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Autumn Leaves

By Jane Whitmore - | Oct 1, 2020

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sends out weekly fall color reports each week in October. Go to the Weekly Fall Colors Report on the Iowa DNR website iowadnr.gov

Their first report for north central and northwest Iowa: trees are dappled with some color. Walnuts, cottonwoods, green ash and basswood are beginning to yellow. Red, orange, and purple are starting to become more prevalent in towns with maples and white ash trees.

Check out the chart for the state, then head out to view the color of autumn.

My mind took a sudden turn in the direction of the music, Autumn Leaves, and pianist Roger Williams.

When you Google Roger Williams, Roger Williams the Puritan minister pops up. He was a theologian, and author who founded Providence Plantations, which became the Colony of Rhode Island. He was a staunch advocate for religious freedom, separation of church and state, and fair dealings with Native Americans, and he was one of the first abolitionists. (Wikipedia)

Refine your search to find pianist Roger Williams (born in Omaha, NE and grew up in Des Moines, IA). Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

“Roger Williams (born Louis Jacob Weertz, October 1, 1924 – October 8, 2011) was an American popular music pianist. Described by the Los Angeles Times as ‘one of the most popular instrumentalists of the mid-20th century’, and ‘the rare instrumental pop artist to strike a lasting commercial chord,’ Williams had 22 hit singles — including the chart-topping ‘Autumn Leaves’ in 1955 and ‘Born Free’ in 1966 — and 38 hit albums between 1955 and 1972.”

As a fan of Williams’ piano music, I found his biography most interesting, but I’ll leave that up to you to check out. However, here’s a nice note: “Autumn Leaves”, was the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on Billboard’s popular music chart. It sold over two million copies, and was awarded a gold record.

Back to the colors of autumn – take a drive around Emmetsburg. The first beautiful trees that comes to mind are on the block of Emmetsburg Fire Department/Police Department. They are in all of their glory this week.

Emmetsburg’s parks have beautiful trees. These older, established trees are glorious with branches filled with leaves of yellow and orange and red, with a bit of summer green. Drive north on Grand up from 25th Street, where the big trees make a canopy over the street. It’s almost magical.

On a leisurely drive through the community you will see a golden glow. Choose any street and there will be colorful trees right in front of your eyes, and remember to look to the right and to the left. It’s truly worth some of your time, bringing a bit of calm into an otherwise hectic day.

Remember: “take the time to smell the roses” – or – in this case – view the trees.