Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Bronze and Copper Friday Ride

Today is a day of pouring rain. The oak in the front yard is dark with moisture...


...and dropping its wet leaves all over the soggy yard and sidewalk.


Saturday was rainy too.

On Friday, however, there were...

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Wild turkeys taking the air
Oak leaves dancing across the road
Still water spangled with floating stars

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The air is crisp, with temps in the upper 40s, and a biting wind that makes me wish for better cold-weather gear.

A few miles out of town, I see a flock of turkeys crossing the road several hundred yards ahead.


Autumn's colours are muted now. The bright leafy flames of maple and ash - yellow and orange and vermilion - have been blown out by the gusty wind. Now the oaks are taking center stage in shades of copper, bronze, and red...


...with a bit of dark gold provided by what I think are hickory trees.


My beloved birches are not going out in a blaze of sunny glory this year - instead they're fading to an indeterminate brown before dropping their leaves in discouragement. (The drought has been really hard on them.) But nothing can take away their slim, upright beauty:


All around in the trees and fields are shades of rust, green and champagne, with a deep blue sky overhead.


The wind has not ceased to bite on this ride, and to be honest the chill is taking some of the fun out of the exercise. (How quickly things change; not so very long ago I was complaining of the heat and humidity.)

But the views at my favourite marshy corner take my mind off the cold. Black water spangled with leaves and reflecting subtle autumn colours:


Detail of a bolt on the bridge:


The bolt in context:


My shadowy reflection in the dark water, with leaves floating by on their way to winter:


The beauty of twig and shadow:


At this corner can usually be found some flowers that have outlived the first few frosts. But the Queen Anne's Lace, in response to the cold, have pulled their skirts up over their heads to reveal ragged undergarments and fuzzy stems:


One brave, shivering knapweed still shines with the lost beauty of summer...


...while its brother has already put on winter woollies.


A row of red oaks marches away down the verge, providing a scarlet canopy of leaves. Some are softer and round of lobe, beginning to curl like old leather...


 ...while others are jagged, still glossy, and flat. All are beautiful.



Not many miles to go now. The sun's angle is just right for a shadow shot...


...of an apparently one-armed cyclist. (The Venus de Velo?)  :)

And so to home, and warmth, and dinner.

I must say, the slothful urges that accompany chilly weather seem to have struck early this year - I've only ridden twice in the last two weeks. (The unceasing strong winds haven't helped.) Though I don't mind going out walking, cycling is less appealing in the cold. Is the season over already? We'll see.

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39 comments:

  1. Beautiful striking golds and reds Mrs.M, you sure do live in some stunning surrounds. I am being naughty and need to go to bed as the clock strikes 24h00 here on the south coast of England. We had gorgeous sunshine with washing drying out on the line and a crisp, brisk walk along the coast today. I too feel blessed with my surrounds and am with you on the reduced desire to cycle in such chilly air. Hope your week ahead is a kind one xox Penelope

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    1. Late night is the best time for blog reading, don't you think? Thanks, Penelope. :)

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  2. The seasonal changes are bittersweet. Good for you for braving the rain and chill. Must have been nice to arrive home. :-)

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  3. Oh, such beauty.
    I am finding it so difficult to say goodbye to the colors and to embrace the rain, sigh..just not yet.

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    1. Well, we really need the rain, so I can't complain about it. And I'm hoping for lots of snow too! (But later on.) :)

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  4. Lovely photos as always. Brave you for going out in the cold.

    Hugs,
    Sharon

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    1. It's not really THAT cold, but the trouble with cycling is that you make your own wind chill. Thanks, Sharon. :)

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  5. What a lovely post today...I really enjoyed reading it. I noticed today while I was out that the trees are all changing into all those beautiful Fall colors also, but forgot the camera at home. I bet it was hard to ride in the wind and the cold....the wind just makes it even colder! Stay dry and warm....Shari

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    1. I love to stay dry and warm. The problem is getting out for exercise! :)

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  6. Dear Venus de Vélo! I enjoyed all your autumn shots and those gorgeous (what we call) American oaks with their huge colourful leaves. I also enjoyed your shadowy reflection with the floating leaves "on their way to winter"!
    These are wonderful days, aren't they?!
    Have a beautiful week - we are getting misty grey days suddenly illuminated by sunny moments.

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    1. Now I'm wondering what non-American oaks may be. :)

      Thanks, Sandra! Yes, these are wonderful days.

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  7. Fall is wonderful even if it rains. But we are anticipating three sunny days. :-)

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    1. Yes, even when it rains and all the leaves are wet on the ground!

      Enjoy your sunny days. :)

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  8. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I so miss Wisconsin this time of year. I head to Ohio this weekend, I hope to catch some Autumn beauty while I am there.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Have a wonderful trip and hug Mr. 18-year-old all you can. :)

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  9. Oh those reflection photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "Auntie"

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  10. I love birches, which we don't seem to have down here. Love the turkeys crossing the road, we all know why the chicken crossed the road (he was safety pinned to the punk rocker), but why did the turkeys cross the road?

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    1. Oh dear, I have no idea. But I think it may have something to do with the gun season on turkeys....

      :)

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  11. Beautiful post and such lovely pictures :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! Your latest blanket is delightful. :)

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  12. Love the Venus de Velo! Lovely images.

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  13. Fantastic pictures and beautiful words! Autumn is not hitting with such a great impact here in Ireland yet. But then again once it does it will be all over and done with in a couple of weeks. Must go to the forest this weekend and see how the colours are blossoming.

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    1. Thanks, Rosie! Our autumn colour usually comes and goes pretty quickly too - this year especially. Post some photos if you can - I'd love to see how Fall looks in the Emerald Isle. :)

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  14. Gorgeous post Sue. Many of the trees here are only just turning, but we have very strong winds today so they may not hang on to their glorious colours for long. I love this kind of weather though, can't wait to get out in it later :D

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    1. It's been a very windy fall for us, and the drought has stressed the trees so that the leaves don't hang on at all. Enjoy your autumn, and I hope the cold is on the mend. :)

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  15. Sigh.... what a beautiful blue sky you enjoyed! The turkeys crossing the road... priceless! Leaves making their way to winter... brilliant! Cyclists making their own chill factors... agree times 1,000!!!

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    1. Thanks Deb. You probably ride in much worse wind than I do - I'm a bit of a wimp about it as you know. :)

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  16. I still find it strange seeing wild turkeys - I always think of them as farm animals. Lovely ride. Juliex

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    1. Thanks, Julie! Even after 20 years, it's still a thrill for me to see them. :)

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  17. The turkeys are amazing!

    Love those red oak leaves, the colours with you are so much more vibrant than here....we've had a very wet autumn so far and with a good bit of wind added in too, I always associate those rich reds and oranges with a good cold snap, isn't it something to do with sugars?

    The blue skies and water are almost piercing against the autumnal colours, that's something we can do around here, although the past day or so has been so rough that the rivers and sea have been brown, angry and full.

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    1. Thanks Faith - yes, the richest colours do come only after a sharp frost. I love your description of the rivers and sea over there: "brown, angry and full".

      :)

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