My absolute favorite time of year is autumn as the trees slowly transform and show their true colors. Suddenly, rather than shades of green, the landscape bursts into bits of yellow, red and orange for a brief and wonderful moment in time. Of course, soon after, the leaves will drop along with the temperatures, but for now, there’s just a gorgeous burst of color against a blue sky. As a kid, I remember the exhilarating feeling of jumping into a pile of leaves, the crackling sound and earthy smell were so wonderful. Today, of course, I’m just thankful to live in the city and not have a yard so I don’t have to rake them. But sometimes when I drive past people’s houses with little piles of freshly raked leaves, I have to resist the urge not to pull over and jump into them. I never do it though. I’m rather sure the owners of said house would not be particularly amused at my trip down memory lane.

Instead of jumping into the leaves of strangers, I satisfied my inner child by taking him to the zoo today. It was a beautiful day, and Philippe had never visited our zoo here and I hadn’t been in years. The best part of the experience is that the Kansas City Zoo is spread out over 202 acres (82 ha) so beyond the animals, you end up going on a lovely nature hike. I’m not sure I’d ever been to the zoo this time of year before, but walking through colorful trails of autumn leaves made for a perfectly awesome day. The zoo has grown and changed dramatically from when I was a kid. Back then, it was a fraction of the size, but still seemed gigantic since I was so small. Now that it’s grown up with me, it’s become impressively large, so I experienced no disappointment on my return today.

A highlight of our tour was seeing koala bears, which are on loan to us from the San Diego Zoo this season. They’re just adorable and have the sort of lazy lifestyle that I really envy. They were in the kids section, but that didn’t stop us from going to see them. The line was far to long, however, to get our faces painted, so we skipped that and simply had a beer. But my favorite part was winding through trail after trail, enclosed by trees that had been beautifully painted by nature. Crackling leaves on the ground and a beautiful canopy of color over our heads. The occasional cheetah or chimpanzee was definitely a treat, but nothing beats a slow walk through nature’s painting in the colors of autumn leaves.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle:  Perylene Maroon, Red Orange, Indian Yellow, Phthalo. Green Light, and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with sepia ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 22 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Autumn Leaves Leaf orange red and green for fall
Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

34 replies on “Autumn Leaves

  1. Too bad you skipped the face painting! 😃 I went to a zoo in Colorado Springs in 2013 because I was painting giraffes at the time and we could feed them at this zoo. (We happened to be in Denver for a business trip.) It was such a magical experience. I could have stayed with the giraffes all day! There is something so cool about going to the zoo! Lucky you, Charlie! 💕🐨🍂 Sounds like the perfect day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a fantastic day, it’s a shame the queue was so long, having your face painted is so much fun…had you decided what to have? Lion, tiger, elephant, chimp…. I do a little face painting at our charity events, I must say frozen is the most popular of the moment, followed by butterflies, with glitter and gems, you may or may not be surprised to hear that many adults also opt in for a face painting experience, so I guess they had all let their inner child out for the day too, I think they also had the beer! I have never painted my own face, but I do paint my arm during quiet moments 😀

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  3. That,s a good memory of jumping into leaves and for me I still like to jump some handfull leaves of the head of my youngest and she over mine, it’s always fun. Somewhere we stay children don’t we?
    Wish you a nice autumn day today Charlie!

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  4. I pity the fool who has to paint Charlie’s face! (Because surely their painting would pale in comparison to any of yours.) 🙂 And if it’s possible to surpass nature’s beauty in the fall, you’ve certainly done so with this beautiful leaf.

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  5. Skipped having your faces painted and went for a beer – hilarious!

    Autumn is a truly spectacular season unless you live, as I do, in Southern California, where it’s pretty much like every other season. What delineates our seasons more than anything else is the threat of fire, higher in autumn.
    But autumn leaves are the ultimate expression of childhood joy, whether jumping into leafy piles or choosing one special leaf to examine for all its intricate beauty. Which you captured perfectly in this enchanting Doodlewash.

    Thanks for the memories of my childhood in New Jersey, leafy piles, yellow (not blue) skies, and all. Though no koalas at our little zoo.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glorious – all those little veins and crisp edges! Ha, I can totally imagine you having to restrain yourself from the jump! How wonderful it is to trundle through the fallen leaves – like giant cornflakes.😛

    Haha, aww, you should have waited and got your face painted! They might have done a seal or zonkey for you!😉

    Liked by 1 person

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