Double beauty of mirrored trees
River stained with rosy sunset
Cow against an evening sky
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Sunshine and 50º. I'm setting out rather late this afternoon, but hey, it's Sunday - not a day for rushing. (Crocheting and reading and relaxing are important too.) Today I have a hankering to see a river, and ride beside some open water, so I'm heading for the nearest spot I know of that will satisfy this urge.
A strange hush has fallen over the countryside. No song of bird, no rustle of small creatures in the undergrowth - just the chilly west wind whistling past my helmet. A few miles into the ride, I see two figures in blaze orange crossing a field, and then I remember - it's gun season for deer, which explains the pervading silence. The wild animals know when hunting season starts, and they lie low until the shooting stops.
The first shot I hear today, however, is made by my own camera:
Several miles later, a new (old) barn gets added to my list of favourites:
I've passed this barn before, but I don't remember it being so attractive - perhaps it was hidden by foliage the last time around.
Turning onto an unfamiliar road, I see a tiny graveyard behind a vine-wrapped fence. Iris is parked against the gate, and I walk in to explore.
The first thing I notice is a very large marker almost obscured by brush:
Though the marker is comparatively new, one of the people memorialised on it died in 1803. Who put up this large stone, and when? Why is the grave so unkempt? In spring and summer, when the bushes are leafy, it must be nearly invisible.
I'm rather fond of country graveyards - probably because we didn't have any in Southern California. Cemeteries there are all dreadfully tidy and manicured and unreal, carefully walled off from the rest of life. Out here in the rural areas, there's something homely and almost friendly about a little neighbourhood cemetery with its scattering of mismatched stones.
I like the detail on this one:
Some of the markers are so old as to be unreadable, with carvings worn almost smooth. I wonder if anyone still remembers who lies here, or if the occupants' names have been completely forgotten.
A rather melancholy train of thought - but appropriate to the time and place. Graveyards and autumn seem to go together - and the quiet here is somehow akin to the silence that lies over all the land today.
The sun is dropping rapidly into the west, and I'm still miles away from the water. Glorious swirls of cloud ahead make me wonder if we'll have a spectacular sunset. (I hope so.)
Finally, several miles later, I reach the river. It's placid today, flowing silently down between banks of buff-coloured grass.
Iris gets parked precariously, with her rear wheel hanging out over the water, just long enough for a photo - then I haul her to safety on the flat bank while I take the rest of my shots.
Trees lean over the river and admire their wavery reflections:
The sinking sun is beginning to stain the water with rosy pink:
Across the road, in a deer stand, a hunter sits patiently still. (He's the tiny dot of orange in the center of the photo.) It's damp here along the river, and I'm chilly in my tights and jacket, despite having spent the last hour cycling. How does he stay warm?
To my right, the moon is rising over lovely bare branches:
A few evenings ago, she was so frail as to be nearly invisible. Now she's gaining strength with her size and getting a little bolder and brighter each night.
More bare branches, with contrails between:
Dear me - it's later than I realized. Time to hop on the bike and make tracks for home. No more photo stops - whatever I shoot now will have to be taken on the fly.
Lovely bones of trees with evening sky behind:
And one last shot of a cow heading out to pasture, against the soft grey remains of what turned out to be a very quiet sunset after all:
Dark is falling rather more rapidly than I thought it would - I haven't left myself enough time to get home safely. I keep riding as long as I can, but about five miles from home I'm forced to call Mr. M and ask him to pick me up. How nice to have a personal sag wagon!
The deer are on the move again now that night has fallen. We drive home slowly, towards warmth and lamplight and drawn curtains and dinner. A good ride and a good evening.
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