Treasure Hunt for Color

It’s fascinating how late fall forces a different kind of visual attention. Moving from the abundance and even overwhelm of color in spring through fall, I am now on the hunt for micro-points of color in the bleak gray of late Chicago fall. I'm finding surprisingly vibrant color still. Against the bare, black trees, the grass still reads as green. I’ve been watching my neighbor’s clematis transform from a cloud of sparkling white-star blooms in early fall to these amazing spiraling deadheads with deep pink centers. Within minutes of home, crazy orange seeds are popping out of white berries. On a run at the lake, I noticed a carpet of crushed red berries and had to go back to take some pictures. And then I found the ultimate color treasure: fuchsia. My helleborus sent out a random, post-season fuchsia bloom and I could not take my eyes off it until a hard frost finally put a stop to the show. These micro-discoveries are tremendously rewarding, treasures popping out from the stark gray Chicago palette.