Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autumn burning brightly

Autumn burned brightly,
a running flame through the mountains,
a torch flung to the trees.

— Faith Baldwin

I have two large sugar maples in my front yard that are a constant source of inspiration. You may remember that I based a piece on them (Harbinger’s Hope, shown below) after fighting with my power company to keep them from hacking the trees’ branches back to the trunk (to provide clearance for the power lines) a few years ago. 

The trees are estimated to be more than 80 years old, and are in decline, and every fall I wonder if it will be their last. It makes me notice them more, appreciate them more. They are certainly the most spectacular autumn foliage on my street. Yesterday I went out and took these photos. The light was wonderful, and the leaves were luminous, in shades of gold and chartreuse, orange and bronze.

I love the contrast between the dark trunk and branches and the colorful leaves. 

One of the tree’s leaves are greeny-gold, and the other (above and below) is going more orange. 

High up on one tree, the branches have been swept nearly bare by the wind, with only a few leaves still hanging on:

I would love to do three more pieces the same size and format as Harbinger’s Hope, each a different season, with a different creature to symbolize each season. Wouldn’t they look wonderful hanging together? I hope I live as long as these maples, and have the time to make half the quilts that are in my head!


  1. A great tree to get inspiration from.

  2. I love the colors. I never get tired of fall leaves! Hope your trees make it through the winter.

  3. I love looking at the trees in the yard and seeing how the colors change as the sun crosses the sky and at sunset, it is such a deep beautiful color. I think your piece would be beautiful in different seasons, hung as a grouping.


  4. Susan, maple trees are soooo beautiful in the fall. Being from Northwestern Indiana and living on a street were the maples hung over the entire street, (La Porte, the 'maple city') we still miss the changing of the colors. And to walk through those dry, crinkly leaves after they had fallen from the trees is a memory I cherish.


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