04 November 2009

Autumn Leaves of Grass

My favorite season has always been autumn. Morning cool. The last of the garden. Harvest. I'll never forget driving over a hilltop in the Poconos and seeing a child-gone-crazy-with-the-Crayolas landscape. During my childhood, the family often made an October drive to the mountains of New Mexico to look at the aspens and to gather apples. David & I vacation with the Colorado colors.
It's commonly said that Texas doesn't have seasons but like much that is commonly said that's incorrect. Our deciduous trees are turning now although they are out-numbered by evergreen live oaks and pine and magnolias and tropicals--Houston truly is the emerald city. When we make our Christmas road trip across Texas there is often great color; we're all just too busy looking at Christmas lights to notice. It's like the robins which in Houston are not a sign of spring but of winter. Each place has seasons of its own but one must have eyes to see.

As I've been driving across Texas from the Gulf Coast to the Hill Country, I've enjoyed being back in touch with the seasons. What I've seen on the most recent trips are the autumn grasses which are truly as lovely as the wildflowers of spring.
There is great variety and diversity of grass--tall, short, straight, stiff, plumed, lacy. This photo is pink-haired grass waving in a row at pavement's edge but the colors are limitless: green, chartreuse, gold, brown, black, red, maroon, orange, purple, aubergine, silver, copper. Grass in fields, grass in roadside clumps, grass in swaths of self-sown sweeping waves. Seed time and harvest. A festival of grass.
I, of course, named this post for Walt Whitman's famous poem:
But in looking for that link, I found this poem by Brian Patten:
Mighty is our LORD and great in power
whose wisdom is beyond all telling...
Sing a song of thanksgiving to the LORD...
who clothes the hills with grass.
Psalm 147: 5,7,8


Anonymous said...

Love that magenta colored grass in its glory now. City of Bellaire planted some on the Newcastle esplanade just before you go into Houston...waves delicately in the breeze. First noticed it 15 years ago when I would drive my mother, aunt and uncle to Amarillo in the fall up US 287. Wondered why we didn't have it in our landscapes and lo! it's in Houston's inner city now. Think we'll ever exult over Johnson grass, the farmer's enemy? (Bobbie)

KCP said...

Bobbie, Thanks for another color word: magenta. Johnson Grass is on the environmentalists' "kill, even it takes herbicides" list. Anything to get rid of this terrible invasive species. Bad news from Argentina, Johnson grass is devloping resistance. David says that he had to dig a hole to China to eradicate the Johnson grass in the corner of the lot of one of his family's homes. I remember doing the same.