When I was a wee thing, my Granna informed me that there were Painting Fairies who painted the leaves in Autumn. At night, when we were all abed, of course.
Naturally I spent many a sleepless night trying to catch them at it. I was sure I caught a glimpse now and again. And this may have been the beginnings of a lifetime of insomnia. Always trying to catch the night magic.
I still remember running in the house, arms filled with half green leaves, quite indignant that the fairies were so lazy that they didn't finish painting these particular leaves all the way. Granna, as usual, explained it perfectly. It seems in the early nights of Autumn, the Painting Fairies are just waking up, are very sleepy and are sometimes known to nod off, mid leaf and that the green, unfinished part of the leaf is where they slept. When the dawn arrives, they flutter off and forget where they slept and so the leaves are unfinished. By the end of Autumn, they are all quite awake and the leaves become more vivid.
This made absolute sense to me. Though I admit I worried about woozy fairies falling off the leaves or running into a tree for a time.
I thought about them this morning as I watched the sun rise over the beginnings of a crimson array in the orchard. It is Painting Fairy Season again.