Autumn on the West Coast

Our steep hike

The first year I moved to the West Coast, I noticed that fall was very much a yellow and brown affair. Most of the vibrant reds are constrained to tree-lined suburban streets. I am a lover of autumn and this rusty yellow has grown on me. The most stunning feature of BC’s fall forest is the sheer size of the Bigleaf Maple leaves. For example the leaf below that I found outside my office door. It is 36 cm high x 40 cm across, not including the stem.

Just look at the size of this leaf – I have a 4-yr-old here for a size reference.

I’ve had an exhausting work week, with long days, barely seeing my kids. It’s been hard on all of us. So today we announced we were going on a family hike. We drove to a nearby trail we’d seen but not explored. The kids threw leaves and maple keys off a bridge, and watched them spin into a creek. We climbed a very steep hill that zigged and zagged, covered in leaves that continued to flutter around us. We laughed and the kids squealed.

“Leaf-throwing party,” as described by my 2-year-old

My eyes ate up nature’s patterns. God is so generous in the woods, offering up intricately patterned leaves, fantastical villages of psychedelic mushrooms, verdant mossy trees and the soothing sound of a flowing brook.

For years I have loved the design of decaying leaves. Like Nava Lubelski‘s artwork featured by the Artsy Forager’s blogpost, I love the intricacy, the filigree, of these designs. I’ve seen a similar thing done by one of the artists on the Vancouver culture crawl, where she sews in the holes of fallen leaves.

October in BC

Nature stirs something in us. It sets us free to be ourselves, to act like children, to breathe at a healthy pace, and to forget about the mundane.

Nature stirs something in us.

0 Responses

  1. Thanks for mentioning my post & linking back! Love your post! This is my first Northwest Fall ( I’m originally a Florida girl ) and I have loved every second of it. I didn’t see before the connection between Nava’s work and decaying leaves– what a lovely thought.

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