As I walked slowly down the orange, needle carpet, between the houses, along the ridge path, where Indians from bygone years once traveled, I was on the lookout for something unusual.
You see, the new fall season that I longed for each year, was at hand. I once lived in New England where fall leaf watchers would anxiously wait for the magnificent matinee to begin and might walk a similar pathway.
They would dress for New England's brisk weather in snug wool shirts and L.L.Bean boots. Oohs and aahs surged from their lips as yellows, reds and oranges slowly peaked from behind mantles of green. Smiles for miles.
On the north coast of Oregon, I have a different experience. My attire is a yellow Maine lobsterman's rain hat, rain proof jacket and waterproof shoes. And I know not to look for those bursts of multi-colored Maple leaves, because there are none. Under my feet is the sandy path now hardened by rain and firm underfoot. I wade through ankle deep puddles to find my fall reward.
Giant firs bend and sway as 30 mile an hour winds move the upper branches. This first hard, fall rain with impressive wind frees millions of used up evergreen needles and dashes them to earth. They cushion my weary legs in pillows of orange.
Each year, I secretly wish for those brilliant New England colors to invade my space, but instead, I count on my tall athletic firs, bending in the wind, to pave my pathway with their tribute to fall.
Can I be satisfied with a carpet of orange instead of a kaleidoscope of dashing color? Of course I can. New England has brilliant sun, violet blue skies and needs the leaf color to make balanced photos.
I, on the other hand, have grey skies. Days with little light and rain that comes in spits and spurts and upon occasion, torrents down giant drops pounding even the sturdiest ferns into submission.
I only need the subtle color of discarded orange needles to satisfy me in the fall on the coast of Oregon.
Is this a lie? Of course it is!