I love autumn. One of the joys of this season is the colourful autumn leaves of vines and deciduous trees. The various shades of yellow, orange, red, russet and brown are beautiful. Big piles of leaves are fun to kick. The sound of crisp dry leaves crunching under your feet and the fragrance as you walk on them encourages you to live in the moment.
The leaves are pretty whether they are still on the tree or have fallen onto the ground. Sometimes the sun shines through the leaves on a tree adding extra beauty to the sight.
Light shining through autumn leaves Image: Marie Vonow
Some locations have more autumn leaves than others. It is when you are in the places that have lots of vines and deciduous trees that you are most aware it is autumn.
For nearly two decades I lived in a dry regional city where all the trees lining the streets were evergreen, usually Australian native trees. This was practical as these trees need less water and can cope with the hot dry summers. A few people had stone fruit trees or vines in their yards so occasionally one would see pretty leaves over a fence in autumn.
During this time, if I visited Adelaide in autumn I really noticed how beautiful the leaves of deciduous trees were when they changed colour. I had always liked autumn leaves but I became more aware of them when I lived in an area that didn’t have many. Sometimes you have to be away from something to truly appreciate it.
Image: Marie Vonow
Now I am back in the Adelaide area I always take note of autumn leaves. There are leaves to admire where I live. When I am walking I stop to enjoy the sight of the beautiful leaves. I love going to the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley where there are even more autumn leaves. I take photos of them, noting the different shapes, sizes and colours.
A vineyard in the Barossa Valley in autumn. Image: Marie Vonow
Some of the lessons I have learnt from observing and thinking about autumn leaves are:
• Autumn leaves are not part of the landscape all year round so I make sure I enjoy them while they are there. They remind me how important it is to live in the moment.
• Autumn leaves are something I can enjoy for free. They are a reminder one doesn’t need lots of money to feel ‘rich’.
• Nature is good for the soul.
• Walking is good for both body and mind. I can appreciate details like autumn leaves more fully than when I am in a car.
• Whether you like or are annoyed by something is often a matter of your perspective. I love autumn leaves because of their beauty. However some people view them as messy and spend hours sweeping them up and disposing of them. Other people put them in their compost heap to rot down and become fertile soil.
Beautiful, useful or a nuisance? Image: Marie Vonow