Sights, Sounds & Smells of Autumn (leaves blowing and rustling as people walk on them, the corn stalks chattering as the wind…)

 

Pumpkins On A Wall 1/125 sec at f/9 ISO 800 115mm

Pumpkins On A Wall 1/125 sec at f/9 ISO 800 115mm

It is October 3rd and we are entering that blissful time of year here in the Western New Jersey USA. The days are getting shorter and Fall is in the air… literally. This morning as I stepped out of the house at 5:15am it was dark and foggy, but not too cool. Most of all I could smell the aroma of damp fallen leaves and that smell, although not very pleasant, is the smell that just gives me the vibe of autumn. There are other aromas as well, like corn fields as the dry and the smell fills the air as the sun warms the deadened corn stalks. Sounds too, leaves blowing and rustling as people walk on them, the corn stalks chattering as the wind gives them a voice. These are just a few of the sights, smells and sounds that brings the autumn season into my heart.

Below is a link to the “Backstory” of the image above. A few years back I had done a weekly series of backstory videos on some of my most favorite images.

As a side note or more of a personal story: Autumn is my most favorite season of the year. The colors are so beautiful and there is this feeling of bliss (at least for me) in the air, but there is also a feeling of urgency as I know it will not last. And when it is all gone… the colors the feeling, we are left with looking forward to the “The Holiday” season and winter. While the holiday season is filled with lights, parties, gifts, prayers and food, it is not visual. Yes I know there are lights and decorations, but it is all man-made, autumn is nature and nature is a wondrous beauty. ¬†Nature can wreak havoc beyond one’s imagination too, with storms, earthquakes, Tsunamis and so much more. But Autumn is beauty. It was the Autumn of 1984 that I was recovering from a devastating car wreck. I would spend the days sitting in my grandmother’s lawn swing that was located in a small grove of dogwood trees to the side of the driveway. After my grandmother headed off to work, me with my casts, neck brace and crutches I would perform the¬†epic task to move from the house to the swing by myself. I would drag my guitar case slowly behind me with a bathrobe belt as I made the trek. The pain and the danger of falling were the big obstacles, so once in the swing I would remain there most of the day. In my pocket a few small cigars and I would wait for my father’s cousin Carol to come by, she would bring me something from the house to snack on and a big glass of water. Then she would head off to check on my great-grandmother next door as she did everyday. Carol’s visit was the pinnacle of the time spent in the swing and on shopping day she would ask me what I wanted from the store. She said “I’ll get you anything you want, just no booze or cigarettes.” I usually asked for a bag of pretzels and a bottle of soda. Her and Bill came to see me in the hospital right after the accident, they sat and prayed with me. I had so few visitors, just a few family members and one friend, so when Carol & Bill came to see me… I knew it was heartfelt.

So sitting in that swing day after day during the autumn of 84, strumming my guitar, writing songs and a little poetry, smoking a Swisher Sweet cigar and taking in life was a feeling and a memory I’ll never forget. So when autumn arrives I think of all of that and I think of Carol… rest her soul.

Autumn 2015 (Sure the colors are beautiful, but there is also a magic in the air.)

1/125 sec at f/2.8 ISO 50 100mm

1/125 sec at f/2.8 ISO 50 100mm

Welcoming the first day of the 2015 Autumn season with an image from last year with model Kendall Strampel standing in the buttery yellow sunlight at Lockridge Park.

Autumn is such a magical time for outdoor photo shoots. Sure the colors are beautiful, but there is also a magic in the air. The weather is cooler and we can dress in layers… and with layers comes style. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month and it gives us a reason to break away from the fall colors and do a shoot with pink as a theme… then of course we go back to the fiery colors of fall again. With pumpkins, cornfields, fall wildflowers… there are so many choices of themes and photo props. For sure we will see images of Kendall again this year and Danny Sturdivant will be stepping up and out for some autumn shoots. Hopefully others will join in the Autumn fun.