Ozarks Leaves

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I once ruined someone's dream. Not intentionally, but when the leaves start changing in our woods, I am reminded of the incident. I'd traveled to the jungles of West Papua, New Guinea to go trekking with a friend. We'd flown into the Belim Valley, a remote town with an airport so tiny all of the daily passengers could fit into one twin-engine Cessna.

The only accomomdations in the tiny town was a little guest house run by Ebu Hinkie, an elderly Javanese woman. The rooms were rustic, spartan, with a bathroom that consisted of a hole in the floor, and a concrete tank filled with water. To bathe, you dipped a bucket into the tank and poured it over yourself like a shower.

Ebu Hinkie (Ebu, or maybe it was Eboo, is a respectful term like Mrs. or mother) was large, always wearing big caftan-type dresses when she served our morning breakfast of fruit, eggs and toast. The dining room was a little room with a table and chairs, a big tea pot much like a restaurant coffee pot, always filled with boiling tea, and a little window. The wall behind the table and chairs, about 8 x 8 ft. held a mural of colored leaves in Vermont in October. It was a surprise to see a mural of Vermont, deep in the jungle of New Guinea, and one morning I inquired about it. "With this beautiful landscape all around you, why did you choose a photograph of trees in the United States?" I asked. Ebu Hinkie understood only so much English, and spoke less, but she replied, "It's my dream to some day, maybe see the place where trees are always like this."

She understood when I explained the leaves in Vermont are green, they only change to orange, yellow and red for about 3 weeks once a year. Ebu Hinkie's face fell. "Oh," she said and turned and walked away. Why couldn't I have kept quiet. I regretted crushing a simple dream but hopefully she had others that weren't so fragile. Here are the leaves in the yard this week. I wish Ebu Hinkie could see and enjoy them.
Sumac leaves. It's correctly pronounced shoo-mack.
Virginia creeper on persimmon bark.
Persimmons are ripe on our trees this week.
Hickory leaves.
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) an herb, has yellow leaves and red berries now.
View of our Herb Shop with the hillside in the background.
I think the woods in the Ozarks looks every bit as good as Vermont in the fall of the year.

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Happy Halloween. Don't eat too much candy!


Terra said...

I hope your hostess in New Guinea recovered her dream, since the shortness of the fall color season makes it all the more sweet.

Anonymous said...

We deserve this beauty after the summer we had. Your photos are lovely. BGYVallyp