Sometimes the leaf painters are overly enthusiastic.
(They only get to paint once a year, after all.)
Sometimes fragile leaves are covered with so much color that it overexcites and overwhelms their already temporary leaf natures.
Some freshly painted leaves let go too soon, seduced by the promise of a dance with even the gentlest breeze.
For other leaves the new colors are so bright and hot and strange that they burn out like flames.
They fall to the ground, crisp and brown, faded and exhausted and confused.
(Leaves are sensitive things.)
But once in awhile the painters get everything right.
Reds and russets and oranges and golds gently applied and perfectly balanced, dancing with the lingering greens, not too much or too bright or too fast.
And the painted leaves just glow, warm and surprised and delighted.
About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.