“…paranormal phenomena are in the eye of the beholder. They happen between human ears, not outside of them.” Gerard t’Hooft (1946-Present)
Okay…I’ll admit it…I’ve brought you here under completely false pretenses – so if you were looking for the latest on UFO’s, extrateresstrials or life on other planets, then you probably should look elsewhere. What I am offering is a plausible explanation for a very localized phenomena that involved symmetrical colages of autumn leaves, instead of the usual intricate patterns sculpted in farmer’s fields. These foliar rectangles started appearing about twelve years ago, in a public playground called Holly Park in Maple Ridge, British Columbia – which is about a thirty minute drive east of Vancouver. They always appeared overnight, usually in groups of 2 to 3, carefully laid out on the manicured lawn as if they had simply dropped from the sky. The workers which took care of the park were further perplexed by the fact that none of the leaf species used in these rectangles could be found in the playground proper. And while these alien artforms were wiped off the planet with the weekly mowing, that didn’t do much to allay their apprehensions, as new ones would inevitably appear. A few of the workers even refused to destroy these unexplained phenomena, fearing the wrath of their creators – so they started mowing the lawn around them. Then the local kids who frequented the playground started bringing home tall tales of the magic leaf squares that just appeared out of nowhere, and a few concerned parents went to have a look for themselves, only to find that their children were telling the absolute, albeit strange, truth. One of these skeptical citizens was so incensed with the uncut patches of lawn that he complained to the park’s board about the shoddy work. It was just as the foreman was about to investigate the matter in person, that the Holly Park leaf rectangles vanished altogether, leaving no trace of their existance. That was exactly ten years ago today and although this phenomena is considered more urban myth than fact, many of those who saw it in person still avoid the park – just in case the leaves return.
The reason I am relaying this story to you is that I have a theory which might explain all these paranatural phenomena, although it will probably seem a little far-fetched to some. It involves a gardener with a photography fetish and the illegal transit of foliage from West Vancouver (where he worked) to his home in Maple Ridge. Every work day at lunch, he would rush through his meal and then go looking for pristine examples of autumn leaves, which he would carefully pack into a plastic bag in order to preserve their colour. Once home at the end of the day, he would walk over to the local park – where the ambient sunlight and manicured lawn provided the perfect canvas for his medium. The gardener would then proceed to set his camera up on a tripod, facing downwards towards the lawn, and begin to assemble a botanical colage, leaf by leaf, occasionally looking through the viewfinder for perspective. Once he took the shots from a few different angles, he would set up another canvas, usually creating two to three of these at one sitting. At the end of his photography sessions, he would often consider picking up the leaves and shoving them back into the bag they came from – but it seemed such a shame to destroy a beautiful piece of emphermal art – so he left them for others to ponder. I know this theory sounds a bit left field – somewhat akin to Elvis faking his own death to become a circus clown, UFO abductions and the Illuminati or Free Masons looking to control financial markets – but I just thought I should put it out there anyways.