Blue Planet
Becky Elder, The Gardener


Sitting on a sunny step, a curled maple leaf lay at my feet. With ribs of red and weakening green spread across it like the veins on a hand, it still seemed very much alive and vibrant. It felt very familiar and made me think back on the many autumns of my life.

How I love the autumn… All through my lifetime I have felt that deepening understanding of life in the fall… Playing childhood games on the front lawn as a child, we made highways in the leaves for our bikes and tricycles.

As a young woman I walked through the Eastern forests in October exploding with the bouquet of harvest colors.

For the last forty years of my life, I have embraced this season of crispy gold of aspens against the conifer forests. Breathtakingly beautiful. This season of the leaf is so like the autumn seasons of the past, as well as ever fresh in the present.

Ahhhh! The Garden of the Gods is always a favorite natural area for me to go for a check in with nature… most leaves have fallen and revealed the hidden nooks and hideaways. Afternoon sunrays slant through the naked trees. The sun is moving through its seasonal cycle towards the lowest loop, ever lower, ever lower until the Winter Solstice. Fallen leaves skirt the trees below the canopies and cuddle against the crowns of the plants and grass. This is nature’s way of mulching the living perennials through the cold season. This is nature’s way of feeding fresh biota and organic matter into the soil. This is how nature creates ecosystem in the soil… and above the soil.

At AnnaMaranna Gardens, we dumped some big bags of deciduous leaves atop the soil. An immediate response from nature was the local Towhees’ “party of the leaves” that commenced. There were at least 7 of those bright little birds kicking and scratching about for their party favors! What a riot!

Fallen leaves will extend their insect season into December or maybe longer. Autumn calls to the farmers and the gardeners to prepare for the winter while readying for the spring to come once again. We will spread leaves and mulches, water when we can and allow the soil to work with the biota to make the cake crumb soil we all love.



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