You know, the maples and oaks and lots of other leaves put on a spectacular show in the autumn. Baroque shapes, curlicues, BRILLIANT colours - and then, they curl up, turn brown and set about becoming compost. Huge piles of leaves are sitting impatiently on the roadsides awaiting the big sucker machine and blowing impatiently at the slightest breeze. This morning  on my walk , I spied these elegant willow leaves. Do they rely on garish colour? No! Do they have complicated intricately twisted shapes? No! Instead, the Willow waits for all of her deciduous sisters and brothers to put on their fancy dress shows and when it is all over, she quietly drops her subtly-coloured, graceful ,elegant leaves on TOP of the composting piles that await the leaf collection. Those piles were decorated with willow this morning.

I carried a few home to show you. The colours are warm but subtle and here and there , the odd chartreuse holdout shines forth prominently. They do not twist and curl or do other leafy gymnastics. Instead, they just bend delicately, elegantly , reminding us all that so very often, less is DEFINITELY more!

I also found a dried head of seeds from a huge Ailanthus Altissima ( Tree of Heaven) . Look at them ! They look pretty ordinary at a glance  but spend some time and look at the texture! Each  little contorted wing has a seed in the middle of it and the wrinkly surface really begs the macro photographic talents and skills of my friend, Carol. Even with my poor skills and little pocket digital camera , you get the idea of the beauty of this handful of dry brownish material. You know what folks? STOP! Bend down and pick something up and LOOK AT IT ! Don't just LOOK. SEE!! Force yourself to actually experience all of the glorious beauty that surrounds us in the tiny, simple shapes of nature . There you go! Sermon over for today: )