the garden. All the frantic enthusiasm that accompanied my spring planting has now been completely replaced by the benign neglect of late summer. I only have energy for letting it all go to pot, stepping back, and enjoying the riot of color.
When photographers think of fall color we most often think of the Northeast and the brilliant colors of the changing trees. However, most of us do not live in the Northeast – nor will we get there this year. Therefore, you should go outside with your camera exactly where you are. My garden is full of volunteer sunflowers and yours is probably full of the same – or maybe black-eyed susans, or purple hydrangeas? You may not have red sugar maples but you may have golden aspen or larch trees. Simply go outside and enjoy the change of the season. Enjoy the last warm days of summer, the last blue skies, and capture the colors of the change where ever you are. The best image may be waiting, neglected and overlooked, right there in your own backyard.