Although this photo isn’t exactly appropriate for today’s Photo Friday theme of Burn, it does capture the state of southern New Hampshire foliage these days: still mostly green, but with an occasional glimmer of the eventual conflagration that is autumn in New England.

Every September I’ve lived in New England, I get a bit anxious right before the leaves turn: what if this year’s colors don’t live up to my year-long expectations? Autumn in New England has a high reputation to live up to, and the travails of northeastern winters make fall a bittersweet time, residents’ last chance to feast their eyes on natural color before winter’s gray descends. For some reason, right about now every year I worry that the leaves won’t turn vividly enough to satiate my craving for the spectacular: how would I be able to make it through the drabness of winter without one last dose of richly saturated color?

But while some autumns are less stunning than others, every year the leaves do something before they fall, and every year (at least so far) Mother Nature’s striptease has been enough both to titillate and satiate my senses. Still, the paranoid part of me had to check my blog archives to make sure this year’s fall colors are on schedule, and it seems they are: one year ago today I blogged the pumpkin pile outside the local Wal-Mart, and a little more than a year ago, I spent a weekend in Bar Harbor, Maine, where the leaves were just starting to turn.

So while I’m fretting about the passage of time and waiting for leaves to turn, let me send you on a quick trip around the blogosphere, where virtual leaves are turning in their own inevitable way.

Those of you who have been following my Expository Writing students’ blogs can find this week’s batch of the best here. Reading new-ish bloggers is a bit like watching leaves turn as you feel yourself waiting for the moment when Voice appears as a writer hits her or his Narrative Stride.

My good friend Ji Hyang Sunim has just begun a blog of her own. I’ve known Ji Hyang since my early days in New England, back when I first started practicing (and for a time living) at the Cambridge Zen Center. You might remember Ji Hyang from the picture I blogged when my Zen-friends Jen and Stella had their baby shower last summer, or you might remember the sand mandala that was constructed at Wellesley College by Tibetan nuns whose visit Ji Hyang Sunim organized. Long before folks here in the blogosphere called me Zen Mama, Ji Hyang tagged me the “Dharma Queen,” so it’s good to welcome an old friend into the blogosphere as she chronicles her journey as a Zen nun, freshly matriculated graduate student, Buddhist chaplain, and all-around Dharma Goddess.

And lastly, a bunch of bloggish friends of mine have begun “an experiment in online literary and artistic collaboration” called qarrtsiluni, a blog whose name comes from an Inuit word meaning “sitting together in the darkness, waiting for something to burst.” So far, inaugural posts by Beth, Dave, and Rachel have chronicled the pregnant pause that precedes political upheaval, spiritual awakening, and natural ripening. As the trees here in southern New Hampshire are on the brink of burning, it seems that many corners of the blogosphere are similarly waiting for something inevitably to burst.