In color

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Is it possible to take an uncliched photo of autumn color? Probably not, but I thought it might be fun to try. I found this rosette of red oak leaves on a foot-high tree, an example of deer bonsai. If its leading buds are destroyed too many years in a row, a seedling can forget how to grow straight and divert all its energies to crawling and twisting, the same as if it were growing near the tree line. At least it doesn’t make a virtue of its extremity and call it civilization.

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In a year of otherwise drab and extremely late color, when the blueberry and huckleberry bushes turn, the powerline right-of-way becomes the best destination for fall foliage on the mountain. The same species grow abundantly in the woods, but their foliage is sparser there, and far less likely to catch low-angled sunlight.

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After the recent rains, a couple of small, woodland pools reappeared for the first time since early June. I remember the clumps of wood frog eggs I found there in early April, and how after weeks without a drop of rain, the last, saucer-sized puddles seethed with tadpoles, like alphabet soup reduced to nothing but the Qs.

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Views and pictures of views are the stuff of real boredom for me. But I liked how, with a rockslide in the foreground and the wooded Allegheny Front behind, the late afternoon sunlight lent a certain charm to the cemetery-like arrangement of mobile homes in the middle distance. For the first time, I was able to look at these houses without immediately thinking of the burning cross incident that occurred there a few years back, someone’s idea of a practical joke on his new, African-American neighbors.

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I guess last Tuesday’s surprise snow shower gave me my best shot at an uncliched take on autumn. For some reason it almost killed the camera, though. Perhaps, despite my protective umbrella, a flake or two landed on a sensitive spot. Right in the middle of a busy morning, with everything still fully attired in summer and fall fashions, here comes winter, boldly exposing herself to my poor little one-megapixel camera. It stopped working for four days after that, heedless of my frustration at my inability to get a picture up.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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