Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 27: Shades of Yellow

Hemlock Hill, Arnold Arboretum, 6:45am-8am
not cold, drafty, drizzly, misty overcast

Something delectable has perfumed the air. Is it the moist earth? The sweetness of decaying leaves?

I wander through a dim and drizzly forest of hemlocks and come upon a bright yellow-gold carpet laid out in a clearing, a royal greeting hall. A nearby tree trunk offers me a seat. It is so inviting - how can I refuse?

As I examine nature's embroidery, I regret the limitations of the words "gold" and "yellow", and regret even more the usurpation of alternative color words by the cosmetics industry.

Every leaf is uniquely shaded, and there is such a variety of orangey, ochre, and gold tones, among thousands of leaves. Together, they form an incredible visual feast. Who needs to see the sun when you have these sources of light?

Meanwhile, the bird of the day, little, brown, is feasting with several cronies in a berry patch nearby. He is jumpy, so I can't get too close. A giant truck is passing at the same time.

On the path down, I am struck again and again by stunning spreads of gorgeous yellows. My favorite spot, after the carpeted hall, is an intimate yellow room, with slender trees whose foliage is just tall and sparse enough that I can stand comfortably under a clear-yellow canopy, surrounded by porous bright yellow walls.

How to create the sound of many many shades of the same color? Here is one attempt:


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