Between storms yesterday afternoon, we took Petey on a couple of small adventures to nearby natural sites. We stopped first at the Seven Bridges Natural Area. It’s been over a month since I visited, and I am always surprised at the differences. Mounds of goldenrod, asters, and ragweed – of course – surround the entrance. My last visit (which I somehow missed blogging about), the area was heaped in marsh marigolds. And whereas the pasture out back was verdant and dew-coated, yesterday it was crackly and brown. Different, but still lovely.

After meandering in the meadows and splashing in the river, we hopped down the road a few miles to Rugg Pond. It’s one of my favorite places around here in the fall. Friendly trumpeter swans always float gracefully nearby (there, but not pictured), and the hardwoods surrounding the water blush all shades of beautiful. If you look closely in the photos below, you can see the tips of the oaks doing just that.

We hiked along the pond’s edge and back into the woods under skies that couldn’t decide whether they’d rather be bright and cheery or dark and stormy. Petey sniffed everything at least twice, and especially enjoyed places where other mammals had obviously been at work.

I especially enjoyed the nascent fall fungi. Or maybe they’re still late summer fungi. Can you spot the edible (fruity, chewy) chanterelles? Can you identify my favored composition for mushroom photos? 😉

Do the maroon oak leaves and red/orange/yellow fungus signal fall’s arrival, or just the end of summer? Regardless, there’s no denying fall is on its way. We will not discuss what comes after that.
Fall Transitions

A Little Overwhelmed

Last week our friend from college flew here from Maui to visit. I’m not sure how we’ve built such a strong friendship, except that we just click. She and I had a few classes together in Miami, FL (I think three), and then she moved back to Maine to complete her college career. We were all very busy, going to school full-time and working full-time, but like I said – we just clicked.
Tony and Meg

Thirteen years later, we are still busy, and we live thousands of miles apart, but we still click. We spent all of last week together adventuring, so I have loads of pictures and stories to share – which is at the root of my feeling overwhelmed. It’s not a bad thing at all. So, this morning, instead of dealing with all that looming goodness (that just happens to be represented by a ton of effort ahead), I ventured out to capture the post-cold front beauty of my backyard view.

While I work on gathering the threads of my yarn, here’s so fall splendor for your delight. I hope you enjoy the colors while I get to work not working 😉 (We are off for the orchard soon, you see…)

pasture pano

Not quite the backyard. A couple miles down the road, at Rugg Pond

Early Fall Evening at Rugg Pond

An evening walk around the block is almost routine for us. Almost. Fitting in four miles and dinner before sunset can be a bit of a challenge at this time of year. Since we had chorizo with dinner, the four miles seemed more like an invitation for heartburn than a fun way to unwind. However, with warm air and blue skies, we weren’t going to stay confined inside, so we chose a local destination for a brief outing.

The blushing trees at Rugg Pond formed unblemished reflections in the stillness, while the hillsides behind cast deepening shadows.

First two images can be embiggened, as can the side-by-sides
Rugg Pond pano

fishing Rugg Pond

Rugg Pond reds

The absolute tranquility cemented my belief that Mama Nature is currently taking a deep breath, poised on a precipice of autumnal intensity. Can you feel it, too?

Nights have been chilly (frost most evenings), but the days warm nicely so that my grapes flourish and my tomatoes continue to ripen. Rich green trees of summer have been supplanted by their olive-colored brethren, tinged red at the tips – but holding, not yet bursting into fall flames.

Rugg Pond ripples

I’m holding my breath waiting for it, too. Right now I’m enjoying the clear, crisp air and the bit of heat the late September light holds. I’m still warm enough in capris, but require a jacket if I’m not cloaked in direct sunshine.

It’s always like this, before the October glory arrives. I’ll not push for it to hurry though. Soon enough, we’ll be shrouded in November’s shadows, which aren’t nearly as pleasant as these.

Rugg Pond