Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AUTUMN IS HERE!

The latter half of this summer has been hot and dry…
as you can tell by the bare-bones look of the riffle in front,
and looking upstream, of the cottage.
Normally, there'd be enough water coming down
between the rocks for a good canoeist to negotiate
from top to bottom and never drag or bump a single stone.
Let the seasonal celebration begin! Autumn is here and summer has gone on a nine-month hiatus. Hooray!
Yeah, yeah, I hear those mutterings from you astronomical nitpickers with framed star charts on the wall and a Celestron Edge 1400 HD as the optical centerpiece of your backyard observatory. I do know the seasonal switch isn't technically official until that precise moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator, which occurs at 11:09 p.m. EDT. But I say one should never become such a stickler for details that you mess up a good excuse for a party…and who wants to have a FALL IS HERE fête after dark? Nope, you gotta give a little slack occasionally. Autumn does arrive today. Let's not get bogged down by the practically trivial.
Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way…
Earlier this morning, camera in hand, I took a quick saunter around the cottage and along the riverbank. I thought I'd share a few quick snaps.
Autumn may begin with an astronomical event…
but visual autumn begins with a single colored leaf.
Thanks entirely to morning sunlight rather than colored leaves,
the Cottage Pool appears decidedly autumnish—don't you think?
Of course a well-dressed finch simply has to pick up the theme.
Same pool, moments later, different angle—
but that single sycamore leaf says change is afoot.
Morning light through a box elder leaf,
which shows a bit of foretelling rust.
A great blue heron caught in the act of fishing near the deck.
Purple coneflower seed heads. Time to collect them, pull them
apart, allow the seeds to dry indoors for a few days
then bag half for spring potted starts and winter sow the rest in a new bed.
Bankside looking upstream.
"No, you don't see me…I'm hidden, just a knot on the limb
and most definitely not a squirrel. Really!"
A new plant I was recently given which which shall remain nameless,
because I've forgotten what it's called.
———————

18 comments:

Vagabonde said...

It does not feel like Autumn here yet though. I think this is the 83rd or 84th day (lost count really) of temperature being above 90, it was 95 yesterday. Autumn should mean cooler temperature. I enjoyed looking at all your beautiful and crisp photos. Thanks for coming to my blog while I was away. I’ll be here another three weeks then am going on another short trip (am retired now so need to take advantage of it…)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Vagabonde…

Unfortunately, it's supposed to be 92 here tomorrow, so not too fallish feeling here, either.

Hey, I enjoy your blog. And I appreciate you dropping in here—and always thank you for your comments. And I don't blame you for traveling all you can. If I had my way (which basically means the cash) I'd practically live on the road. My blood has always been infused with wanderlust…

Wanda..... said...

There was a different feel to the wind today...the ground is extremely dry and we can hardly walk without stepping on hickory nuts. You're right, it's Autumn!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

I presume you had a bit of rain yesterday. Here, while it was the best shower in perhaps two months, it still didn't amount to much. The river is at the same level as in the photo, anorexic, rocks showing, half its normal self. And it's supposed to hit 92 today!

But…it's fall by definition and fall in fact, and no matter how warm it gets, you can feel the seasonal change, see it in the sky and leaves, smell it in the air. Hooray!

George said...

A lovely post, Grizz, reflecting a spirit on the rise, thanks, I assume, to the onset of Autumn. Your photos, reflecting nature's fashion change from greens to golds and browns, have a nice quiet Zen quality to them. Sometimes the simplest things found in nature are the most — what's the word I'm looking for here — reassuring.

With the past winter having left more snow in my area than fell on Buffalo, I'm not quite as excited as you are about the onset of winter. I welcome the change, nonetheless, knowing at least that spring will not be far behind. During the meantime, there's nothing like a crackling fire and a few good books to get one through the challenging parts of winter.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

I so love your pictures as they capture the changes and promise of cooler weather. phew. We had quite the storm last night - hopefully it will clear out the 80+ temperatures. So far this morning it is still muggy. eeeewww. Enough!!
Be well my friend.
Love Gail
peace......

Scott said...

Grizz,

I love your comment that the creek looks "anorexic"--just perfect!

Do you know the identity of that lush, low herbaceous plant is that's growing on the point in your picture of the creek upstream? Is it Microstegium vimineum (stilt grass)? If not, do you have invasive, non-native, pernicious stilt grass growing on the streambanks there?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

I do, indeed, find autumn's arrival brings with it a welcome spiritual lift—though part of that my simply be relief in seeing summer in the rearview mirror. However, I'm not anxious for winter yet, as I want to savor this last bright blaze of the year—the ripening and maturity, the slowing and thinning, I want to enjoy watching the land relax day-by-day into gentle slumber.

Winter will come in its time, and when it does, I'll be ready.

BTW, of the shots in this post, may favorites are number 2 (yellow walnut leaf on smoke tree) and number 3 (a sort of abstract of sunlight on the pool in front of the cottage.) This latter one [double click to see it big] reminds me of some of your fine brushwork.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

We had rain yesterday, but not really all that much. The river looks just like it did in yesterday's pix. And it's hot—90˚F at the moment—and a bit humid. Probably summer getting its digs in at me for my badmouthing. Like THAT'S something new for me!

Hope you're still improving healthwise. In spite of today's weather, fall's a'comin'! Take care…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Scott…

The water is so low you can hear the smallmouth bass coughing!

Re. the plant growing on the gravel bar up from the cottage…I've always heard the plant called waterwillow. At least I think that's correct. It's quite common, I've seen it all my life, and only grows in the shallows along the streams.

However—and this is a "however" worth paying attention to—I'm practically incompetent when it comes to aquatic and marginal plants. Which is an embarrassing admission for a lifelong fisherman. I know cattails and water lilies, and after that you'd better keep your money in your pocket. Pathetic considering all the time I've spent wading around with fisheries biologists. But I don't have a single field guide, and would have to think about the differences between eelgrass, elodea, coontail, and duckweed.

On the other hand, I don't believe we have stilt grass growing here…yet. But if this doesn't jibe with what you know, and you still think the plant looks like stilt grass, don't hesitate a second in correcting me. If you want, I'll make a close-up shot. Like I said, I'm not to be relied on re. aquatic marginals.

George said...

By golly you're right, Grizz. That third shot does remind me of some of the abstract work I've done. I especially like that little focal point of intense orange (a bright leaf, I think) in the pool.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

I'm a sucker for reflection and water shots. I don't know how many I've put up on this blog since its beginning, but at least three or four dozen—some quite abstract, others fairly identifiable. Folks are doubtless getting tired of them, I suppose, but they're out of luck because I simply can't resist making and posting 'em. Why, last year, I even did a whole post…

http://riverdaze.blogspot.com/2009/11/autumn-once-removed.html

…of nothing but reflections. Take a look, when you have time—I'd be curious to hear your favorite.

George said...

I've gone back and looked at every single one of those water reflection photos and each of gorgeous. You've emboldened me because I am planning to use some water reflection shots in my next post on Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

It's reassuring to know that there are others who take the time to see the wonderful beauty of reflections, especially those in water. I wonder, however, how many people ever see the reflections. People have a tendency to see "the main thing" and not what the main thing is doing in water and windows.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

Some years ago, I began taking reflection shots of morning sunlight blazing like orange fire off various objects. I got the idea while driving my daughter to school one morning—hence the "morning light only" restriction. (Such games must have rules if they're to furnish the most fun and challenge.)

Anyway, buildings and their window glass were easy. Buildings "glazed" by water, snow, or ice, a bit more difficult. But some of my best shots were of things you'd never think of as photogenic—railroad tracks (parallel lines of fire!), a stop sign, a "burning" mud-puddle, an old wine bottle beside the road, mailboxes, a friend's in situ eyeglasses (the demon angler), and dozens more. People were astonished by their diversity and often unexpected beauty…just everyday things lit by unusual light.

You are exactly right—most of the time we never see how light or juxtaposition or reflection offers up entirely new and stunning views of things. I photograph not only to share my "finds" but to first see them myself. Context has a lot to do with how we see things. Walk though the woods as a hunter, and you see things differently than you would simply as a naturalist, or or biologist. Walk through the woods as the hunted, and you'll see things differently still. Walk through as a photographer—or painter—and the nuances of light and texture, form, spatial relationships, color, etc. govern your seeing.

I'm looking forward to those reflective waterscapes.

KGMom said...

Well, yes, it is autumn--EXCEPT today the temp here was 90 degrees high. I want real autumn temps--truthfully, I want such temps ALL the time.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Ninety here, too; not very "fallish," as my mother used to put it. For me, 75˚F and DOWN is the preferred daytime temp range. That would be great summer temps. For fall and spring, maybe 7o˚ or even 65˚; and come winter, I want at least a few days of sub-zero.

I know… I'm nuts!

Murphyfish said...

Hi Grizz,
Autumn has also arrived here in North Wales, And it's truly great - time to think of night walking/fishing, warm fires, good food, fine ale, tall tales and friends to share it all with. Great post my man, love the pictures as always.
Regards,
John

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Murphyfish…

You've hit on every aspect of the perfect plan! I'm tempted to board a plane and head your way.

Fishing here will take a week or two of cooler weather to perk things up, and no need for warm fires yet with days approaching 90˚F (what is that, about 32˚C?). But such days and nights are on the way and I'm waiting anxiously.

Thank you for the nice comments re. the post and pix. And BTW, I'm glad to see that someone else likes rambling around outdoors after dark.

Best…