Rich Seiling wrote a great blog on Photographing the Sierra in Autumn yesterday. I echo his sentiment that often the fleeting nature of Autumn is what captivates me this time of year as a photographer. One day, just a few hours or even just a few seconds can make an entirely different moment any time of year, but Autumn seems to be exceedingly fleeting and what might be a beautiful scene of fall color one day might be a bare landscape the next. Or the subtle color of this Nandina domestica ‘Harbor Dwarf’ (commonly known as heavenly bamboo but is not even related to bamboo) might be blazing red in just two days time.
There is so much to take in visually and I also find my sense of hearing and smell heightened at this time of year. Just this weekend the sound and scent of Eastern white pine needles toasting in the afternoon sun took me back to sleeping on a bed of these needles in a pine forest when I was about 10 years old. Cercidiphyllum japonicum (or Katsura tree) foliage released its cotton candy perfume and immediately I had a visual image of the very first time I met this species at the Seattle Art Museum in Volunteer Park. The warm mid-day breeze mixed with a cool draft off a local river on Long Island had a different scent yesterday than a few weeks ago. Autumn is an amazing transition; moments in time to become closer with knowing ourselves.