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Lothlorien Lies in my Backyard

 Today is one of my favorite autumn days.  There is no set date on the calendar, and it doesn't happen every year - indeed, I feared it might not this year as it's been a very erratic fall - but I wait for it with eager anticipation.  It's the day the Golden Wood appears, Brigadoon-like, behind our house.

The tall trees in this area are mostly maple and oak.  They put on a lovely show, glowing in shades of orange and red.  But the understory trees are mostly birch, beech and poplar, all golden yellow, as are the tall maples in the back.  It takes a long time for them all to turn, and I'm always holding my breath, hoping that one set of trees doesn't lose its leaves while half of them are still green.  But, most years, they all hang on, and eventually there comes a day when they are one giant stand of gold.  Then I cross my fingers and hope - not just for no rain so the leaves don't get knocked from the branches - but for a cloudless morning.

As the sun slants across the wood, it lights up from the inside.  There are just no words to describe it, and I'm afraid photographs don't do it justice either (though I sent Mr. L out this morning with his camera to try . . . here's the best of his attempts below the cut).  

When this happens, I put on my sweater and my hiking boots and go meander along the creek, just soaking it in, and fancying the elves are watching me blunder through their realm, until sun lifts high enough that the light begins to come from above the leaves rather than through their sides.  It never fails to lift me, and this year the joy was great, indeed.  

Samhain is coming soon, and there will be ceilidhs, with much music, singing and dancing to celebrate.  There will be bonfires, and roasted nuts; baked apples and acorn squash and pumpkin tarts to mark the season's passage, and the craic will be amazing as always.  But Lothlorien will disappear tomorrow - the forecast is calling for rain.  It never lasts but a few days at most.  But while it is here, I will be celebrating my new year a wee bit early.  And should you be by a wood which glows gold and hear a song floating on the air, come and join me.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
This is incredible!
Thank you (and Mr. L.) for sharing this with us.

Have a glorious Samhain!
Oct. 25th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome - and it's even more glorious than the pictures, if you can believe it. :-)

I'm committed to bringing shortbread to one Samhain ceilidh we're going to, but I'm bringing your cake to the 2nd one. I predict much singing of praises and dancing for joy. ::g::
Oct. 24th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is gorgeous! I know just what you mean about how the trees light up from the inside. The yellow ones in particular do that. And I love that stage when the leaves have turned red or yellow at the ends of the branches but are still greenish inside -- the tree looks like a leafy candle. I hope you have a wonderful walk. I'm going to be taking one later this afternoon, too; the weather is just too good to miss, though our trees are a little past peak.
Oct. 25th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
How was your walk? Mine was fabulous, and I didn't even have to wear a sweater, it was so warm!

Miss M and I raked leaves and jumped in them later in the afternoon . . . I hope you got to spend the whole afternoon out of doors, and maybe found a leaf pile or two of your own to jump in. :-D

Oct. 24th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
So, so beautiful! Thank you for sharing this magic with us!
Oct. 25th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
You are so very welcome! What is your part of France looking like now?
Oct. 25th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)

Also, we don't really get a lot of autumnal colours. Apart from the plane trees in the towns and the few unpollarded ones on the edge of the village here (enormous, beautiful things), the treescape here is largely evergreen: holm oaks, cork oaks, pines, Mediterranean scrub and so on... So that while the deciduous trees do lose their leaves, the overall impression remains green - just rather dingier than in the spring and summer. We do get some magic moments, but right now it's just grey and soggy.
Oct. 25th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)

Here, too, now. Why is it that the weather forecast is always accurate when you'd really prefer it not to be? :-P

We do get some magic moments

I hope you'll share them when they come. :-) Sorry 'bout the current gloomies, though. Still, having some green would be a relief here in about mid February. I usually end up having to go to the local conservatory, even if only for an hour, or wither from the lack of green. :-D
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 25th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!

It was beautiful indeed, Tetley, and I miss having a dog to walk in the woods with me. We haven't been able to bring ourselves to get another since MacDuff, our border collie mix, died a few years ago. So I hope you take yours out and have a nice romp (and give him or her a big scritch behind the ears for me).

And the smell - even if I were blind and deaf, I'd know which season we were in with one whiff. The sweet smell of dried leaves is one of my favorite scents of all time. :-)

I cross my fingers that the weather forecast is wrong and you'll get another sunny day tomorrow. I'd even offer to take your rain; I'll be tied to my desk anyway.

It began raining last night, but only lightly, so things have yet to come down. But, even if it storms as predicted this afternoon, I have had my day in the Golden Wood, and it will be enough to keep me until next year. :-) If the weather's nice in Germany, I hope you can get away from your desk in time enough to enjoy it!

Edited at 2010-10-25 03:33 pm (UTC)
Oct. 25th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TETLEY!!! (even if it is a few days late) :-D
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )