Autumn with a touch of winter

blogIMG_9359 (3).jpgThere’s no denying it. That glorious burst of color that blazes from the trees in the fall season soon turns into bare branches covered with snow as winter settles itself in for the long haul.

As much as I love autumn, I become absolutely giddy when the first snow of the next arriving season carpets the earth. Glistening snow turns the world into a fairy-like land full of gleaming white billows and glittering sparkles.

And there’s something even more magical – at least to my eye – when the two seasons mesh together overlapping the flashiness of fall with a wafting of winter.

One autumn season several years ago, we experienced our first snowfall here in our home state in October. Leaves had not yet performed their final floating dance from the trees when snow blanketed the ground.

It made an outstanding photo opportunity right in my own back yard as shown by the picture below.

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First snow in October several years ago in our own back yard

I experienced a similar occasion on our October journey to Michigan.

While driving northward from the edge of Lake Huron to a southern side of Lake Superior, outside temperatures continued in a downward spiral. Soon the raindrops hitting our windshield became icy pellets and then….snow!

Snow flurries – the first ones we saw in this last quarter of the year. Right smack dab in the middle of the fall season. (Since then, we’ve had our own first snow fall right here at home but not until this month of November.)

But back in October in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,  a magical kind of photo op presented itself before my eyes. Spying a scene that I just HAD to capture on the side of the less traveled blue highway, I squealed at my trusty driver, Papa, to turn the car around and go back.

As always, my husband honored my request.  I stepped outside of our vehicle into a fresh coating of snow on the ground and focused my camera on the lovely display of autumn with a touch of winter in the photo you see at the beginning of this post and a closer view below. 

blogIMG_9358 (2)I think it’s one of those special captures I will always remember – one of those ‘Thank you, Lord, for showing me such beauty’ kind of days, memorialized by a photograph.

A way of saying goodbye to autumn and welcome to winter all in one photo.

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ~ William Cullent Bryant


Words for Wednesday: summer farewell

blogIMG_8304The summer season’s fading fast, not quite relegated to the past but coming so very close. Officially, summer doesn’t end until September 23 but signs of its demise are in full view. 

Those vivid, colorful flowers on the front porch have just about reached their limit. Here and there, a bright red/orange leaf is peeking out amidst the green ones on our trees. The nights are cooler and darkness descends its inky curtain sooner each night.

And with summer’s ending, my posts about our summer vacation are also coming to a finale.

So it seems fitting to end my series with this photo I shot on the Atlantic Ocean in Bethany Beach, Delaware. This path led to the beach, a favorite spot to relax and unwind on a summer’s day.

But as we herald a new season, there will be many more paths to take. Hopefully, Papa and I will travel a few more times this fall and possibly even during winter. 

Each path takes us to someplace special, to new memories to make, different sights to see. And for each one, we are truly grateful as we enjoy this empty nest semi-retirement gig.   

“Life takes you down many paths but my favorite ones lead to the beach.” ~ Unknown



Still waiting…

blogIMG_6142The season of autumn is taking its good ol’ time getting here. Like, did it take the longest way, the scenic route, the road less traveled?

Maybe I’m impatient but as I sit here writing this post, I’m dressed in summer attire – shorts and a tank top – (in October!) and I’ve been decked in this garb since 6:45 this morning. October mornings should be chilly and brisk, not clammy and warm.

As much as I want to shove summer’s temperatures and humidity far, far away and relegate it to the “been there, done that” list for the year, summer still wants to hang out with me. Why??

What part of no doesn’t that season understand? Apparently, summer didn’t get the memo that Mama is tired of it and is waiting not so patiently and with wringing of hands for the cooler, crisper, crunchy leaves, nutty aroma of fall.

I mean how I can enjoy jaunts to the apple farm/pumpkin patch/fall festival events with my family and our two adorable little grandchildren like we tried last weekend when it’s close to 90°?!?

Usually by now, our deciduous trees have juiced up their color-turning capabilities and are flaunting their leaves turned golden, scarlet, amber, and russet.  But as I gaze outside our windows, I still see green, green, green everywhere.   

Several maple trees adorn our two and a half acre yard here at Mama’s Empty Nest, and in the fall, they become the loveliest orange-red. But absolutely nothing has transpired yet.

On my early morning walk with my friend, we noticed a couple trees with a hint or two of some color changing. But we also noticed some trees possessing a branch of colored leaves were already dropping those to the ground. No! That’s not supposed to happen yet!

We’re wondering if we will have a fall season at all. Will it just turn blustery cold and we’ll jump-start into winter?

If you believe the old tale about wooly bear caterpillar colors predicting the severity of winter weather, that might be true.  According to legend, more rusty brown segments on Wooly foretell a mild winter. But the more black segments little Wooly has, we’re in for severe winter weather.

So far, I’ve noticed a few totally black woolies and a few with brown middles and black on both ends. So I guess it’s a toss-up. 

I won’t mind winter weather, but I’m not ready for that yet. Just let me enjoy my favorite season of the year first –  beautiful, invigorating, refreshingly crisp autumn.

It’s time for change. It’s time to move on. It’s time for fall to take its rightful place. Didja hear that, summer??

“…and all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” ~ Oscar Wilde