While the Sun Shines

Nevermind about making hay, take a hike! Enjoyed a slight break in the weather. I was able to get out, take a hike, and have my shoulders honest-to-goodness warmed by the sunshine. Bliss.

Along the Kestrel trail.

Along the Kestrel trail.

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The Pack

autumnwalkkestrel 028It is a bit of sight when we take our dogs for a walk. When my husband and I walk them together, usually one of us has 3 of the dogs and the other takes 2. During our rambles on Sunday, we both took turns with all 5 so we could trade off using the camera. (Hard to have a steady hand when several excited dogs spot a deer leaping across the fields.)

autumnwalkkestrel 013It was perfect walking weather for our pups. Gus and Chico can hike for as long as we’ll take them in most weather (provided Chico is properly attired in the cold, that is!) but the pugs, with their squashed faces, don’t do hot or humid so well. However, a crisp autumn day? So good! They can go for miles if we pace ourselves properly.

autumnwalkkestrel 033They were so happy! These pictures feel a bit deceptive in one way, though: usually the leashes are an unholy tangled mess of mythic proportions. We’re talking Gordian knot or  maybe Cerberus harness inspired.

autumnwalkkestrel 007Good stuff.

Autumn Meadow Details

The other day, we hiked the Kestrel and the Monarch trails out at Walnut Woods Metro Park. These trails are the newest parts of the park to be opened, in the middle section between the Tall Pines area and the Buckeye area. This part of the park is a meadow, but a wet meadow, if that makes sense? I love it. Here’s a broad view:

autumnwalkkestrel 010I suspect that to many, that may seem a bit bleak. But if you look closer, a meadow in fall reveals its own splendors:

autumnwalkkestrel 018

Goldenrod gone to seed. It glowed in the sunlight and almost looked like snow!

autumnwalkkestrel 022

Scarlet leaves at meadow’s edge.

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Milkweed pods and seeds.

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A very late blooming goldenrod.

Ghosts of the Forest

Sycamore trees are sometimes known as the “Ghosts of the Forest”. How did they come by such a handle? Some say they earned the name due to spooky phenomenon told of in Wyandotte and settler lore. Others think it’s just due to how their ghostly white limbs stand out against other darker trees. At any rate, these stately natives are pretty eye-catching. With little foliage to mask the interesting bark, my husband and I both found our gazes drawn to this gorgeous example during our walk yesterday:autumnwalkkestrel 071The trail we were on eventually wound around much closer to this grand tree, so here are 2 additional points of view: autumnwalkkestrel 092 autumnwalkkestrel 101Magnificent at any angle!

Crunchy Leaves

Off work today and enjoyed a slow, sleepy morning.  Then my husband made the most amazing, perfect for a chilly fall day kind of breakfast:  biscuits with homemade maple sausage gravy, polenta corn grits with spiceberry pawpaw jam, and an egg.  I don’t think the photo does any kind of justice to how delicious and satisfying a meal it was, but it was like a hug for the spirit.

Then we saddled up the pups and went for a walk out at Tall Pines.  We’re due for some crazy thunderstorms later today, so the sky was pretty ominous, but the changing leaves sure were pretty.  And crunchy!

I guess now we’re ready for that rain.

Bittersweet Covered Bridge

Back to work, alas.  Is being independently wealthy really too much to ask for? 😉

On my last day off, I took a nice hike at a nearby park, Slate Run.  One of the trails there passes through an old covered bridge:

For some reason, I associate covered bridges with autumn.  Between that and the fact that it was the last day of my vacation, it felt a bit melancholy and bittersweet.  Yet lovely.

View from the covered bridge.

Random lonely hanger inside the bridge. (???)

Meadow flowers.

Back to work.