Garden, November 5

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Some of the flowers in my garden persist despite a few frosty nights. The weather has been too inhospitable for much deadheading or trimming of these plants. The time has come to let this garden season go, but I will not pull the annuals until every last blossom is spent.

I will cherish this year’s garden for years to come. This was the year their bounty helped sustain me.

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Fall Photo Walk, November 4

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The weather was gloomy today: deeply overcast skies with the threat of rain. The temperatures hovered in the low 40’s, but I ventured to my favorite local park, determined to conquer the challenge of capturing leaf season during cloudy weather.

I fiddled with some of the settings on my camera, dialing up the ISO and adjusting the white balance. I learned that there is more drama in low light than I suspected.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peek

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Leaves blaze in bokeh behind a dried wildflower. It’s like leaf season is a dying star, and its peak is a supernova before winter’s chill sets in.

Peek

Today’s Fall Photo Walk

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Earlier today, I wrote about how light becomes elusive just as fall peaks in color. I feel fortunate that I was lucky enough to have a bit of time to take pictures as the skies turned more favorable for picture taking. In all honesty, I had a hard time getting motivated for this stroll. My sciatica flared up almost the entire time. I’m glad I faced that pain and took this walk. The sight of these trees at close range was just the balm I needed.

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Red Maple

The light continues to be elusive. The skies have been the sort I find hard to conquer with exposure. If I let the camera meter for the leaves, the sky is a blown out white. If I do the opposite, I get silhouettes instead of well-exposed subjects. I suppose the light is deceptive on deeply overcast days. Everything seems dim, but the sky is actually quite bright.

During my drive home from work today, the clouds parted briefly to offer some decent filtered sunlight. I did a quick photo walk through my neighborhood to seize this opportunity to capture the riot of fall color that has teased us on these cloudy, rainy days. It’s as if these scenes are unwilling subjects at their most beautiful, and the cloud cover abets their hiding out in the open. It’s like nature is telling us that we must enjoy this last hurrah of the season first hand, for it resists committing itself to memory in a tangible way.

I think of the red and orange fallen leaves I tried to keep in my youth. Every one faded in color, but not in my memory.

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Fall Photo Walk, October 31

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The weather has turned so inhospitable that every flower and leaf I captured today is a survivor its own right. Nighttime temperatures have hovered around freezing, and daytime highs have been in the 40’s. We’ve had lots of rain and cloudy skies as well.

The forecast predicts the last warm encore of the season this weekend, but there’s rain ahead, too. I’m still hoping for a couple more sunny photo walks before fall is over.

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Fall Photo Walk, October 28

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The season has definitely made its equivalent of a presidential pivot toward the more serious business of getting all the flora and fauna to prepare for winter. When I ventured out this morning, the temperature was just 37 degrees with very elusive light. I think I may have wasted most of the day’s meager portion of direct sunlight just driving to the park, which is just 20 minutes from my house.

I’m not keen on taking pictures on overcast days. I suppose I shouldn’t rely so heavily on the direct sun for my pictures, but my preference runs strongly to bright light, even if its shadows obscure some details. The clouds conquered the light early in my walk today. I tried my best with these conditions, but I keep thinking I’d like a “do over” on today’s walk.

As for the more positive aspects of this morning’s walk, I spotted a raccoon taking a dip in the park’s pond:

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I also spotted this fallen tree that looks like it is ready to settle in for the proverbial long winter’s nap:

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I’m hoping for a sunnier day tomorrow to capture more of the season’s color. We’re as close to the peak of leaf season as we’ll get this year.