1310. Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.~George Eliot

Trickle, trickle, trickle! Plop, plop, plop! How
Steadily the sand falls in the year’s hourglass.
Wait, wait, wait. Day after day we’ve waited
Until at long last you stepped ever so lightly
Through a door which opened months ago.

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How is it that I’m so sure of your presence now?
What is it that speaks loudly of your arrival?
Perhaps it’s the changed hue of a once green leaf,
Or the gusty winds, from both north and south.

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Or could it be the chilled hours at dawn and again
At day’s end? Or it could be the slant of golden
Light, or the nip in the air, or the richness of colors
No longer faded by summer’s miserable heat.

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Or just maybe it’s being able to dally on mellow
Afternoons, or it could be seeing northers
Push hard against the garden’s weathervane
Or maybe it’s the deep blue of the skies above.

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Last season and fourth child of the year,
Autumn, golden, splendid, glorious autumn,
You are late in coming but you’re finally here
And oh, oh, oh, how very welcome you are!

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. ~Psalm 136:1  ✝

**All of these photos were taken by me in and around my neighborhood today. I know many of you have been enjoying autumn for some time, but the colorful part of ours didn’t starting happening until recently. I know not how long it will last since we are rapidly approaching the Winter Solstice but I shall enjoy ever minute of it until winter topples her and sits on its chilly throne.

1309. O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

So I like best of all autumn,
because its tone is mellower,
its colors are richer,
and it is tinged with a little sorrow.
~Lin Yutang

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If I had to pick a recent, appropriate emblem for deep November, it would be the mellow richness of this rose. Though a wild west wind has blown today, the day I found it, dawn had broken under a heavy fog, and when the mist lifted, this rose and everything else in the garden was left completely soaked. It was as if the heavens had rained down a multitude of tears and tinged the landscape with more than the little autumn sorrow of which Yutang speaks. I for one have to wonder if, with daybreak coming later and later and darkness falling earlier and earlier, a garden knows that the year has almost completed another turn around the sun. If so and because the longing to be, to exist as an expression of the Divine Presence, can be seen in all Creation, that longing is not easily given up.

As this year draws to its end
we give thanks for the gifts it has brought
and how they came inlaid within,
where neither time nor tide
could touch them, and we also thanks
for the days when the veil lifted
and the soul could see delight;
when a quiver caressed the heart
in the sheer exuberance of being here.
-Excerpted and edited lines
by John O’Donohoe

When we take time to look beyond the trials of life, we see God’s blessings and realize that daily we continue to be given endowments of grace from the Host of the universe. From unmistakable “quivers that caress the heart” we know that we are not alone. We know that we belong to God and recognize a longing within us to touch Him. We know that He sits at the heart of life, and from there works at bringing to fruition that which He inlaid in us from the beginning. We know too that He is beside us in every moment and that our sadness is His sadness, our joy His joy, our loss His loss, our victory His victory.

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done. ~1 Chronicles 16:8  ✝

1285. Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Bittersweet October.
The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking,
perfect pause between the opposing
miseries of summer and winter.
~Carol Bishop Hipps

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Do you see any leaves turning autumn colors in the photo above? Do you get any sense at all that it’s cool and crisp outside the window, the window that’s right here where I sit to work at my computer, the window from which I shot that not-so-great photo through the venetian blinds? Sadly neither do I! It’s almost November and that “opposing misery of summer” of which Hipps speaks has NOT gone! I’m certain because when I went out in the yard just a few minutes ago to take some photos, I came in just as dripping wet as I had all summer. It might be about ten degrees cooler our there than it was in August, but with the high humidity we are STILL having, it continues to feel like I’m walking into a sauna when I open the door to go out! So where or where is Autumn??? Did it get lost somewhere along its way to Texas??? Perhaps so because according to the National Weather Service the ending of the year and throughout the winter for much of the US will be warmer and drier as the result of another “La Niña” that has set up in the Pacific. (See the photo below where it shows the predicted varying degrees of heat and lack of rainfall as the year ends in the US.) And that makes for an oh so unlucky me because I’m here in north central Texas. Yippee, huh?! That’s why when I read your blogs about cool, crisp days that include photos of lovely autumn leaves, I either begin to salivate like a rabid dog or my eyes start tearing up because Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year and I’m so ready for it to come! Oh, I know, who wants to listen to a whiny old lady rant? So off I go to find a way, despite the “misery,” to self-soothe and seek the presence of things for which to be grateful. Breathe, Natalie, just breathe…

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“But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” ~Jonah 2:9  ✝

**I added the border around the photo I took out my window so you would get the feel of looking out a window.

1266. Man is never out of range of surprises! ~Mehmet Murat ildan

Life is so full of unpredictable
beauty and strange surprises.
~Mark Oliver Everett

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I’m not a professional photographer, but over the years I have and still do take some pretty good photos. However, when I go out on a photo shoot, I’m so focused on the object I’m trying to capture that things often appear in the background that I didn’t see or anticipate. Most of the time it means I have to toss those photos out because something has marred their beauty, but every now and again the unexpected surprise does create a thing of beauty. Such is what happened this morning while I was trying to capture morning glory images. It was very early and a few times my flash popped up, and I don’t really like to take close-up photos in nature with a flash because I find that it distorts the color and in others, the background remains too dark. Then when I edit them and try to lighten the dark background up, bad effects occur on the object(s) in the foreground. But this one above, I really liked because the flash picked up the adjacent neighbor’s pool slide and other objects around his pool that together with the two morning glories created what I think is a nicely colorful vignette.

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This second one was taken several years ago at an indoor rodeo. The barrel racer I was trying to capture was riding extremely fast of course and alongside a railing decorated with American flags which in the camera’s eye created wavy bands of red, white, and blue along with yellow bands from the artificial lighting as well as double visions of her. My daughter and I loved this one so much that as a gift to her I’ve had it blown up and created into what looks like a painting. Surprises like what’s in these 2 photos and other ones I’ve taken are the reasons I’m so passionate about taking photographs and gardening. And I’m fairly sure that I am not the only one surprised and intrigued by strange and unexpected sights.

So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” ~Exodus 3:3  ✝

1245. The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ~Eden Phillpotts

One who not merely beholds the outward shows of things,
but catches a glimpse of the soul that looks out of them,
whose garment and revelation they are–if he be such, I say,
he will stand, for more than a moment, speechless with something
akin to that which made the morning stars sing together.
~George MacDonald

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A new day woke to dawn’s sweet song
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice
Sunlight chased the night shadows long

Blue skies bow as day’s colors hoist
Hued symphony of the new dawn’s might
Winged creatures warbled to rejoice

Nature’s perfection in our sight
Creation gives salutations
Hued symphony of new dawn’s might

Rivers and streams sang oblations
Watery praises raised on high
Creation gives salutations

The sun marched across the sky
A glittering parade in stride
Watery praises raised on high

The light grew stronger as the night died
A new day woke to Dawn’s sweet song
A glittering parade in stride
Sunlight chased the night shadows long.
~A terzanelle by Kristen

Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. ~Psalm 57:8  ✝

1236. The garden invites us to awaken our senses and refresh our souls as the sun warms its colors and fragrances. ~Author Unknown

So come with me on a tour of my garden
and see what August delights I find:

Belinda’s nodding
her head and dreaming sweet dreams
until dawn wakes her

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Stars shine bright on the
autumn clematis deep in
the heart of Texas

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The sun rises in
the east but a sunflower
bears stars in her heart

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Magenta shares her
glory with a time worn piece
of white picket fence

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Green candles rise near
the back fence heralding the
coming of angels

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Last night’s white angel
trumpets yet in day’s early
hours of dim light

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Tickled pink I find
a purple morning glory
and passionflower

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And last but not least
a pink rain lily sports her
bold yellow stamen

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 4.37.35 PM.pngSatisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. ~Psalm 90:14  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard

1197. Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow. ~Kahlil Gibran

People observe the colors of a day
only at its beginnings and its ends,
but to me it’s quite clear that a day 
merges
through a multitude 
of shades and intonations,
with each passing moment.
A single hour can consist of 
thousands of different colors.
Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. 
Murky darknesses.
~Markus Zusak

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Life is a celebration of passionate colors.

Some days are red. Those are the ones when our spirits are flying high.
Some are green. Those are the ones when we feel most productive and fruitful.
Some days are pink ones. They are full of moments when we feel young at heart. Others are blue. Those are the days we feel down in the dumps.
Then there are the orange ones. Those are peaceful and ones in which we sometimes feel a sense of satisfaction.
At last there are yellow ones. ‘Tis these that are bright and full of cheer.
~Edited passage I found on Pinterest

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. ~Genesis 9:13  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie