Tuesday, March 21, 2023

MendoMoments: Fall Colors in Ukiah’s Downtown

Ukiah Downtown festooned with autumn colors [Picture by Matt LaFever]

This summer was long, hot, and, dry. The color spectrum seemed to stagnate and present to this reporter a small array of crackly browns, meek greens of thirsty foliage, and the mirthless blue of a cloudless sky.

My wife and I met friends for dinner in Ukiah’s downtown recently and I was struck by the vividness before me.

The scarlet to bronze to purple to russet-red to maroon to orange to yellow to bright red. My mind balked at the kaleidoscope of colors compared to the months of predicability I had grown accustomed to.

A father and son walked together in the distance, the sun’s glow emanated through the autumn foliage and cast a warm light on the stone of the Mendocino County Court House.

I knew that change was afoot.

Ukiah’s Schoo Street reminds residents of the beauty of autumn

And for a moment, a savage offering of Emily Dickinson’s poem The name—of it—is “Autumn” (656) which she never gave a title to. In true human fashion, the untitled must be titled by someone later who cannot fathom a poem without a title. The poem highlights the beauty autumn brings juxtaposed to the temporary death that awaits during the long, cold winter:

The name—of it—is “Autumn”—
The hue—of it—is Blood—
An Artery—upon the Hill—
A Vein—along the Road—

Great Globules—in the Alleys—
And Oh, the Shower of Stain—
When Winds—upset the Basin—
And spill the Scarlet Rain—

It sprinkles Bonnets—far below—
It gathers ruddy Pools—
Then—eddies like a Rose—away—
Upon Vermilion Wheels—

MendoMoments, is dedicated to showcasing the land, animals, and people that make up Mendocino County. All Mendocino County residents and visitors are invited to participate. Send photographs to matthewplafever@gmail.com including a description of what your photograph depicts, where it was taken, and any other important details.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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