Monday, October 7, 2013

Of Walnuts and Leaves

Sunday is cloudy and cool - a good day for napping. But a blogger can only nap so much; exercise must be taken (and so must photos). On with the fleece jacket and walking shoes; into the pocket go the turtle and the camera; out into the cool wind strolls strides the blogger.

Crickets chirp in a slow, introspective manner (probably pondering their mortality), as our blogger heads down the street and around the corner towards the railroad grade trail. A lone goose flies overhead, honking dismally as he searches for company. The sky is grey and our blogger is sleepy.

~ ~ ~

Humans, when they reach middle age, often lose the urge to conformity. Having finally grown comfortable in their own skins, they may experience strange new desires to break loose in some way, to drop their guard (or perhaps their pretenses), to show the world who they are and what they can do. (Witness this interesting post from Penny at L is for Love.)

So it is with the trees. This is the time of year when they begin to shed the anonymity of heavy green, and put on instead their true colours. "This is the real me," they seem to say. "Take it or leave it."

First to turn are the walnut trees, flaunting their bright gold amidst the sober, now dull-seeming green of the other trees...

...then, as if soon tired of their fancy dress, baring their souls by dropping their leaves entirely.

They also drop nuts. Just here the ground is littered with them:

Walnut dye, anyone? (Believe me, it stains. Ask me how I know.)

To the right of the trail is a marshy area where mingle all the tints of summer and fall:

A short detour to the boat landing, where the lake shines under heavy skies:

Then back to the trail proper.

A perfect little vignette of leaves appears under our blogger's feet:

(Arrangement by Nature.)

Something dry and spiky stands next to the trail:

Tallulah looks back...

...while our blogger looks forward:

Tattered (but still astonishingly scarlet) creeper shines out from the trees next the trail:

Where the path jogs to join the old railroad grade grow strange, tropical-looking grasses:

(A Google search identifies them as horsetail.)

Red oak living up to its name:

Knapweed still grow along the railroad grade, like a delicate memory of summer:

A birch tree stands in silhouette against a cloud-striped sky:

And everywhere the sumac is aflame.

Even this tiny weed (just a few inches tall) has turned bright red in honour of the season:

Another perfect vignette of leaves:

Finally, some milkweed bearing its alien-looking seed pods:

Feeling awake and much refreshed, our blogger (and turtle) head for home, where pizza dough is rising, awaiting its own chance to blossom out into reds and yellows and greens.

A very pleasant October walk.

~ ~ ~

Later, in the editing room....

Mrs. M: "Tallulah, did you know you were wearing your cycling helmet on our walk?"

T: "Yep."

Mrs. M (puzzled): "Any special reason?"

T (with emphasis): "Y-eppp."


Mrs. M (rolling her eyes discreetly): "Would you like to tell me what it is?"

T: "If you insist."

Mrs. M: "Well?"

T (huffily): "Some people may have given up on the cycling season, but I haven't. I'm leaving my helmet on until the snow flies, just in case. It's still perfectly good cycling weather out there, in my opinion. Just saying."

Mrs. M (with dignity): "Your point is taken, Tallulah. And I'm sure there will be a few more rides this year, before the white stuff falls. But only if I'm in the mood. We've had lots of good rides already this year, so no pressure, okay?"


Mrs. M: "Okay, Tallulah?"

T (sighing but yielding gracefully): "Okay."

They shake hands (or appendages). Peace and amiability reign once more in the Micawber ménage.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  1. I almost missed the "after thoughts." No colored leaves here yet. Have a good week. Linda

  2. It looks as though you are embracing the arrival of autumn, Sue, whereas I'm burying my head in the sand a little. I too, like Tallulah, was wondering why you were using your two feet instead of two bicycle wheels!


    ps I like your acorn header very much indeed!

  3. The world through your words and lens is wonderful, indeed, Sue! The lake view is like a lovely impressionistic painting, and Horsetail reminds me so much of bamboo.Thanks for posting!
    Gracie xx
    PS I am glad Miss T Turtle is safe and sound although a bit miffed :)

  4. Yep that's me Sue loosing my urge to conform ha ha! Not sure what's got into me but all of a sudden i am excited about blogging again :o) thanks for the mention on your blog and for sharing all these beautiful colours, now if nature don't inspire you then what else can I say xxx Penny

  5. Some beautiful autumn colours there. Hope T gets her bike ride before the snow! juliex

  6. Gorgeous photos! Great Blog! Thanks for taking the time!

  7. In Poland you gather baskets of fresh green walnuts, you dice them, skins, insides and all, and pour a bottle of alcohol on them. Then you fight with your brown stained hands and nails for days! But after few weeks you have a medicine for all kinds of belly aches and problems. One tablespoon cures them all :)
    Beautiful walk-thanks for giving me motivation to do the same today !!

  8. Love the beautiful photos today. I thought Tallulah might have difficulty getting that helmet off all by herself, she is missing thumbs afterall (but don't tell her I said that).

  9. Oh I do love fall. The colors are so pretty...mixed with brown and a little green, too. Loved the walk!

    You always make me smile when you have a conversation with Miss T. :)

    Blessings always

  10. So relieved peace reigns once again in the Micawber household!

    Such heavenly photos; so nice all your subject matter isn't buried in white yet.

    Oh, what I would give for a big box full of those walnut hulls...


  11. Lovely fall walk. My favorite photo, the red oak leaves.
    That is a sassy little turtle you have there. I look forward to seeing if she gets to use her helmet again before winter.

  12. And did you know that horsetail is a Carboniferous Age plant? Who knew? I question this. Did they actually have horses back then? Plus I've never seen any self-respecting horse's tail that looked like that unless the got it caught in something. I'm just sayin' ...

  13. Thank you for sharing your lovely pics and walk; I thoroughly enjoyed both, and think your little turtle friend is quite wonderful!
    Joy x


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