Autumn knocking

For the second day now, I’ve noticed that the leaves have started changing colors. I have been watching the trees along the pathway I walk to the bus stop every morning, and if I weren’t in such a hurry, I would’ve stopped to snap a picture. If I can, I will try to do that on a daily basis beginning tomorrow just so I can chronicle how Mother Nature majestically changes the landscape before our very eyes.

Central Park: Fall 2009
Central Park, Fall 2009


Sadly, time flies so fast during the seasons, more so in autumn. What you see this morning might change dramatically tomorrow. There are even certain points when rainfall will wipe away a whole swath of greens and leave you with a carpet full of wet leaves on the ground.  At times a robust leafy tree bursting with the colors of fall becomes a sad, bare tree after a weekend of shedding leaves.

Autumn, I think, is the best illustration of what everyone proclaims with such conviction, that life is short.  It is a reminder that what might be here today might be gone tomorrow. 

But there are those who defy the laws of nature as they say.  There is this unusual tree that I pass along 34th street around Murray Hill after the bus emerges from the tunnel in the morning which, despite its leaves turning brown and wilted, clings tenaciously to its dry leaves LITERALLY through rain, sleet or snow.  It must be some unusual property of that particular specie, but I have always marvelled at how it stands tall with those leave clinging to it for dear life.  No matter how much snow falls, and how long the snow stays — it stands like a proud old man not wanting to give in.

The mornings are colder now, the evenings colder still.  I am resisting wearing a fall coat for now — a jacket serves me well.  I always have a silk scarf in my bag anyway to tide me through the walk back to the house from where I get off the bus.  It’s cold enough not to have the airconditioner on.  Sometimes even the electric fan can be chilly.  (Me and my old bones. =) 

I like hot.  Spring and summer are my favorite times of the year.  Fall sees me hunkering down for the onslaught of the cold winter.  The only thing I like it about it really is the visual delight it gives, more so when we go for a drive in the countryside, or when I go walking in Central Park.  This year, I have a possible buddy to walk with, my serious photographer friend here at work, D, who gave me that non-digital camera a while back. =)  I didn’t get to go last year.  I am more optimistic about clicking away with my cam now that D and I talk more.

Isn’t that crazy that Central Park is a short ride away by bus (10 minutes) — and I have to plan it like a major trip?  Blame it on work, and the fact that I have to rush home to see the boy right after during the days I’m in the city.

I know I promised myself I’d take a day off one of these days to just go and do some things I like by myself.  I haven’t done that yet.  October might provide me an opportunity to do it, so wish me luck.

I’ve started thinking about my Christmas card again.  Last year, I did a zentangled piece.  This year.. we’ll see.  I will plan it this October and get it done by the first week of November.  For the last couple of years now, I’ve always hand-made my holiday cards.  Why stop now?

Meanwhile, My Altered Book has been changing quite drastically, with several additions and do-overs.  I’m now at page 96.  I’m chronicling the changes in photographs but I’ve been too lazy to upload them to Flickr and show them here.  I really love my happiness journal.   Every day I surf for passages to add to the book, I find so much wisdom out there that makes sense to me.  It helps to set my mood right in the mornings when I sit on the bus and I open the book and just pick a page with a passage and read.  Maybe I should read it at the end of the day, too.  It seems that I’m needing “calm” more and more when my day comes to an end.  Last night, I almost cried.  I held it in, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and just sat alone as the boy worked on his homework.

I try.

Rainy Day in New York

Rainy Day in NY

It was a slow drive to Manhattan for work and the sun lazily slept behind the grey clouds today.  No sign of it shining and stretching its rays.

I just love my Blackberry Curve which takes the most fabulous pictures for a PDA.  But of course I have no idea how much better the i-touch or i-phone can be as I’ve never had the chance to use it, but as far as the point-and-shoots go, my blackberry has never failed me.

So it’s rainy in New York today and I have to trudge down to the post office — that or I walk down the maze to the mailroom somewhere in the labyrinth below the ground floor which wouldn’t be such a bad idea if it didn’t mean climbing back up.  (No elevators..)  It can wait.

Days like this make me want to rush home, but thinking about the traffic we will hit on the way back makes me rethink that thought.  (Too much thinking, I know.)  It’s gotten much, much colder now and the daylight goes much sooner.  Perfect for a nap.

Autumn leaves

During my first autumn in New York in 2000, I had a lot of time to kill as I was still processing my papers to become a legal resident here.  I had taken to collecting freshly fallen leaves in different colors.  The only criteria was the leaf was clean and still fresh.

I am trying to do this again but have not been quite that diligent, more so in preserving the leaf.

I am remembering now that the leaf must be pressed in a book to flatten it immediately or within hours of picking, because doing so after it has been off the tree for more than a day would make the leaves brittle and not quite as pliable.  (And that was how my first batch of leaves turned out.)

I want to try and make my dried autumn leaves frame again, but this time experimenting with putting the leaves bertween a layer of resin on top and at the bottom to laminate it.  I want to see if laminating the leaves would preserve the color or if it would age as the unlaminated frame did.

I was tempted to stop and pick leaves this morning on my way to the bus stop, but I had to rush down lest I miss my bus.  Four trees lining one of the streets along the way had four different shades of fall.  I could have gotten quite a bag of leaves.  With rain in tomorrow’s forecast, I know the first casualty would be whatever leaves remain clinging to the branches.

As dusk creeps in..


I think of the rich colors of autumn with anticipation.  (It literally made me smile as  I typed that line.)  It’s getting dark outside now, and the sun is getting ready to set.  So gone are the past 8pm sunsets that were characteristic of summer.

I keep thinking of wanting to walk in Central Park and take pictures to document the changing landscape.  It’s just a bus ride away, but it’s cold and there’s work and there’s just no time.

Our tree-lined streets at home are also changing colors.  Glorious hues of yellow and orange and red are beginning to show.  Two years ago, I amassed quite a portfolio of photographs of autumn.  I never got the chance to follow through with the succeeding year, but I am keeping my fingers crossed I will have better luck this time around.

It is the most dramatic of the seasons as you see a colorful and very physical change in the landscape — what with the trees shedding its leaves to prepare for the winter.

I arrived in New York ten years ago in the middle of summer, and saw how glorious fall can be in a tree-lined area where the grass was perpetually blanketed by oranges and yellows.  I collected leaves and pressed them between pages of my heavier books.  I still have some of them.  I also did collages of almost-dry leaves onto picture frames which I still have, although much of their color has faded.  I am hoping to experiment with preserving the color by using some resin coating on the surface once they are done.  Ambitious, I know.

I’m all “crafty” again, hoping to find the time to actually do some of these projects.

I had hoped to work on paper basket weaving during the summer, but fall is here and I have been unable to do that.  My scrapbook project is on hold, but I am at least gathering existing layouts and mementos.  Too many things on the planning board.

Halloween is just around the corner and I already have some fall decals on my windows.  This weekend, Alan is hoping to do some painting in the living room which means another major production.  Our home continues to take shape 8 years after we settled in — and we have many other projects lined up as we have made up our minds we’re staying put.

In the meantime, I’m keeping busy with the bracelet creations.. hoping to move on to necklaces soon.  Earrings are on hold (as I have a lot of them up for sale for now.)  There just aren’t enough hours in a day, but I am making do with what I can get.