When I think of the end of fall, I seem to always remember what job I had to complete before the snow set in. My father would insist that I rake the leaves in the backyard and bag them for collection. If you had asked me back then, that was an insurmountable task! I mean the WHOLE backyard??? We had a huge maple tree there and, in actuality, the backyard was quite small – as I found out when I became an adult and had a chance to the look at the yard through adult eyes. It was comically small, actually. But, as a kid, I could make that an all-day task!
This evening as I was walking, trying to cat those last rays of sunlight, I saw the neighborhood clean up crew getting rid of all the leaves. They would blow it into large piles, then come by with a truck with a large vacuum on it and make quick work of those leaves.
I could have used such help when I was a kid, but then again, I wouldn’t have had the fun of jumping into the pile when I finished raking it.
Yesterday was the World Wide Photo Walk. I had planned to go to Charleston, but decided to give the knee a rest, which by the way, it is doing quite excellent now! I’d say we are back to 90% and I will attend a Tai Chi class this week, but will still take it easy. As a matter of fact, Hobbs and I went for a very short walk on Friday, and I went for another one yesterday! Almost back in business!
I went to the lake, again, and walked just a small portion of one of the easily accessible trails, in other words, very close to the car. This trail meanders about and goes up and down hills. I decided to just stay on the flat part. After it started to head downhill, I decided turn back towards the lake and have a look around there. All in all, I spent about an 75 minutes walking and sitting and enjoying the view of the rapidly changing leaves. I say rapidly because I’ve been to the lake almost every day and they seem to be getting more and more vibrant every day.
I’m still working exclusively with the Nikon P-510 because it is lightweight and has an extensive zoom. Sure, I want to get out there with the D700 and get some full-frame sensor love going, but I don’t want to carry the camera and the tripod just yet. I’m thinking that maybe I’ll take a day off this week, board Hobbs for the day, and make a day of it on The Blue Ridge Parkway. I imagine, though, that it better be soon given how fast things are changing down here … maybe I’m already too late, but we’ll see.
Actually, this whole knee thing is working out. I had said that I wanted to photograph McDowell Nature Preserve in all of its seasons and, by default, I’m getting to do exactly that!
By far, my favorite time of the day to shoot is right at sunrise. No bugs. No people. Just nice and quiet. However, I’ve not been doing much shooting in the morning because that’s also when I do my morning walk, which I won’t give up – not even for photography – well, I will on the weekends, sometimes. During the summer, I will stay away from evenings because of the heat, humidity, bugs, and lots of other people roaming around. Now that fall has arrived and the evenings are a very pleasant mid to upper 70 degree range, it makes going out much nicer, though still not like that calm of the early morning.
I went to my local park, just down the road, to see if there were any signs of fall and to perhaps catch a nice sunset. There were few people there and, interestingly, all of them were talking on the phone. Yep. Went to the park to talk on the phone. Oh well.
There were some small signs of fall and the sunset was nice, though completely cloudless. I didn’t take a tripod, just went with the Nikon P-510 in hand and enjoyed the last hour of the day before sunset. I have a feeling, and a hope, that this may turn into quite a colorful fall!
An early start
Not that I’m looking forward to it or anything, but today at 10:49 EDT was the beginning of fall. I celebrated it by going into McDowell Nature Center and Preserve to see if perchance I could find some fall colors. Of course, this would be very early for that, especially here in the piedmont, or foothills area. However, there have been times when I’ve seen the leaves start changing as early as late August, so I was hopeful.
I walked around my favorite places, primarily near the stream, but in the early morning light things looked like springtime rather than autumn. The leaves high up in the canopy looked like the vibrant green common in the spring. As I waited for the light to shine a little more directly down, I saw a rather large owl fly past … much to fast for me to do anything other than look. I’ve seen this particular bird, I believe, several times before, always flying. I’ve yet to get his picture. I think that he has a nest very nearby, but I’ve yet to spot it.
Eventually, after seeing no colors on the eastern side of where I normally go, I headed west, up the trail. Through the trees, I finally noticed just a bit of color. Hooray! Well, it’s not exactly anything to shout about and the morning was a little balmy, not autumn-like at all, but I am thankful for the change of season.
Tomorrow morning I plan to take a trip towards Asheboro, but not quite there. There’s a dam near there that has a lot of photographic opportunities. It’s about a hour+ drive. We’ll see how I feel about it in the morning. Lots of good photo ops there to capture birds in the morning: Herons, Egrets, and I’ve even spotted an eagle or two. I’ll just have to feed and take care of the needs of His Highness before I leave.