The Seasons: Autumn

We live on the third floor of an old apartment building on a quiet street lined with decades old chestnut trees. There are two slightly younger birch trees in our front yard that display their most gorgeous plumage right outside out windows. From late Spring to early Autumn we are hidden from the world within a canopy of green.

This time of the year the canopy is turning into the colours poets swoon over, the kind of colours that can be seen from the International Space Station about 387 kilometers above us. (an average between its perigee 376 km, and apogee 398 km, AMSL-Above Mean Sea Level)

It’s raining here in Vancouver today. About a meter from my window is a tiny olive green bird hanging upside down on a branch so thin it’s bent vertically with her weight. She’s no bigger than a half-grown mouse and yet she has this wisdom about her that encompasses the whole tree, all the trees on our block, and perhaps the one next to it as well.

There’s something that happens to the undersides of the tree’s leaves when it rains. It’s too small an event for the naked eye to see, but whatever it is, this little bird and her extended family are of the opinion that it’s a tasty treat.

There they are, dancing among the leaves, small enough to dodge the splats of water from the rain soaked sky that trickle down through the canopy. They flit from tree to tree making their way along the street until I can’t see them anymore, no matter how far out the window I lean to catch that last glimpse of their industry.

Autumn rain is a fickle thing here. The sun will shine out from the west and highlight the undersides of the clouds in liquid fire. There might even be a rainbow, and I might see a part of it beyond the city’s rooftops, if I’m lucky enough.

And . . . enjoy.


“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns”George Eliot

13 comments on “The Seasons: Autumn

  1. s.p.bowers says:

    Love the George Eliot quote.


  2. Ah yes, Vancouver in autumn. Damp leaves, drizzle, and a cold wind that blows it all clear. Time to get out the Gore-Tex and rubber boots.

    I too like this season: days that still feel warm, and mornings that are crisp. The bright colours everywhere, brilliantly lit on a sunny day. Children kicking fallen leaves and making piles big enough to jump into.

    It feels like snow is coming here in Alberta. I’ve heard stories of drifting snowflakes seen here and there. Winter tires are becoming urgent. The shift from golden autumn to winter white will happen overnight here, and I will once again wish I’d gotten the gardening done earlier.


    • Widdershins says:

      SNOW!!!!! … We loves it we does!!!! … there’s a dusting up at Grouse Mountain. I can see it from my window … well the window at the top of the stairwell. Our apartment faces south … le sigh!


  3. jannatwrites says:

    We don’t really have fall here, so I enjoy reading all the fall posts – and especially looking at the pictures of autumn leaves.


    • Widdershins says:

      Never used to have real seasons when I was growing up in OZ either. it was only in the last few years I lived there that I was anywhere near the few places where snow fell … One of the reasons I moved here … that and Mrs Widdershins!


  4. Your home reminds me of the apartment (also on the 3rd floor) I once had when I was still single living in San Francisco many years ago. No trees outside my window, but glorious rooftops to glance over and wonder. Thanks for taking me back there for a moment. 🙂


  5. londonmabel says:

    Part of me enjoys fall, it’s so pretty and crispy. But I dislike winter so much that the other part of me just says “oh shit.”


    • Widdershins says:

      Oh Mabel, you Philistine! LOL

      I love bundling up and playing in the snow! But I do admit that’s because I spent 43 of my formative years in a land where snow only existed in far away lands that most of us were convinced were mythical.


      • londonmabel says:

        Hmph! The snow isn’t the problem… it’s the -30 degree weather, -40 with wind chill !


        • Widdershins says:

          I can see how that would be troublesome … perhaps that’s why Hobbits burrowed underground … Living in Vancouver for these 7 years has been a great way to transition from Aussie summers (weeks in the top 30’s and low 40’s) to the more radical winters that the rest of Canada face.


  6. […] an entire blog post about Autumn colours and rain, and tiny birds is a wondrous […]


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