Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Colors are Slipping Away

Fall color is almost over here in northwestern Massachusetts. The other day I was out walking and all of a sudden the leaves were blowing off the trees at a furious rate. It doesn't take long and they are all gone, until next spring.


Being a color person, you can imagine how sad this makes me feel. I am now going to have to reach down into my inner depths and create all the color in my life totally by myself. Ugh, that's about all I have to say. So much work for me to do.


The beech leaves are still hanging on - they are about the last to turn here. Beech trees are native to our local forest and I am really crazy about them. In the spring, their leaves are a lovely chartreuse. As summer develops and fall begins, the chartreuse ages, then turns gold and finally a lovely toffee shade. On our "sheep trek" the other day, I passed this lovely forest full of beeches.


When the leaves start turning it is altogether overwhelming if you just start looking at each an every individual leaf. They are like little paintings that nature creates. It would be hard to paint them as beautiful as they naturally turn. I love this maple leaf - a study in contrasting colors of red and green.


All the tree varieties' leaves turn different colors and I feel so very fortunate to live where I do. No wonder fall is my favorite time of year - it's a color show every time I wallk out the door. Even the lowly weedy sumac turns a wonderful red shade. How pretty this sumac leaf is when inspected closely. The speckled texture of the rock beneath echoes the green speckles on the leaf.


Because fall is so fleeting, I wanted to document it so I could remember the colors come this winter when I am craving natural color and there is none in the landscape. I took quite a few photos the other day. Here's my first attempt at Julia Yarn Colors interspersed with autumn leaves.

As you can see, way too much contrast. It was late in the day and I didn't think the light would be so strong, but it was. So I walked the leaves and the yarn around to the front of the house and placed them on the lovely speckled rock that is the front stoop. Julia acted as a sunblock and everything looks nicer. Better color definition and much less glare.

Taking photos for this blog has really been a stretch for me. I have always snapped photos but for my large projects, there has always been a professional photographer with an assistant. I have learned some by watching them but I will never be a pro. It has been fun to capture little things and document the way I think about color for my work and this blog. But I really admire how real photographers can assess the light situation on the spot and move a subject to take advantage of the best light. I'm getting a little better at it but I still need to look at the photos on the digital screen to actually know what I am getting.

These are some of the results of a few minutes in the afternoon the other day before all the color went away.


Enjoy the leaves and the weekend.

24 comments:

Mama Urchin said...

I love that last photo. I got my copy of IK today and went straight to the article about you. The book is on my holiday wish list.

Willow said...

I love the photos of the autumn leaves and the Julia yarns. Your dyes really do capture the colors of fall.
I understand what you mean about the blogs stretching one's photographic ability. Pictures I take that I think are going to be great end up washed out or full of glare. Then one will be just right. And I don't know why.
Save up all the colors and savor them!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for sharing natures' changing seasons...it's easy to see you base so many of your creations on dear Mother Nature...her inspiration is ever the same and ever changing.
Pam.

maymomvt (or Sarah) said...

I also love the beech leaves. Our woods are in full copper color right now. My girls are out of school today--last week we waxed some maple leaves, today perhaps we'll collect some beech and pull out the wax can again. I want to pull all that color inside for a bit longer.

Helen said...

What a lovely blog posting. I 'll store some of those photos against the short, dark days.

tut-tut said...

Beautiful photos; I like the first one, then moving on the specifics.

My new Interweave Knits was in my mailbox this am! Nice article to sit down with, all about you!

ellen said...

Your photos, yarn and all of the Fall richness that surrounds you are a feast for the eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Lynn said...

Sumacs are wondrous plants, as are beeches and maples and, OK, everything. But I know what you mean about losing color in November - I try to console myself with noticing the swells and dips of the unclothed earth, with the black and gray tree trunks marching over.

Gudrun Johnston said...

Hi,
I have been visiting/reading your blog only recently and I'm enjoying it very much. I also wanted to say how great the interview in the new IK is, really fascinating to read about your journey. Thanks for all the lovely Western Mass photos too- my family and I lived there recently and are now displaced in California,we miss the Pioneer Valley and hope to return!

Marcia said...

Well, you may not be a pro but I love the photos of the yarn balls amongst the leaves. You always manage to inspire.

anmiryam said...

It's great that you're playing with taking pictures and striving to do it better -- I haven't progressed much beyond the point and shoot phase.

To my eye, the first photo works despite being too bright -- I like the way the balls of yarn merge with the leaves. I love the third photo, but for my taste the second one has too much blue from the rock. Of course, I could bame my screen's color settings, but in truth I think its my idiosyncratic taste!

Anonymous said...

I have been enjoying your blog for a while now. I just read the article about you in IK. I was surprised to see that we were both at Oregon State in 1979. I majored in Fish & Wildlife, so I was tucked away in one corner of the campus most of the time. Small world.
-punkin at needle-to-needle.blogspot.com

Suzanne said...

Those last three pictures would make great cards.

I haven't seen to many really nice reds this year. There is this one tree near a local highway that is usually gorgeous, this year, nothing. I did see some nice Sumacs on the way home from Rhinebeck.

knittingiris said...

Oh, these are AMAZING photos! I can't tell you how good it is to know that there are other people who feel the same way as I do...down to the details in each leaf, even. It really is hard to see it all dry up and disappear, to know that the colors will be...let me try to say this in a nice way...so much more subtle in the following months. I always think I'm going to try to embrace the greys, but it's not so easy, although I do usually find myself wearing more greys, blacks, and browns than other times of year.
After seeing the above comments, I'm looking forward, more than usual, to receiving my copy of IK!
Those beeches are gorgeous, by the way, and I love the way you captured the blowing leaves.

Lisa W said...

Love that last photo as well!

ellen said...

I see I'm the second ellen to comment - that never happens. Thank you so much for this lovely picture of the beeches. I've been in Oklahoma for many years and every year I miss the lovely fall color of northern Ohio. I think the beech is my favorite tree, beautiful in every part and in every season.

Simmy said...

What beautiful pictures and the colours are so stunning. My I wish we could come out again to your neck of the woods but right now to see it all.

Glad to hear about Julia's eyes and the boys will be so envious of that parade too.

Deborah said...

On my daily walks I still pick up leaves, press them and always look for the colorplay around me. I purchased your new book yesterday from my LYS and as usual, it didn't disappoint. I still receive compliments on my vests knitted from your pattern.

Katie said...

i found your blog today and i knew from your title i would love it! i would love to live on a farm, i love sunflowers...i could go on and on. Anyway, i really enjoyed reading! it sounds like life on a farm is very exciting, but very busy!

Paula said...

I love the yarn colors and those pictures are wonderful! Our leaves are all going away here in Western Oregon also. sad )o:
Happy rest of the fall ~

Susan said...

Oh my, how beautiful! I can never get enough of the fall. Thank you.

Kristin, I was just out in Salt Lake City for my book tour where I taught a class at The Wool Cabin. They had just gotten your new book in and I wanted to let you know how excited they are about it. I got my first look, too. We talked about you and your beautiful designs at length. We looked through every page together. Your book is prominently displayed right when you enter the shop. They are busily planning what to make first for store samples! It is a beautiful book. Congratulations. I thought you might like to hear about that!
susan

randi---i have to say said...

I love the photos and the addition of the yarn. So pretty!

dianehk said...

Pretty, pretty!

My copy of IK arrived yesterday. There you are! Good article. I think it will boost book sales nicely.

Now you know why I called you Franklin County's best kept secret!!!!

See you around town!

Felicia said...

Wow! Love the yarn among the leaves!