Yesterday’s Fall Photo Walk

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The light prevailed so well over the weekend that I was able to do another photo walk. This one was at a different local forest park, one I’ve neglected in recent years because it is not heavy on wildflowers or maple trees.

There was still a coating of frost on some of the leaves as the sun rose, as was the case with the fallen bald cypress leaves below.

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The trail at this park had plenty of honeysuckle bushes on its margins. The leaves of these bushes have not changed in color yet, so it was odd indeed to see so much green at the end of November.

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Of course, the oak trees are the stars of this November forest.

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Fall Photo Walk, November 25

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I hope that your Thanksgiving was as lovely as mine was. My brother and his brood flew here from Denver. My parents’ house was full of food and conversation about the past, present, and future. I couldn’t have asked for a better holiday.

The light has begun to brighten from the dark damp of mid-fall. There were several evenings and mornings in which golden sunlight made a cameo, but I’d be reliably stuck on the wrong side of a window at work or home as it paraded by.

This morning I was finally able to catch some of the light with camera in hand. I returned to my favorite forest park, where the oaks are still hanging on with their many brown tones. It is not until fall is winding down that brown leaves reveal their glory.

There are also a few other trees whose leaves still linger. Among these were a trio of bald cypress trees, which is a true oddity this far north. I’m not sure who decided to plant these trees at our local parks, but I’m glad that it happened. Every year their shedding of needle-like leaves is a surprise to me. They look like evergreens until the moment those needles turn a tawny brown.

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(This post is also my entry this week’s photo challenge, Transformation.)

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Yesterday’s Fall Photo Walk

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I hated winter until I learned that I needed it. I spent four winters away from Ohio, in places where a 45-degree dawn was hailed as the start to a frigid day.  Each winter away from the Snowbelt would begin with a feeling of escape from a harsh fate and end with a sense of impending madness. I needed the deep rest that only a classic, frosty winter can offer.

While winter has not arrived yet, the temperatures have been cold enough to suggest that it’s getting time to bring out the blankets and sweaters, that there is no time like the present to dust off the books you’ve been meaning to read. The time has also changed, so there’s not enough light to get much done outside before or after work.

I had hoped for sunshine yesterday, but the skies were also gathering a blanket against the cold. The temperatures hovered in the low 20’s during my photo walk. The oaks, with their russet tones, are reigning now. Just a few sweetgum trees are blazing red. Last the willows and Bradford pear trees will change color before all of the trees slip into their winter’s rest.

(This post is also my entry in the Weekly’s Photo Challenge’s theme of Temporary.)

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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.

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.

Fall Photo Walk, October 21

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I’m pleased to report that I am feeling significantly better today than I did yesterday. I am also grateful that my orthopedic problems do not prevent me from enjoying my photo walk habit; I don’t need to linger too long in any one spot to get a decent shot. This weekend photo walk habit has certainly lifted my spirits during this ongoing saga.

Low rainfall and a lack of cool nights have contributed to an underwhelming leaf season this year. The display started early due to leaf drop, and it is dragging on with muted colors. I increased the saturation on some of these shots. The muted palette just didn’t look natural to me despite that it is a normal result of the unusually dry, warm climate we’ve had over the past three months.

Here’s a curiosity I spotted today. I can’t decide if it resembles an extremely advanced yoga position or a sleek predator turning ever-so-slightly to catch a secret glimpse of its prey:

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I hope leaf season lingers throughout the month so I have a few more opportunities for photo walks with this sort of scenery. I’m not sure if we’ll have true peak color this year, but I will enjoy the process of capturing these changes, nonetheless.

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Another image from yesterday’s photo walk

This one is from my budget smart phone. Who still uses “budget” as an adjective? I think such usage is a symptom of impending middle age.