(I wrote this about a week ago and since then we have definitely turned the corner into the beginnings of winter! Temps are now in the 40’s and our first light snow is expected tomorrow.) I figure readers may be tiring of fall photographs soon so this could likely be my last entry to feature them. Personally, it’s my favorite time of year and I could go out of my way looking at changing colors from now on out! I think we have been at fall’s apex in this area as not only are colors starting to dim but trees are also losing many leaves to wind and weather. We’ve enjoyed a pretty nice Indian summer lately, with only a few cooler days of rain but mainly sunny and above average temps.
For someone born and raised in the west, the east is an adjustment topographically and emotionally. I think it is only because I am at the stage of life that I am, that I can now fully appreciate and welcome the differences without disparaging the one because of its less apparent and blatant magnificence of scenery. Wisconsin does not have the swaths of wide open public and un-peopled lands that we are used to; indeed, small forest patches are usually interspersed with farms and country residences. The entire state was denuded of its original forest growth long ago by logging for the huge paper mills so what remains is second growth and plantation forests so often they are very uniform in appearance. Wisconsin is a heavily forested state however. Forests are decidedly more mixed with deciduous than what we find in the west which gives an interesting cast to fall colors because there will be spots of brilliance popping against the deep green of evergreens.
What I have learned about appreciating Wisconsin is that I must scale back my perspective and not expect miles and miles of open beautiful vistas. As a friend likes to claim about his views from his home of the gorgeous Colorado Rocky Mountains, his view are in IMAX; my views are now on the scale of a vignette. They can be lovely, but they are compact and of an entirely different nature, often man-made in fact. The joy is not lessened; it is merely different. Although I would be remiss to say I don’t miss the west, I am also honestly happy to be here to appreciate something so entirely different and well, comforting. For me now, turning to a more domestic scene after years and years spent on the road as a vagabond, this is what I crave and enjoy. It is feeling like “home” already.
On with fall! I snap pictures as I walk around Amherst, further exploring the neighborhoods of this lovely village. The last photo is telephoto from my apartment yard of the small hillside behind us.
Marc goes along as we explore a county park, Lake Emily, with its campground, playground and warm water with sandy beach not even five miles from home. Lake Emily is bordered by one of the marvelous recreational trails Wisconsin is so good at making, which uses an abandoned railroad bed. This trail runs for many miles and is multiuse with an immediately adjacent horse trail. Today we see joggers and bikers; come winter it will change to cross-country skiers.