Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: signs of autumn

signs of autumn




- when a grandchild brings you a couple of leaves in the colours of fall

- when going back to the print studio feels like going back to school

- when dear artist friends gather together again after a summer break

- when Indian summer comes with hot afternoons and cool nights with heavy dews

- when the last of the tomatoes are almost all ripe

- when the bell peppers are finally turning red

- when juggling new schedules and fitting in visitors too

Marja-Leena | 14/09/2012 | 6 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Home, Nature, Photoworks



First maple leaves in our courtyard are flaming red. I see photos from people living more north, in Lapland, and whole landscape is red, violet, orange, green: all possible colors in the world. Color of the sky tells everybody living here, that it's freezing at nights. It's ruska (Rus= red, might be Germanic or Russian word, but ancient).

This is not even in the middle of Finland, but northern south (I think the proper term is sub polaris). The latitude is a bit more than 63° North, so it is not so awfully north, but just to think of Hudson's Bay, and it's much more South than this and it's practically tundra.

And when this time includes more work, it makes very nice time. Being busy and including change, that makes me to feel good. Not everybody, there are people who fear the change and remember that around November-December starts kaamos (Sami word meaning darkness) and sun disappears altogether in Lapland for three months.

We react to change, all of us.

Hei Marjatta! I love the word 'ruska' for the fall colours. It seems a bit later here this fall, perhaps because summer came late after a wet and cold start. Our native vine maples are brilliant red but the others are still fairly green. The days are shortening fast but at our latitude they are not as short as Finland's of course. The word 'kaamos' to me has always sounded frightening, primitive maybe, though I've not experienced those very dark days since I left Finland as a child and don't even remember them. I've not even been to the Canadian Arctic to experience it.

The cycles of seasons are part of life and I do like it, rather than living in perpetual summer. I fully agree that this becomes a good time to focus on work, especially creative work in my case, and I too feel better for it. It takes me a little while to get refocused, especially with distractions like this lovely summery weather and having visitors, even if they are family :-).

The apple orchards are full of ripening fruit.

The ice cream stands have closed.

Pumpkins appear at the markets.

Hallowe'en candy appears.

Susan, those are very good ones! I could add more, such as the last of the plums we picked off our tree. The apples a friend gave us off her tree. The bouquet of huge sunflowers given by our guest. And more...

The first red maple leaves are not only turned, but falling into the street here, Marja-Leena. And there's always the first night with the extra blanket...

Beth, it's a bit cooler in Montreal, isn't it? We are having Indian summer here with afternoon temperatures in the mid-20s. Nights are in the low teens so not bad, making me pull on a light cover towards morning. Our maples are now turning yellow with crisp brown edges because of the summer drought, with some falling. The vine maples are the early ones to turn red. So lovely.