Our fall is changing rapidly. What is lovely and colorful on one day is completely different two days later after heavy winds have caused the leaves to fall. I was fortunate to find this lovely golden road one late afternoon. The autumn colors were plentiful, and the road was littered with beautiful yellow leaves. The next day was followed with heavy winds, and when I returned the trees had lost all their color and many of the leaves on the road had been scattered into the forest. I was reminded of how important it is to stop and make the image when you see it because it is never the same the next time.
When autumn is as brilliant as it’s been this year, we want it to continue. A crisp but not cold day, blue sky with some clouds, the changing colors with their deep hues, and a country road that winds through the woods with leaves crinkling under the tires and the deeper smell of fall in the air – the very best way to soak up a prime day of this most beautiful season.
Our fall temperatures have continued, and last Friday dawned with a noticeable crispness in the air. The wind was still at this early hour, and the sun was just starting to reflect off the clouds above as it made its way over the horizon. At Como Park I was able to find a perfect spot to take in the sunrise. A small pond on the golf course captured the reflection of the clouds above, and the silhouettes of the trees. Some trees still have their leaves while others have lost them to the autumn winds, and the grasses are in full bloom – their swan song before winter moves in. This season seems to be the shortest one, no matter how hard we try to hold onto the fall colors.
Climate change, global warming, el nino – for whatever reason, today had the promise of sunshine and temperatures in the 50’s – almost unheard of for mid-November in Minnesota. Last year at this time we had a layer of snow and highs near 30 degrees. So when a day comes like today, it warrants savoring. We drove north to Mille Lacs Lake and set out for some end of the season fishing. On the south side of the lake we were protected from the wind that was blowing across the cooling lake. Although we came up short for our fishing luck, we considered ourselves enormously fortunate for being able to enjoy a beautiful day on a big lake. As we were pulling off the lake, the sun was starting to set and painting the sky with beautiful shades of blue and pink. The bare trees, the blue water, and the rocks along the shore all seemed to be celebrating this unusual day for mid-November in Minnesota.
There are so many lovely “hidden gems” in the Twin Cities, and one just happens to be in my neighborhood. Como Park, which includes a conservatory, zoo, carousel, golf course, lake, swimming pool, picnic areas, and many trails, also holds a lovely Japanese garden tucked away down a winding path. In the early morning hours with the colors of autumn on display, I found myself humbled and amazed at the quiet and the beauty in the garden. The fallen leaves seemed to have a purpose in their random display, as if saying that all is right in this changing landscape. The colors spoke to me, begging to be remembered as they will be quickly replaced with the white of snow. This year’s change of seasons has been hurried, yet here in the Japanese garden there was a stillness and quiet reminding me that each season holds its own purpose and to trust in the changes of fall prior to the long nights of winter.