The leaves are really changing color now. I think they’re a bit late this year. I can never remember if a dry autumn makes them hold on longer or a wet one does. If memory serves, I think we’re about as far along now as we were in late September last year. Either way, it certainly is beautiful out there. There’s nothing like New England in the fall.
Around 4:30 in the afternoon yesterday, Laura and I decided to venture out for another walk. This time, instead of strolling along the north side of the lake like we did just a few days ago, we decided to shake things up a bit. We’d go towards the mountain on Fire Lane 12 and then bend to the right on Jerusalem Road. Our path, to its end point and back, would consist of almost 3 miles, which is the perfect distance for me. I know she would like at least 5, but I, for some strange reason, don’t enjoy these things as much as she does. I’ve gone further, simply because I didn’t want her to think less of me, but realistically, 3 is a fine limit.
We parked in almost the same spot as we did just a few days ago. This area is a little more than 2 miles from our house, which only take a few minutes to get to in the car.
We hopped out and I quickly snapped a photo to mark our location. After all, I couldn’t write a post without this sort of documentation.
Laura did the same thing. Actually, I’m not sure if she had her camera in hand before I did. I took advantage of the situation by taking a photo of her taking a photo.
She’s aiming at the most beautiful field across the road. There are three apple trees in this field and once we learn who owns it, I think we’ll go picking. We managed to take a few photos of the field at the very end of our walk, but none of mine came out worthy of this site. The sun had already fallen too far and the lighting was horrible. I’ll work on this for a later post.
After we walked a few steps up Fire Lane 12, which is one of many “unnamed” dirt roads in the area, I turned back to take a picture of the car. This will give you a better idea of where we park.
After that, I quickly turned around, snapped a photo of our destination and we kept on walking. Onward and upward.
If you’ve ever been here, you know this road. It’s the one I take when I bring folks on “Jay’s Famous Truck Ride in the Hills.” I really love the area. If you ever need to hide, I can tell you of some very interesting areas I’ve found. There are a lot of hiding areas around here.
Since the sun was going down, there were many opportunities for what photographers refer to as “golden hour” photography. This is basically the hour after the sun rises and the hour before the sun falls. Because of its angle and richness, many practitioners wait to bring their cameras out at this time. We’re some of this type. It’s really not worth it to try to take pictures in bright sunlight. It’s the angle and color that matter most.
Here’s an example of some leaves in the woods. Because of the lighting, I was able to take advantage of some additional depth.
When streams of sunlight filter through the woods and pass the trees, things look much more three dimensional.
As we continued on, we crested a hill in the road and were presented with two logging skidders. These skidders were huge and I thought my father would love to see them. I grabbed a few shots, being careful to hide what I was doing from whoever was in the house these two pieces of machinery were parked in front of. There’s only one house on this road and I didn’t want it to look like I was doing anything shady.
Even Laura took a few pictures during this stop and – oh hey – look, I managed to find my way into one of them.
She also took a close-up of the chains on the tires. These things really are massive. They’re currently being used for some logging that’s going on further up the road.
Let’s talk about vibrancy of the season for a moment. Just to record what’s currently happening with the trees, I took a picture of the top of a maple against the blue sky. I mean, I hardly did anything to this in post processing. This is how colorful things are. All you need is a bit of sun.
It’s always the maples and the ash that change first. Absolutely beautiful.
There are a few snowmobiling and ATV trails that cross this road. I’ve yet to figure out where they go because every time I attempt to analyze them on Google Earth, they fail to appear as clearly as I’d like. I’m trying to determine if they cut the corner of where we walk, so we can go further in the same amount of time. Just last night, I decided that during our next visit, we’re going to hike the trails to see what would happen. Hopefully, we’ll avoid walking all the way out to the main road. That’s not what I want to do.
Further along the road and around the bend, there’s a small bridge that spans a small river. Since we had the time and since we both had cameras, I asked Laura to snap a picture of me posing under the bridge. For some reason, the past few photos of me have been taken as I’m halfway through smiling. I don’t mind. Anything to enhance the entertainment value, I suppose.
If you look closely at the bridge behind me, you’ll see that it’s actually a bridge built over a bridge. Interesting construction.
Our area has been suffering from a very dry past few months. I can’t say this is true for the state at large, but for our town, it’s surely been a hindrance. At times, I concern myself with the prospect of our well going dry and really, the streams are no fun to look at when they consist of only rocks. As you can see in the next photo, the stream bed is virtually dry with only a trickle of water running through.
I keep saying this – what we need is a good week’s worth of heavy rain. That would top things off.
After we finished up with those photos, we crept back onto the road. If you look at the next image, you’ll see where we had left the path to go down below the bridge. It’s on the left.
As we made our ways along our route and when we made it almost to its end, I spotted what I think may be a fresh water spring in the woods. People up here own property for all sorts of reasons and many of them get creative with their uses. In this case, someone found a spring and somehow attached a pipe to it. It’s running, even through it’s been so dry. I’d like to hear the story behind this one and I will, if we ever meet the landowner.
We kept on walking and walking. When we almost reached the end, which is the hump in the road you see in the picture below, I caught a photo of our shadows. I thought this was neat. I’m not sure anyone else will, but I do.
During our walk, I continuously justified my photography to Laura. I said things like, “You just have to take them, no matter how dorky they are. I’m going to want to see these as I read my blog in the years to come. From what I’ve learned, it’s been the pictures I didn’t take that were the ones I want to see the most today.” I think she went for it because she took just as many as I did.
Right after I grabbed the shadow shot, I jumped off the road to take another of a rock wall. There were a few bursts of sun that made it look so inviting.
I’m not sure where this rock wall came from. I don’t think there was any farming here in the past, but I may be wrong. Perhaps everything was fields back in the day. I do know that stone walls weren’t only created to identify property lines – they were also created to remove the rocks from the land. That’s why this one is so curious. It’s on the side of a mountain.
I believe this next photo is one of sumac. At the end of our route, there’s a turnaround in the woods. I’m sure someone cut this so they can turn around in their truck. It’s easier than doing a 19 point turn on such a narrow path. With that cutting of the trees came many lower level plants. Sumac is one of them, which is quite beautiful this time of year.
And right after the sumac, I found a cattail. As I look up the names for these things, I’m finding that they’re all edible. I bet Steve knows all about these two plants.
Finally, we make our way back onto the road to take the mile and a half walk back to the car. I’d say this was one perfect day.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I like sharing things like this because it gives me an opportunity to bring my camera along with me where ever I go. I also tend to look at my surroundings more closely than I usually do, which is a nice change.