A Joyful Experience

...from Hooghly to Hyderabad and beyond.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fall

First the air became chilly. Then the days became shorter. The wind whistled in the trees all day long. Then the trees blushed a deep red before shedding their covering, and soon all roads, lawns and fields were covered with tonnes of dried up leaves. This is fall.

Back in India, I had seen wallpapers and calendar photos of trees in fall. I knew the leaves were going to turn red and drop. However, I had no idea of the magnitude or the extent of the phenomenon. What started as a few reddish clumps randomly scattered among the vast covers of green on the hillsides when I visited Niagara at the end of August gradually grew and engulfed all vegetation in sight from big oaks to tiny creepers.

I live close to a large county park, the oldest in the US. I was very interested to see how fall comes in the park. As if to oblige me, a few maples near my house coloured up first and the best among all trees in the park. They turned orange, and one of them bright yellow. Soon, they started shedding their leaves and the whole world was a mess of raining leaves. The government tried to clean up, but they couldn't catch up with Nature. When we look at a large tree, we do not realize how many leaves that tree has. However, when all those leaves are spread over the ground beneath, the quantity seems overwhelming.

I won't say the park offered breathtaking fall colour viewing because I have seen photos of the same phenomenon in upstate New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania or even some places in New Jersey. However, whatever there was, was more than enough for me. I took a few walks through the park in the near zero temperature in early mornings to take photographs. The grass and the fallen leaves would be covered with ice crystals and frozen dewdrops.

Just as the best performance in a show is saved for the last, a week ago, after many of the trees in the park had become brown, the large tree in our garden changed colour. It turned the brightest red one can imagine that dazzled the eye in the early morning sunlight.


I wrote the above part last week and paused, thinking of a suitable ending. Good thing I did, because otherwise I would have had to write a second post on Fall. I was yet to see the grand finale of this amazing show.

By the end of the last week, the weather turned rainy and windy, and the weekend could be best described as gloomy and bleak. During this weather the trees, as if in a final attempt to protect mother earth from the weather, simply dropped all their leaves overnight! As I type this, the sidewalks are covered with several layers of leaves. So are the fields and the lawns. Most of the trees around me now have shed all their leaves. Some have a few still clinging, reminding me of one of my favourite stories of all time. Some, of course, are late as usual and are still catching up with the rest.

It's amazing how perfectly Nature's clock runs. Today, after the wind and the rains cleaned up the trees and the skies became clear again, the first snowflakes of the season arrived. They were too light and too few to be termed a snowfall, but they were noticeable and brought the news about things to come. I was in my room when I saw the snowflakes fall. I had never seen snow in my life, so I ran and opened the window and stretched my arms outside. The snowflakes melted almost before they touched any surface, and soon the sun annihilated them. But I'm still very much excited and I am dying to see the first proper snowfall of my life.

Fall was breathtaking. I hope winter will be even more so.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Abhijit said...

भीषोण शुंदोर फोतोग्राफ्स! :-)

9:48 PM, November 18, 2008  
Blogger ALAKA MUKHERJEE said...

Tomar lekha o chhobi dui e khub bhalo hoyechhe. porte porte mone hochchhilo nije dekhte pachchhi. emni korei bhalo jinish dekhte thako, amra tomar chokh diyei dekhbo. Tabe, prothom barof paray je uttejana, pore ta ghennay rupantorito hoye na jay. Barnona khub khub sundar, baro kichhu lekhay hat dao.

3:07 AM, November 20, 2008  
Blogger Monami said...

wow!!!the pictures are almost coming alive in front of my eyes:)

11:53 PM, November 22, 2008  

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