Thursday, October 15, 2020

Golden Days

October started out chilly, with several frosty nights. On Sunday the 4th, I took a walk to the prairie restoration project to see how the woods and fields were looking in their autumn dress.

Oak leaves carpeted the start of the path...

...which then skirted a cornfield, all dry stalks and tassels rustling in the breeze:

After crossing another field, the trail led through a second small wood before opening out onto the restored prairie:

Dried flowers stood amongst the native grasses:

Frost-proof asters were blooming in pale lavender...

...and deep saturated purple:

A chestnut tree (I think) shone softly bronze:

Mysterious seedpods stood up from the dried grass:


The next day began a balmy period of sparkling days in which the very air seemed golden, as if filtered through the deepening yellow and honey of aspen, oak and walnut leaves. Sugar maples, not to be outdone, held up branches like flame against deep-blue autumn skies.

On Thursday the 8th, I rode my bike to work on the kind of morning that gives October a good name. The church on the corner was flanked by maples dressed in scarlet and orange:

Outside of town, birch trees shimmered under a pale half-moon (which looked much larger in real life):

I took a little detour to visit a favourite stretch of maples:

When I reached the river trail, the wildflower killer mowing machine was hard at work on the wide verge (alas for the last blossoms sheltering in the tall grass!):

Hours later, I captured my shadow on the ride home:


On Saturday I walked downtown to pick up our weekly consignment of eggs. The maple trees on the corner were still ablaze:

Back at home, I lingered outside, enjoying the sunshine on the gloriously golden walnut tree towering over the garage:

A sparrow landed on the roof and posed for a photo:

And I couldn't go in without snapping the bouncing patch of volunteer marigolds next to our door:


On Sunday, the sun disappeared behind a thick blanket of cloud, taking my cycling mojo with it. Instead of riding, I took a walk to the park, along sidewalks covered with a confetti of leaves:

This superb aster was blooming at the lake's edge:

At the park entrance, mums were glowing in yellow and apricot:

A few steps farther on grew bright Virginia creeper:

Our village park sits on a small peninsula, with a lake around it and a pond in the center. The edge of the pond has been planted with native wildflowers, including milkweed (gone to seed here):

And aster, purple and white:

Maple and pine trees line the park road, making for lovely autumn collages like this one:


This week has been rainy and windy, tearing much of the color from the trees. The walnut tree behind the garage is now bare:

Geese and sandhill cranes are gathering on local lakes and in harvest fields, preparing for the long flight to come. The balmy air is gone, and there's an icy bite to the wind.

Tonight we are forecast for below-freezing temps and widespread frost. Earlier in the month, I covered my tomatoes and herbs on frosty nights, hoping to keep them going for a few weeks longer. But now it's time to yield to the inevitable.

This morning I picked all the remaining tomatoes, harvested what I could of the chives and thyme, and heaved one last sigh for the lost summer.

Any ideas for using these green tomatoes?

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


  1. Oh yes, you must make fried green tomatoes! Promise me you will!
    I love love love your photos!! Those colorful leaves against that impossibly blue sky, oh those images just make me so happy.
    My friend, I just did a post asking what everyone's October has been just told me! xx

  2. Wow.. you are having a very colorful fall! Ours is a big huge bust. Some trees have lost all their leaves already and most are not turning at all! Dang global warming. Loved all your photos. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Green tomato chutney perhaps? Amazing photos such glorious colours, I love sharing your bike journeys and seeing such lovely scenery without having to go out in the cold . I have Asters and marigolds still blooming in my garden and the trees in the wasteland beyond are starting to shed their leaves over my decking lots of clearing up to be done.xx

  4. Golden days, indeed. I love the red maple trees, there are none around here. Hopefully there will be a few golden days before winter comes ... Hugs, Regula

  5. Lovely post SUe. Always your cycling photos are a peek into the beauty of Wisconsin. Amazon asked me to review your book : 5 starts!!!
    I should go cover the cosmos. I did last night and turned out they were fine....h.mmmmm

  6. Awesome photos, as always! I love all the Fall colors and the blue, blue skies. So awesome. Thank you for allowing us to tag along on your journey. Wishing you a day filled with much joy sweet friend. ((hugs)) :)

  7. As always, I lingered over your photos. We did have some amazing October days, didn't we? I'm still trying to walk everyday, even when it's gray and windy.
    That photo of your cycling shadow was really amazing.

  8. Pickled green tomatoes? Relish or Salsa? Fried green tomatoes? I've never made any of them but sure sound good. :) A clear blue sky is always glorious especially with the colors of autumn worn by the trees or even in their finest greenery. Makes everything seem right with the world even when it isn't. Take care, stay safe. Have a good week.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. So lovely to join you here on your bike rides and walks. All the beauty of autumn can be seen here. I especially love the white church flanked by fabulous maple trees!

  11. Here's trying again!! Magnificent photos and Autumn colours!!! Nature in all its glory!! We really can't beat the impressive display of colours that nature has gifted to us!! Sharing your cycling tours makes these posts so special!!! Keep well Amanda x

  12. What beautiful pictures! This is my favorite time of year. I too have noticed trees whose leaves are here one day and gone the next (or so it seems). I suggest fried green tomatoes--use a cornmeal in the breading and keep a little hot sauce at the ready.

  13. My goodness, your photos take my breath away! The one with the church should be in a calendar or on a greeting card, and the one with the cross just barely poking through is so symbolic right now! Your flowers make me yearn for warmer weather, as we pray for snow on our fires. I just made my first batch of baked (instead of fried) green tomatoes. They were... not as good as Mom's, which were fried, but they weren't bad. I used alternative flours and just dusted the slices instead of using a batter. Mom said she used to buy green tomatoes at the store every time she saw them. She said the secret is in "mature" green tomatoes, which mine probably were not...

  14. Thanks so much for sharing much of the beauty around you, Sue! Your views help me have a happy heart! I especially appreciated the photos Snowcatcher noted as well. I vote for fried green tomatoes just dipped in some sort of flour and fried in butter/oil and seasoned with salt. xx


I love comments! Speak on....