The Colors of Fall

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”

– John Burrows

Have you stepped outside your front door lately to see what nature is up to these days as Indian Summer deepens into fall? What changes do you see? Any new colors? Shapes? Textures? Does the air smell different? Has the light changed? Do you feel altered in some way witnessing this brilliant farewell to summer?

Chocolate colored doors, pink adobe and orange berries
Chocolate colored doors, pink adobe and orange berries

Gifts of the Season

Purple sage, pink flowers and ancient wood
Purple sage, pink flowers and ancient wood

Having spent a month in Santa Fe walking every day, looking not only straight ahead and to each side of the path or street I am walking on, I also look up, down and in between to make sure my Eye for Beauty doesn’t miss anything.

And each day nature has gifted me with surprises – like the crushed red chili pepper above that appeared at my feet, or the beautiful carved doors beside an acequia embellished with berries, or the abundant geraniums and Russian Sage thriving below an ancient Santa Fe mailbox.


But I have a confession to make. Fall is my favorite season. And I am totally crazy about the beauty it weaves. I think it’s because of the colors it magically turns everything – from deep greens to vibrant reds and oranges, which stir my passion and energy for the miracle of life! And are also some of my favorite colors.

From green to orange to red
From green to orange to red
Chamisa, gold, yellow and grey
Chamisa gold, yellow and grey

And then there’s the brilliant yellows and golds that look like sunshine. They warm my body, heart and soul like nothing else does. They give me hope and remind me never to take fall for granted. To always stop and look at what the moment brings us in our lives as we step outside of ourselves and stand still in nature.

Brilliant Colors

This is the first time I have spent a whole month in Santa Fe since we bought our small casita 12 years ago. I have traveled to and from California and New Mexico every fall but have always been too busy, painting in Taos or working on client projects in Santa Fe, to really take in the beauty of the season.

But now as I sit at my small beat up dining table looking out at our tiny walled garden as I write, I realize what I’ve missed all these years. The high desert light is stunning making everything look as if it is lit from within at the edge of brilliance. I can’t seem to take my eyes off the painting nature has created outside my door.

Brilliant red and green
Brilliant red, green and yellow

Soft Colors

And now my eye has landed on the soft colors of the season – apricot, salmon, pink and raspberry mixed with lime green, which cover a cayote fence. If this composition doesn’t prove nature is an artist, I don’t know what does. It also demonstrates the principle of harmony which nature creates so elegantly – good design repeats itself.

Soft, muted colors
Soft, muted colors


I hope you enjoy fall – and are not so busy you can’t take a moment to walk outside in its grace. I’ve lost 12 years of witnessing beauty in the Land of Enchantment, and I vow never to miss fall again, here or wherever I am.

As I take in its beauty, I pause and say a word of deep felt gratitude, for whatever Intelligence created this majestic display of beauty – fall.

In the love of fall,

Toby and Linda Applewhite
Showing 8 comments
  • Joan

    Ok, Fall is my fave time of the year! Thank you for this show, featuring all her glory! Weather here in Friday Harbor is lovely, whatever the temps, as the colors are unite warm…

  • Joan

    …quite warm…

  • Caroline Thibeaux

    Loving the warm colours.

  • Kirby

    Linda Applewhite word paints the fall so beautifully, I can’t wait for her words for winter! But for now, I am following her lead & enjoying October!

  • Liz Nichols

    Fall is also my favorite season. The world changes, not only in temperature and colors for that matter but it feels different, more hopeful to me. I love putting sweaters on and turning up the heat…here in Texas. I have the reverse of spring fever. And Santa Fe is a gorgeous place. It’s a place to fall in love with. Personally I think Northern CA, Oregon and Santa Fe are the prettiest places in the U.S. I expect North East is pretty but I’ve never been. History! You can’t beat it.

  • Cynthia Dahl

    Beautiful as always.
    Thank you, Linda.

  • Jennifer Duffy

    Linda, your descriptions of Fall are just lovely.

  • marlena weinstein

    Fall is mine as well..Having grown up in New England, the hills would look like lollipops…also on my family farm in Ct, it was my favorite time to work on the stand selling pumpkins, Indian corn and gourds…and the colors..I can’t even take it in.
    Also, it seems October is always my favorite month. It is the month that I finally find the right dog to adopt, my three longest relationships I met in October, It is the Mill Valley Film Festival, Yom Kippur, and the end of my tax filing season.
    And I have all those pics you displayed in my back and front yard.
    Also, Halloween is my favorite holiday. So, picking up all the colors in the shapes and forms of ghosts, goblins, witches, skeletons on bicycles, a skeleton hanging out in my car wearing my hat, adult size Halloween men sitting on my porch and on chaise lounges, etc etc.

    Thank you Linda. Santa Fe is incredible it has to exceed all imagination in the Fall.

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