Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day After Gorgeous Day . . .

What a string of splendid days!  I almost hope we'll get an inclement one soon, so I will stay home and catch up a bit on housework.  But who could resist the call of the outdoors when the sky is so blue, the air is so balmy, and the autumn colors are coming on fast?  Even my husband consented to join me on a walk at Moreau Lake on Monday, after I promised I wouldn't stop every five minutes to take any photographs.  Well, maybe just a few . . . .





There's something about this scene that stirs remembered emotion in me. Just a few weeks ago this shore was a riot of noise and activity from swimmers and picnickers, but now serene silence reigns.  I grew up on a busy Michigan lake that all summer long was constantly roiled by roaring powerboaters, but which then fell eerily silent after the summer people closed up their cottages and went away.  I remember I cherished the quiet calm and yet ached for the noisy fun I"d had with my summer friends.  A similar sweet melancholy came over me as I stood on this silent shore, even though I did not miss the previous noise and activity one bit.





My husband and I walked around the back bay of the lake, stopping to take in the stunning display put on by the sole Black Tupelo tree that grows along the shore.  I was sad to see that beavers had gnawed the trunk almost to the point of toppling the tree, so this may be the last year we'll have to enjoy its incredibly brilliant autumn color. Park staff had once wrapped the lower trunk with wire mesh in an attempt to protect this tree, but somehow the mesh had been torn away and the beavers moved in quickly.





At least I was consoled by the sight of the Witch Hazel blooming at last.  Its cheerful yellow raggedy ribbons of bloom will stay with us now until long after frost, the narrow petals curling up tight on cold days but unfurling again when warmed by the sun.  These flowers have the most delicious but subtle scent, like clean laundry fresh from the clothesline, touched with a trace of citron.






Tuesday brought us another simply spectacular autumn day.   I didn't get out until mid-afternoon, when the rays of October's sun were beginning to slant across the trail at Bog Meadow Nature Preserve, casting a golden light.




I walked along the tree-lined trail until I came to the open waters of the marsh.  Here, I sat on the bench a while, listening to the shrill trilling of crickets and just breathing in the quiet beauty of the scene.





Aside from a few pale-purple asters, very few flowers are blooming now.  But that doesn't mean there was little color to be seen.  The Winterberry shrubs were heavy with ruby-red berries, crowding the twigs more thickly than I have ever seen them before.  Perhaps they are making up for the scarcity of fruit they produced last year, when I searched and searched and hardly found any berries at all.




The late-afternoon sun was at just the right angle to light up the dangling Bittersweet Nightshade berries like glowing lamps.




A single branch of Staghorn Sumac burned like a flaming torch, when backlit by the sun.





I had to grant a grudging appreciation for this branch of invasive Tartarian Honeysuckle when I saw the beautiful purple color of its leaves.




Our native Clematis vine, called Virgin's Bower, produces dainty white flowers in summer and fluffy white puffs of seeds as autumn wears on.  This intermediate stage is the most colorful one of all, with its peachy-coral seedheads and silky long blond tresses.



6 comments:

June said...

You have outdone yourself with these photos!

Momo said...

Another glorious day ahead as I awaken with your spectacular photos and a glimpse of pink tinged puffy clouds from my bay window. Thanks!

Carolyn H said...

Lovely color in your photos. Here, it's been so dry for the past 5 weeks or so that everything is just turning brown. I don't think the fall will hold many pretty colors this year.

wanderingaroundtheblock said...

Wonderful pictures. I really like lake photos that reflect the surrounding area. Thanks!

Woodswalker said...

Thank you June and Momo and Carolyn and wanderingaroundthe block. I really like knowing you come along with me on my nature adventures.

Ellen Rathbone said...

I have never seen virgin's bower looking so glorious! Now I'm gonna have to go in search of some here!