Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Season of Change

Looking southeast.
The mountains are no longer shining in the sun like a copper penny.  In less than a week, the rain and wind have knocked the color out of the trees.  There are still many leaves to fall, but the mountains have lost that autumn sheen.  Now they sit rather dove-colored and gray as we slip on toward Thanksgiving. 

These photos were taken last week when the color was just peaking.  All of the photos are taken near my house on an afternoon walk.  The trees on the mountain are in full color, but in the lower elevation, leaves are much greener, not yet so colorful.
While I walked along my regular route, the mountains were so colorful that I made a special trip back to the house to get my camera.  The sun broke through clouds drifting along the rolling hills making a dramatic show.   We have not yet had a frost, so the flowers are still blooming.  Along the road are broad patches of chicory still lifting little faces to the sun.  

If you walk with your head down, you come across the most interesting things. I don't know what made me notice the paw print, but there it was, as plain as day. My first thought was that it was the track of a bear. Yes, a bear. Right in the middle of a housing development. I showed this picture to several people, and most voted for a bear track. I asked my neighbor, an old farmer, hunter, and fisherman, to walk down and look at the print which was right across the street from our house. Yep. He thought it was a bear track also, and he said his wife had actually seen a bear along the road about two miles or so from where we live. He said that bears don't have homes but wander around, and that this may have been a young bear who was kicked out by its mama. When our dog starts barking wildly now, we no longer assume it is for no reason.  

Anonymous paw print.

At the top of the hill the view opens up across the valley to the mountain range that contains the highest mountain in Virginia, Mt. Rogers, 5,729 feet.  North Carolina lies just across the mountains.  Rocks on Mt. Rogers indicate that volcanoes helped create this mountain range.  William Barton Rogers, the first Virginia state geologist, is the namesake of the mountain and later helped to found M.I.T.  There is a high-altitude spruce forest on the top of Mt. Rogers, and I understand that people can hike there.  I'm pretty sure I never will. 

At this point I turn right, heading due west, and walk out to the cornfield and barn.  I loved that corn field this summer, and I'm sure the deer did, also.  Now things are different out there.  The corn has been harvested, and just in the last couple of days, new shoots of some kind of grass has sprouted for winter cover. 

This is the season of change.  Young bears are sent packing; corn shocks are chipped up and put in a silo; wildflowers bask in the last days of warm sun before the frost. 

He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  Daniel 2:21
The corn field after the harvest. 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pics. Fall is a beautiful time of year-God's work-can anyone question that? Paw prints-bear-I surely hope not.