Here are some scenes from my backyard that I photographed in mid-October 2011.
This is the first time in my life that I was not living in New England in autumn. I am trying to adjust. As a naturalist, me being here and not there is not just about being away from friends and family in a new place, it is about living in a place that still looks and feels so other-worldly to me. I feel like a stranger in a strange land.
I am experiencing a blend between thinking of what I am missing that seems just wrong to not see (brightly colored fall foliage and colored leaves drifting on the wind and crisp air that smells delicious and fallen leafy).
I am trying to love this new place. I am paying attention to what I am seeing here, and trying to appreciate the beauty of it. The 2011 drought is said to be the worst since some year in the 1950s and it has caused some of the brown ugliness. Yes, some of this is ugly. Dead sixty foot tall pine trees make me feel sad. Entire oak trees filled with brown leaves worry me; are they in temporary conservation mode or dead? I'm not sure which parts of what I'm seeing are drought problems or are normal scenes of fall, to be honest.
I'm trying to shift my mindset. I am trying to learn to love this place. Perhaps it will be better when we own our own home here and I have my own real piece of land to garden and tend to?