Lady Autumn Smiles

Once upon a time, feeling neglected, Lady Autumn wept.

And the Court of the Seasons’ calendar pages turned. It wasn’t long before the Court Photographer awoke to see the calendar had turned to an entirely new year. Startled to find herself deep in the Winter Queen’s leafless territory, she wondered where the Autumn Lady had gone.

“How can it be that I have missed my Lady’s appearance?” she cried. “Surely it was just yesterday that the Summer Queen and I were hunting for mushrooms. What happened to Autumn?”

Then the Photographer remembered. Whilst she was managing contests, editing newsletters and counting bats, Lady Autumn arrived unnoticed and alone. No one came to admire her dazzling fall attire. Feeling forgotten, she wept.

And wept. And wept.

And the rain poured from the sky, day after dreary day, and her Ladyship’s brilliant colors dissolved into a watery abstraction.

One day, her tears subsided momentarily, and the sun came out. The Court Photographer took notice and paddled out onto Oswego Lake in the Pine Barrens to look for fall. With all the rain of the past months, it seemed appropriate to seek communion with Lady Autumn on the water.

And sure enough, there it was – proof that the Her Ladyship had indeed made her annual appearance. Crimson red and gold proof, reflected in the mirror of the lake.

Dappled sunlight played on maple branches at the water’s edge.

Fallen leaves floated brightly upon the dark surface.

At the other end of the lake, berries decorated the inlet of the Oswego River.

What autumnal wonders might adorn the sinuous curves of the stream?

Even swollen with rain, paddling against the current was not difficult.





One of Her Ladyship’s swift couriers, the Golden-crowned Kinglet, flitted amongst the branches.

Further upstream, the vibrant scene gave the Court Photographer an idea…











Wouldn’t Her Ladyship’s multihued attire look all the more beautiful when seen in the swirling waters of the river?

The ripples coalesced into a flaming Dove of Peace.

Pitcherplant trumpets echoed across the river’s surface.

A single leaf lingered on a paddle shaft.

Lichens and leaves formed a treasure trove of silver and gold along the shore.

Lady Autumn’s sentinel, the Great Blue Heron, stood watch.

Speckled post oak leaves lay scattered across the forest floor.

“Do you see, your Ladyship? Please don’t weep any longer. I didn’t forget you. How could I? No matter how fleeting, your brilliant beauty always commands my attention.”

Feeling appreciated, Lady Autumn smiled.

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