Upper Butte Creek Falls · Butte Creek · Scotts Mills · Oregon · USA
Hardwood leaves enliven the forest with glints of gold, their prior shades of green spent by the cumulative ravages of late-summer heat and the natural order of things. A scattering of bigleaf maple leaves in the foreground also herald the turn of season, with autumn a mere week away at the time this scene was captured--the same day that also produced my piece "Promise". As fun and wonderful as summer in the Pacific Northwest can be, for me there's something extra special...something more poignant and meaningful about the fall and all the changes it brings about: The superficiality of summer tans and idle chatter give way to longer sleeves and deeper conversation, modesty prevails over hot-weather hedonism, and the monotony of admittedly beautiful green forest foliage is ignited by a dynamic palette of ever warmer hues, even as the mercury falls. I think, in essence, autumn signifies a simplification of life itself, a process of distillation wherein the excesses of seasons of bounty are whittled down to the barest minimum needed to make it through the less forgiving ones. For me, that means family, friendships, kindness to my fellow man, and faith in a cosmic power so great it will forever defy my full comprehension—yet demands that I give it my best try. In truth then, these are more than merely fallbacks for me—they’re foundation.