Continuing my theme of September Gold in which I wrote about coloring each month of the calendar year,  I think I would color October flame red. Not just any red but flame red. Flame red suggests an intensity and mixture of colors ranging from yellows, through oranges, and eventually to true red.

Just as a flame encircles and consumes its subject, so October goes. It is the last month of warm weather in the mid-west and soon we will be faced with steel gray skies and bitter winter winds; but, for a brief moment we rejoice in the less frequent warm days and appreciate them even more. Before the limbs of the trees go bare nature adorns them in brilliant ball gowns. Like Cinderella, they don their gowns for a final farewell before retreating for a long winter’s sleep. The trees wave, giggle, and wink like young girls at the dance as the winds whistle through their rainbow leaves; and, a walk through the fallen leaves sounds like the rustling of taffeta skirts. This is nature at its most festive best.

The color yellow is seen everywhere providing a sunny backdrop to highlight the greens, reds, and oranges of the other trees. The golden hues spread a visual warmth across the land.

Orange is perhaps the most obvious color of October. It is found not only in the leaves of trees but is abundant in pumpkins, gourds, and Halloween decorations. From the flickering candle hidden deep inside a jack-o-lantern

to candy corn, it brightens and lifts our spirits. Unlike other colors seen year round, orange seems to be reserved exclusively for October and the fall festivals.

At the far end of the color spectrum is the unique shade of red found in the sugar maples and the autumn fire bushes. It is a brilliant red which dots the landscape like a ruby necklace complimenting a young lady’s gown.

For now, the flame reds of October glisten in the sunlight, but soon the colors will deepen and fade to brown as the western winds strip the trees of their frocks leaving barren skins of sullen grey-brown bark. Let us abandon our daily indoor chores and rush outside to join the dance of nature before the party ends.

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