Editor's Note: This week's Under the Butternut Tree was written long before anyone had ever heard of a little storm called Sandy. Enjoy it as a glimpse into what "was" before the beauty of fall was so rudely taken away from us all.
Reds, yellows, oranges, and browns. These beautifully colored leaves that bridge summer into winter look as if an artist splashed paint on lawns, streets, walkways and parking lots.
This is one of my favorite times of the year. The rainbow colors of leaves are a beautiful sight, especially when driving through Upper Milford Township along the country roads. Just look down from the top of a hill and see the panoramic view. It’s gorgeous!
Those leaves emerged in the spring, bringing the colorless, bare trees back to life from winter’s cold and dreary days. Leaves unfurled, gradually covering each tree one leaf at a time.
The sun’s rays were absorbed through each leaf and passed on to the tree so it could continue to grow and produce flowers, leaves or fruit for all to enjoy. Birds built their nests under and in-between the leaves, using them as both shelter and safety for their eggs.
And as summer picnics and swimming parties came upon us, these same leaves provided the shade needed to cool off our hot and sweaty bodies. While sitting in a chair or lying on a blanket, we could hear the rustle of those green leaves as the cool breeze blew them back and forth.
But now…autumn has arrived. The leaves that protected and provided so much during the spring and summer months are now dying—their short life is almost done.
We see new beauty in them as the days grow shorter. Their usefulness isn’t gone yet.
They now provide us with some exercise.
So, when you are finished reading this article, get out those rakes and start working the arms muscles and leg muscles and…well, all the muscles. It’s time to rake the leaves out of the flower beds, off the grass, off the walkways, out from under the trees and wherever else they land as they gently float to the ground below.
Rake them onto big piles. Really BIG piles.
There is just one more bit of fun the leaves will provide before being taken to the township recycling center.
Calling all kids…young and old!! Come and jump into the great big pile of leaves. Red ones, brown ones and yellow ones. Throw them as high as you can. Crawl through them. Or hide in them. Just have fun.
All too soon the leaves will be gone and the white blanket of snow will take over.