Fragrant Quote for October 19th, 2012-New England Autumn By Charles Goodrich Whiting



Herbst am Waldbach
THE hills are now at their height of glory, and in the broad valleys the watercourses are marked by the richest reds and yellows, maroons and olives, russet brown, orange and buff, and all that superb gamut of the spectrum which sings to the eye as birds sing to the ear in summer when the woods and fields are full of chants and warbles and living joyance. No frost has marred the splendid changes of the trees, and in this region the autumn flowers are to be found in bloom over many a meadow, pasture and forest opening, whence they have commonly disappeared at this time. The sheltered nooks are not alone in sportive new blooms of aster and golden-rod, daisy and clover, wild flax and caraway, bouncing bets and immortelles, while the herb robert's delicate pink flower nestles in its exquisitely wrought leaves, among whose green are changing colours as rich as on the maples themselves. The leaves have fallen from the grape vines, and the rare abundance of the clusters adorn the wayside thickets, now and then giving the charm of their fruitage to some forest tree which they have caught upon and climbed, and compensate for their too close embrace by that unwonted beauty.
Now, as the hues deepen on the mountains and in the valleys, the concentrated warmth and sweetness that sunshine and rain have stored in the leaves of the trees and the fronds of the ferns, the grapes, the nuts and the autumn flowers, crowds the air with delicious scents, and adds to the autumn the grace of evanescent perfume which befits the closing hours of the pageant of Nature. It is so wholly different in character and effect from the seasons of multitudinous bloom, when the fragrance of honeyed flowers intoxicates the most luxurious of the senses.
In the autumn forest aisles or among its lanes and generous fields, there is a sober tenderness of feeling which largely proceeds from these subtle dying odours of the leaves which have fulfilled their office and now are sinking to earth to re-begin their service of use and beauty through transformation. Not dead do the leaves of the trees and shrubs fall to earth, but alive. Gather the red and yellow, the olive and gold, the bronze and buff, the salmon and gamboge of the trees from the ground where they have fallen; compare them with the rich green leaf that remains upon the tree, and their texture will be found as firm. It is the buds of the leaves of next year that push beneath them and gently thrust them from their summer thrones, in their bright blossoming.