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Thursday's observations

mturer's picture

Because of injury-related problems I experienced at the end of the week, I haven't been able to post my weekly observation yet. To avoid this in the future, I have decided to change my location. Other factors contributed to this decision, like the fact that the large green electrical box in my previous spot disrupts the feeling of being hidden and removed that first attracted me to the tree.

My new spot is conveniently next to Erdman, where I live. I'm not sure what it's known as, but it has a sign that says "Erdman Lookout" and it is a stone circle on top of a little hill. I will be sitting on the steps on the hill that face a lot of interesting plant life and, in the background, the wildflower garden.

Currently, this area is completely covered with what seems like orange leaves. The tree that these leaves used to belong to still has plenty of leaves of its own, but it's let go of a sea of leaves that now completely hide the grass underneath. 
 When I looked closer, I found that the leaves were not just orange, but a spectrum of yellow and orange and red and brown. I just perceived them to be orange. 
This reminded me of art classes from when I was little, in which my teacher told me to look at a cloud and tell her all the colors I saw in it and I was not allowed to say "white."

The picture above is a representation of all the colors of the leaves on the ground from yellow to brown. Even the "orange" ones are really just red and yellow shades side by side.

I guess I simplified the colors of the leaves to accomodate what I assumed I saw instead of examining it. I was just like a little kid painting a white cloud in a blue sky. 
Someone early on always teaches that clouds are white, trees are brown, and the ocean is blue, and then someone has to come along later and tell us to really look at a cloud and that everything we learned is wrong. This seems counter-productive and, as we've been talking about structures lately, I think it's an example of a structure we impose on the environment. I don't know why, because the leaves on the ground are so much more interesting and complicated in patterns of red and yellow and brown than they were when I looked at them and saw "orange."