Beryl's Fall 2014 Newsletter
October 16, 2014From mid to late September, Highway 61 from Duluth to Grand Portage churns with vehicles bearing fall color groupies rushing to catch the fall color before it peaks. This year, road repair interrupted their race northward, releasing long lines of vehicles in batches from enforced delays. They speed off like headstrong students only to encounter another enforced delay several miles up the road. Unable to race to anything-- hampered not by traffic, but by a fractured pelvis – I was forced to get my fall color fix in smaller doses: the aspen shimmering gold through the living room window, the wild honeysuckle in its ocher and red march across our hillside, the hoard of hungry cedar waxwings devouring the lush berries on our mountain ash trees. On September 21, Bill drove me up the Cramer Road known for its flaming maple arch where I could peer into and under the forest canopy. It feels as if I am standing within a stained glass cathedral. In the past, we've tried to capture the full sweep of mountains on fire with color, but the sights we remember most clearly are views of those mountains as seen through an iridescent film of translucent leaves or the vision of a single orange maple flirting between dark green spruces. Not everyone is satisfied with such miniatures, however. On September 23, Bill encountered a photographer marching grimly along the Oberg Loop. “Isn't it glorious?” Bill enthused. “Hell, no,” the photographer grouched. “It’s past peak. A waste of my time.” Bill wondered how he could have missed the color through which he was walking. Emily Dickinson captures, in few words, what I've been trying to say in two paragraphs and what we witnessed this morning.