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Humanitiy’s Toll

When Did It Fall...

In October of 2001 I was finishing work on my book The Illuminated Walden. Brilliant red maples had become increasingly rare and I was beginning to despair. However, in mid-October I found this tree on the eastern end of Walden Pond. It was perfect and I photographed it back lit by the setting sun.

Sunset Through Red Leaves, Walden Pond I

As the years passed brilliant red required a longer and longer drive west or north.

Out of curiosity I went back to Walden Pond on the same date in October but in 2016 and made a panoramic photograph from about the spot where I had photographed the red maple (above). The only red I could see was a small blush on the left shore.

I had sensed the gradual waning of the brilliance of fall for some time. There is no fall any longer where I live, just a smooth warm comfortable transition from summer to winters far milder than those I remember from childhood.

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