Sunday, October 23, 2016

Late Autumn Color

Just when you think that it is over you discover that it is not over yet.  In many nearby places the hills are covered with leafless trees.  Where some leaves still hang onto the trees they are a dull yellowish brown.  Moving down into our dead ice sink, I discovered this wild blueberry bush ablaze with bright color.  It is quite a find.

Our new computer has an automatic enhance feature that it applies to all of our pictures.  We turn off that artificial brightening of our photos one at a time.  We prefer to see the colors as they actually exist.  Believe it or not these colors look just like what I saw with my old eyes.

Looking up out of the dead ice sink, my location for taking the recent pictures of our nearby ridge can be seen.  Today I was facing west.  The ridge is behind me to the east.

Sumac is often regarded as a trash tree.  Its soft fuzzy trunk does not inspire respect.  Death is common among relatively young trees.  Deer frequently use the trunks of sumac to rub the velvet from their horns.  Rub scars tend to be large and seem to last forever.  The red leaves seem rather majestic especially when compared with the overdone blueberry leaves.

The still green tree in the background is an oak.  There are many different varieties of oak trees here and we remain totally ignorant of their proper names.  Last week as I drove past Otselic, a distant hill came into view and it was peppered with purple leaved oak trees.  The contrast in colors was stunning but I was not moved to look for the proper name of this seasonally beautiful tree.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Seasonal Beauty

It is my understanding that this is the time of year when hordes of people pay money to ride on buses or trains to see our seasonal color displays.  This is a season of incredible beauty and we find it close to home.  We own everything in the foreground and have the landowners permission to walk the distant ridge.  Twenty-two years ago when we first walked this land, the similarity between this ridge and Diamond Head impacted me.  Here the ridge runs to meadow rather than ocean and we encounter prickers not beaches when we approach.  Ours is without question truly majestic at this time of year.

This is not your typical fall color picture.  The scraggly white pine tree has finished putting on its winter coat.  Fallen needles litter the ground in sharp contrast with the new green needles.  This process of renewal is a true wonder.  The tree is never bare.  New needles push away the old in scattered spots among the branches.  Green is always the dominant color but since no golden brown can be found hanging on the tree the cycle has ended.  Walking on newly fallen pine needles is hazardous.  They are slicker than new ice and show no signs of danger there.

This is diamond head as seen from the high ground to the left in the first picture.  Our numerous briers, as seen in the foreground, are a source of a different color.  They are an invasive nuisance and a source of many scratches but they also sweeten spring air.  The newly opened leaves release a pleasant scent as do the flowers that follow.  It is best to see their good side since they are firmly here to stay.

Here is a long view from the nearby level ground that is close to where the previous picture was taken.  A dead ice sink forms the bowl shaped depression to the right.  Our twisted lumpy land makes for interesting walks.

This picture was taken from the same high ground as the previous two.  My garden by the woods at the far right of the picture is marked by white metal post tops and brown grass mulch cut from what looks like lawn.  It is in fact mowed meadow complete with horse manure!  No one walking on it could mistake it for lawn.

Looking north from the high ground around the dead ice sink, one sees our home.  It is rather easy to imagine the type retirement life that has been ours here.  We feel fortunate to have found this place and treasure our time spent here.