“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” (Stephen King, Salem's Lot)
We've been seeing the trees turn leaves for about a month now, on the mountains. And in the past week, the mountains have gotten some snow, too. Actually, a lot of it. You know that joke people tell: “summer lasted for three months and fall fell on a Thursday”. Pretty much how it went, this time.
You all know that I it takes me a while to admit that summer is over. Summer is not my favorite season, but I don't want to store my flip flops away easily. I don't want to say the “f” word way too soon. But this morning, when I woke up to a clear blue, so crisp a sky it hurt the eyes, and mountain tops free of fog and clad in white, while the banks were dressed in red and yellow leaves, I knew. Fall is here.
So, we went out to a nearby walking trail to meet it.
I had to wear a wool sweater and a scarf, so you know it was not summer anymore. When we got there, in the mountains, we could clearly see that the autumnal lady has taken over the hills, but she was still shy in the valley. The colors were just whispers where we were, not shouts, as you could tell they were in the higher elevations.
These are some of the things we saw, fall related and not. A world of mysteries, and hidden gems. A world of back roads, heavy with secrets, life and just the last breath of summer in The Rockies. A world we cannot quit. Nor do we strongly want to …
I started in the backyard, where my mums are glorious, as usual, and the pears almost ready.
Our trail, book-ended by snow covered peaks.
Oh, the various layers of beauty: between the spotless sky, and the snow, the rock, the fire-y maples and the golden aspen - everything is a tango of color with texture.
Some bees and butterflies did not get the memo, in the valley, yet. They were still savoring the last bit of sweetness from the last summer blooms.
Not quite spent beauties of summer.
When the maple leaves start bleeding ...
We spotted this guy on a farm. He was skittish, though.
Man, hoppers were everywhere!! They were jumping in front of us like someone shook a picnic blanket full of them. They looked slow and dizzy, ready to tuck away...
The world through a spider web on an old, rusty bridge.
Wouldn't you love to know the stories behind those upside down cars in the river, or behind those wooden doors on that ghost storage building?! My mind hurts just making them up.
A leaf hanging from an invisible thread was dancing in the wind.
Fall on the river.
You cannot tell it's fall in this picture, except for the sweet, soft sunlight through the leaves.
Just a whisper of fall above the water. And inside it ...
These guys were friendly and hungry. And gorgeous!
The valley leaves are starting to turn, on a backdrop of autumnal colors. Time for blankets and knitting needles to come out. Time for long books and even longer naps. Another year almost in the books. A year I never thought I would see the fall of ... But it's here, and I lived to tell its tale, one more time. Bigger, longer, more heartfelt prayers of thanks have never been spoken. Life's good!