Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Couldn't Remain Calm Before the Storm

Photographing that spider on Sunday wasn't enough to satisfy me.  With a storm coming, I decided I needed to take a walk around the neighborhood and downtown to get one last look at things before they got covered with snow.  My tour began with a beautiful yard on the upper reaches of Coburn where Hollyhocks looked as fresh as in spring.
A flame red tree across the street from the Hollyhocks set my mind a-wondering.  If I'd had a few beers (which I never do) before seeing this tree, I might have thought it was on fire and talking to me.  We naturalists depend on our senses to gather information, but our senses can be altered by various events and substances.  Naturalists in the 1800's were often heavy drinkers.  I got to wondering about Moses.
When I approached the courthouse I was taken by the beauty of fallen leaves and enjoyed seeing several out-of-town photographers capturing the scene.  I knew, of course, that come Monday morning, if not prevented by snow, the Leaf Blower Army would be out there returning the courthouse lawn to its sterile perfection.  These leaves should be raked up, jumped in, and raked up again.  Kids should smell them, jump in them, and smell them burning (carefully, of course).  If we're giving up all of that, why not just get Astro-Turf. 
I searched the area for a few standouts like these Sweet Gum leaves.
There are also lots of non-native Maples and possibly their close relatives the Boxelders.
I continued on toward the shopping center, then stopped to photograph the Maples by the west side of Safeway.
Then, on to the ditch in front of the shopping center which until a few days ago was a wonderful mini-wilderness.  I've photographed over 50 species of wildflowers here during the summer, and many visiting insects, spiders, and birds, and a small population of Rainbow Trout.  It was a great place to sketch and take photos, but now it's been tamed - like the courthouse lawn.  I much preferred it wild.
I wonder where the "waste" goes.  Hopefully it will join the Carbon cycle soon in an ecologically sensible way. 
When I got home, one last Red Clover was leaning under the weight of dew, but still glowing bright red.  I figured the snow Sunday night would end its season, but now it's Tuesday night and it's still hanging tough.
I ended my excursion at my dining room table where I photographed an oak leaf I picked up in front of Papa's Donuts a few days earlier.

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