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"The Leaves of Autumn: Meditations on Middle Age”

“The Leaves of Autumn: Meditations on Middle Age” is artist Marques Vickers photographic survey portraying the variety and vibrant colors of seasonally shedding foliage. Vickers combines his colorfully captured imagery with a meditative essay comparing the annual rite with the entrance and emergence of middle age. Nearly 120 images portray the diversity of autumn colors.


“For those drawn into middle age, the realization of our own mortality becomes poignantly real. Death is no longer a random phenomena. We have viewed its presence firsthand through the passing of family, friends and a parade of humanity we have been spectators to observe.

In late autumn, the days begin to recede in sunlight and length. The cooling temperatures trigger hormonal changes within trees signaling change. Cells appear at the juncture where leaves are attached. These abscission cells over a period of days and weeks multiply into a thin barrier that separates the leaf from its stem. This separation creates a vulnerability to shifting and tugging winds. The tree consciously seals off this linkage for self-preservation.

This innate annually repeated cycle enables trees to survive the inclimate weather of winter, deficient of sunshine. During spring, summer and early fall, leaves draw their nutrients from sunlight enabling the tree to survive, reproduce and flourish. As the days slow and shorten, the leave’s capacities to produce lessen until they ultimately become a burden. At this point, they become disposable.

Before they are tossed into oblivion by prevailing winds, leaves modify their tonality and patina. Their colors radiate with illumination, subtlety and vibrancy. Each eschews the monotone of their previous greens and yellow tinting. Individually and collectively, they radiate gorgeous symphonic overtones, if only for a short span.

The vision of autumn leaves reflects a metaphor of existence. We hope that we may cast an enduring shadow long after our own substance has passed.”.

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The Leaves of Autumn: Meditations on Middle Age
TIME: 4 Minutes 32 Seconds