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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Bill Leslie: Walking in a watercolor

Posted November 25, 2019 7:29 a.m. EST

— “I feel like I’m walking in a watercolor.”

That was a comment I made to my wife Cindy Sunday morning. We were up early and decided to take a long walk with Rufus.

It was sunny but the ground was still soaked with Saturday’s rain. Brightly colored leaves were shaking and falling in the wind.

The air seemed incredibly fresh and even fragrant. Yes, I felt like I was walking inside one of my father’s watercolor paintings.

Watercolor painting by Bill Leslie's father

I remembered a science lesson about the sweet smell of rainwater as it interacts with freshly fallen leaves. Those leaves are loaded with carbon this time of year. Rain brings out an almost floral aroma in the leaves.

As a young newspaper writer, my father, William A. Leslie, Jr., described the autumn glow of North Carolina as a “pageant of color and a Persian rug of remarkable beauty.”

I wrote about my love and my dad’s love for autumn trees in the book Blue Ridge Reunion.

Maple tree

Here’s an excerpt:

“Autumn evokes different emotions. It brings a tinge of sadness to some. It says summer is gone and cold bleak days of winter are just around the corner. I prefer to savor each moment in autumn. Every dawn a new dimension of color is added to or subtracted from the landscape. The combination of colors forms a Carolina kaleidoscope.”

Maple tree

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