Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘fall colors

Changes Underway

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There is no denying the trend that is underway. Our trees are beginning to reveal what their true autumn colors will be as the change inches toward its peak.

Will it be a week or several? Time will tell. We often get hit with strong winds just when the colors are about to be their best, which knocks much of the glory to the ground sooner than we want. Yesterday’s wind wasn’t as dramatic as I feared. Brought down more twigs and sticks than leaves, probably because not many leaves have changed yet.

I walked past the willow tree in the paddock and realized that I’d only seen a horse eating a branch one time yet the bottom of the branches end perfectly at the height they can reach. They are keeping it trimmed. Look at the willow tree in the background to see the difference of one beyond their access.

We gave up trying to protect the one in the paddock and didn’t expect to see any new leaves on the branches this summer so it has already outlived our expectations. The horses chew on the bark and roots in our presence, but I guess they wait until we aren’t around to prune the growing branches.

I think they will miss it when the tree no longer provides much in the way of shade. We have been trying to nurse along some new shade trees we transplanted just beyond the paddock fence but they won’t be providing much shade until a decade from now. I mean, if they even survive this first-year shock of having been moved.

We’ll find out next summer whether any of them might have a future of someday adding colors to our glorious autumn seasons.

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Written by johnwhays

September 26, 2022 at 6:00 am

Our Day

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A day after we celebrated Julian’s birthday with a family dinner at a Bloomington restaurant, Cyndie and I claimed yesterday for ourselves in honor of our 41st wedding anniversary. Our animal sitter, Grace, was on the calendar to free us up to do whatever we wanted. In the end, we both wanted to stay home and work on our property.

I am thrilled that our first accomplishment involved clearing small stumps, roots, and rocks in our north loop trail that have prevented me from being able to mow that section as low as desired for our walking trails. I’ve been wanting to take care of this nuisance issue for two summers.

In the afternoon, we focused our attention on the labyrinth. I brought down our new favorite tool, the electric push mower to give it a fresh cut.

We rearranged rocks and pulled weeds, addressing only a fraction of the total that is deserving of attention. The progress looks so good it has us both wanting to get back down there again soon to continue the beautification.

Just as we were about worn out for the day, we looked up to find the horses had wandered back to hang out in our proximity. That was all the invitation we needed to stop what we were doing to go hang out with them.

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Throughout the day we reminisced about our wedding day back in 1981, an outdoor service on a day with very similar weather to what we were enjoying yesterday. I remember the trees were starting to turn colors, similar to what is beginning to happen here this week.

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Written by johnwhays

September 20, 2022 at 6:00 am

Color Gradient

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It caught my eye right away as I passed by and after a few steps beyond I realized I needed to stop and go back.

Look at the color gradient happening here.

Nature putting on a show, plain and simple.

These spectacles are dwindling. There is now a lot more brown on the ground than colors on the branches, which makes these little surprises all the more special.

Our days of summery October are numbered I’m afraid. Near-term forecasts suggest high temperatures in the 50s(F) and lows below freezing.

In preparation, yesterday we flushed the water out of the buried line to the labyrinth and rolled up the last of our long garden hoses. Getting that chore done while still being able to wear a T-shirt outdoors in October is a rarity.

It’s so odd to know the warmth is ominous for the planet while it is also making it more comfortable to work outside this October.

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Written by johnwhays

October 20, 2021 at 6:00 am

Not Over

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For all of the leaves that have fallen to the ground already, the autumn show of colors is not over yet. We are enjoying a thrilling pizzazz of fall scenery around our property. The floor of our forest has attained one of my favorite looks.

We now have a carpet of leaves beneath the dwindling canopy of the treetops.

A carpet with a variety of colors splashed across it.

Add a sunset that paints the clouds overhead all purple-y-pink and it started to look like we were wearing rose-colored glasses last night.

What a treat to be able to watch this show evolve right before our eyes and not have to plan a special trip to drive up north or some other place where the fall colors provide such spectacular autumn splendor.

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Written by johnwhays

October 12, 2021 at 6:00 am

Maximum Transition

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Wintervale is currently undergoing the full range of extremes in the transition from green tree leaves to none at all.

Very few of our trees seem to reach peak color on every branch at the same time. The majority become a mosaic of the original green that seems to resist the inevitable, the ultimate brilliance of autumn color, and the shriveling past-peak remnants bound to fall to the ground within hours.

The tree in the above image was sporting the most vivid reds two days ago. Yesterday, I noticed some of them just kept getting a deeper and deeper red until becoming almost black. Most of those have now fallen to the pavement below. Yet, there is still a limb or two with completely green leaves.

We experienced a couple of heavy rain showers yesterday, which surely contributed to bringing down batches of leaves en masse.

We are socked in with low cloud cover this morning which effectively dulls every view, but despite the few trees that have dropped many leaves in the last 24 hours, it still looks pretty special. I captured a long view yesterday before all the blue sky and sunshine completely disappeared.

The horses are growing their winter coats and the extended warmth and humidity we are experiencing had them sweating. The swing away from that to this morning’s cooler, wetter, and cloudier conditions provide a welcome change.

The season of bare tree branches is nigh.

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Written by johnwhays

October 3, 2021 at 10:16 am

Colors Intensifying

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It’s already as dark as can be in the morning when I depart for my commute to the Cities and almost as dark before dinner’s barely finished so the swing of seasons is unmistakable. What I miss while I am at the day-job is the rapidly intensifying colors unfolding in a select few of our trees around Wintervale.

Luckily, Cyndie is home to capture the spectacle for me.

Soak it up with me…

Is that fun or what?!

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Written by johnwhays

September 29, 2021 at 6:00 am

Looked Up

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I looked up and this is what I saw:

It was one of those days when the sky doesn’t look cloudy, it just looks white.

That is all today. This writer is plumb writered out. Enjoy the variety of leaves.

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Written by johnwhays

September 27, 2021 at 6:00 am

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Sunrise Serenity

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It was about as peaceful as our place can be this morning as Delilah and I made the rounds. The serenity was only interrupted once when Delilah felt the need to respond to the distant barks from a dog far across the valley. The only other sounds humming along were the cooing of the barn pigeons and the munching of four horses happily chomping their feed.

Our labyrinth is glowing with the fall colors in the trees that surround it on three sides.

We are looking forward to a run of several warm and sunny fall days ahead.

I intend to soak up as much serenity as I am able. [big sigh]

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Written by johnwhays

September 26, 2021 at 9:38 am

Inside View

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Justifiably so, most pictures of trees in autumn are from beyond the forest where the view can include the variety of brilliant colors glowing from entire trees. Yesterday, Delilah and I paused on a walk through our woods so I could capture the view of early autumn from within the trees.

There are plenty of green leaves still attached to branches but the forest floor is already carpeted by a new batch of recently fallen leaves. The onset of fall is first noticeable by the leaves that fall on our trails, before the ones that start turning colors up in the branches.

I find myself needing to put effort toward consciously noticing this IS autumn. The early phases of this transition beyond summer are just as much a part of my favorite season as the later phases when branches are bare and mornings frosty.

Earlier in the week, Cyndie captured her shadow visible on the trunk of a tree that was glowing orange with a spot of just-risen sunlight appearing through the forested landscape behind her.

It may be the last week of September but the grass on our property is growing like it’s still mid-summer. It is becoming common now that I end up mowing grass and mulching fallen leaves all at the same time.

It bothers me a little bit that I am not shocked that 80-degree temperatures are forecast for the next few days.

Just like the fall season IS here right now, so is global warming and all the effects scientists have long predicted would occur if humans didn’t reduce the creation of greenhouse gasses at the rate that has grown steadily since the beginning of industrialization.

Fall colors and hot temperatures are an odd combination for my mind to associate.

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Written by johnwhays

September 25, 2021 at 9:37 am

Long Approach

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Cyndie was walking Delilah on the perimeter trail and paused to take a picture of the latest version of fall colors developing along our landscape. Then the horses noticed her. Cyndie kept taking pictures of the next few moments.

“Hello there!”

Of course, it was Mix and Swings who approached to see what Cyndie was up to. Light and Mia just kept grazing where they were.

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Written by johnwhays

September 24, 2021 at 6:00 am