Friday, September 30, 2011

The Autumn Star

Autumn is a season of riches.

We celebrate the harvest, reap the bounty of our spring and summer toil, return to school to bathe in knowledge, witness metamorphic coloration, welcome that "temperate sharpness" as Keats described the air to a friend (perhaps in preparation for his ode, "To Autumn"), and festoon our bodies with layers and swaths of cloth (a luxurious panoply of wools and cottons and silks painted in seasonal hues, tempered by checkered patterns).

Gone are the pastels that speak a language that ushers in life and prefigures a youthful idealism. Here are the dramatic hues, at once vibrant and intense, melancholic and ruminative, that balance the warm intensity of summer with the cool purity of winter.

Those colors: nature's apology or compensation for waning daylight.

We almost hear the voice that nature speaks: "I diminish celestial light, but in its place I offer a fulgent landscape."

Our evening galactic friends have, too, reversed roles. Nocturnal beacons become diurnal candelabra.

Tricyrtis x Sinonome Toad Lily, of the two varietals I have, is by far the chief Autumn Star, the shamash in the menorah. Five arching branches, each roughly 3 feet in length, offer masses of spectacular spotted flowers (and buds) awash in regal purple.

Autumn has arrived.

And Tricyrtis x Sinonome Toad Lily, bathed in the color of royalty, seems well positioned to usher in this most magical of seasons.


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