Just when I thought that Autumn was going to be a subdued season this year, beaten by the dryness and higher than usual temperatures … just when I had resigned myself to brown leaves followed by snow …


It rained a bit more last night. This morning, the leaves popped into full Technicolor. Autumn arrived in all its glory.


My maple tree is back. It’s more orange than red this year, but it is definitely wearing its festive colors. Golden autumn has arrived and it is glorious. It did not betray us. I look out my window and it’s breathtaking.


Fall is always too brief. I’m not sure if it could ever be long enough. If it were all year round, I’d be fine with that. I love this time of year. I love the cool days and crisp nights. Bright leaves, amber sunshine. Warm golden twilight.


Baseball and football on the television and glorious days in which Mother Nature has put on her fanciest clothing. It’s her last party until the long, white winter sleep.


Should you decide to accept this challenge, you can use a picture from this or any post of mine  — or any other picture you like. Write something about the picture or make something up, using a photograph — any photo — as a jumping off point.

This is the easiest prompt in the world.



Ladybug says:

I would like you to take three pictures in or around your home of things that are special to you. Tell me the story about it. Why is it special?


I live in the woods and living here is like … well … living in the woods. The trees are all around us, naked in winter, providing deep shade in summer … and glorious in October.


Life amidst the trees has its drawbacks. The house is dark in the summer. The oaks are tall forming a canopy the sun cannot penetrate. But our house stays cooler in the summer than most.


The trees are constantly changing. Growing. Reshaping themselves. They whisper between themselves, secrets only they know and I would love to share.


7 octoBER 2015: where’s autumn?

It’s Frisbee Wednesday again. September is gone and we’re an entire week into October. It ought to be glorious by now. Gold, red, glowing.

Not exactly. It’s pretty. Colorful, in a half-hearted way. Pastel compared to the last few years.


The money shot for the week is the snapping turtle we met at the dam on the Mumford. He was sunning himself — a fine day on which to do it. The sun was brilliant. It was hard to see exactly what picture I was taking with so much reflection and refraction. Clouds make picture-taking easier.



The leaves are changing, just not as much as one would expect. Autumn is — so far — somewhat missing-in-action. However, if nights get chillier, there’s a chance we’ll get that cold snap which brings the color up.


The river is very low. At least there was some water in it today. The last time Garry and I were at the dam, the bottom was up on much of the Mumford and most of the dam was dry. Today, there was water flowing.


The river is very shallow, no more than an inch or two deep and I didn’t see any fish. No herons or ducks. Too shallow for birds to swim. With no fish, nothing for long-legged waders to eat.


I hope we haven’t seen the last of the rain. There’s a terrible irony in the dreadful flooding down south while we are drying up, just a few hundred miles north.

And then, there’s California.

Should you decide to accept this “challenge,” you can use a picture from this or any post of mine  — or any other picture you like. Write something about the picture. Make something up using a photograph — any photo — as a jumping off point.

This is the easiest prompt in the world. Play if you like, but if not, hope you have a great day! And maybe, a little rain.


Change: This week, show us a change in progress. This can be done in one or multiple photos — we’ll let you decide!

ice at the dam

In the middle of town, there is a dam and a bridge. The river is the Mumford, which is one of the larger tributaries of the Blackstone River and the bridge is just the overpass where Route 16 turns towards Mendon, Milford and other points southeast of Uxbridge.

This is the middle of town, through the seasons, from December through the following November.

Mumford Dam




path woods golden november at the dam


It Feels Like Football, Rich Paschall

While many consider the Labor Day weekend (which includes the first Monday of September) to be the beginning of Fall, others think of it as the last gasp of summer.  I prefer to think of it along the lines of the later.  That was much easier this year as that three-day stretch was among the hottest days we have had here in the Midwest all year.

Rushing the seasons is not on my list of things to do.  In fact, in a great upper Midwest tradition, I prefer to hang on to summer as long as possible.  After all, the season here is not long enough as it is.  Anyone who has been freezing in the upper deck of Wrigley Field in mid June will understand this completely.  We need our summer.

Those walking down the avenue in October and finding people in shorts and flip-flops will realize our desperate desire for a longer season of warmth.  We do not give up on the idea until the snow flies, which sometimes happens before Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November).  You have celebrated Thanksgiving in the snow, haven’t you?  No?  You live too far south.

Let the autumn come as it should, I guess, with the autumnal equinox (or the vernal equinox for you Latin scholars). This is the time when the sun appears directly overhead at the equator in its trip southward.  You know the equator, it is that line around the center of your globe.  You do have a globe, don’t you?

Photo Credit: Bill Paulino

Photo Credit: Bill Paulino

The sun is at it furthest point north on the first day of summer.  From there it is all downhill, or southward anyway.  When it crosses the centerline, this year on the 23rd of September, we reach autumn while the southern half of the earth begins the Springtime.  It is a unique astrological story that has the sun seem to move north to south and then back again when the sun really does not moves at all.  It just stays in one spot and burns people where its rays are strongest.  I would attempt to explain that apparent movement of the sun to you, but I will leave that to your astronomy professor.  You do have an astronomy professor, don’t you?  No, I do not mean your astrologist.

Each season has taken on a unique feel to me.  Winter is our indoor season, from the holidays to the spring.  We watch sports, read books and when the need arises, we shovel snow.  There are plenty of indoor activities to take up the time, whether you are a “homebody” or someone who likes to get out and enjoy your sports and entertainment away from home.

Spring feels like renewal.  It burst with a new energy that the return of our greenery brings.  Getting out and cleaning up the yard and “organizing the garden” is a joyous ritual.  I say organizing the garden because it has a life of its own.  I plant very little, but rather move things around and pull up the unwanted visitors (weeds).  Some “volunteer” plants appear in such numbers that some must be asked to leave to make room for the others.

Summer feels like baseball.  If you were in a city with two major league teams and surrounded by a few minor league teams within a short drive, you would understand this completely.  We long for the days when we can attend a baseball game and not have to wear a jacket (or winter coat).  We watch baseball at home, at sports bars and restaurants, at various social events.  Yes, it is still the national pastime.

Autumn feels like football. It is not because the National Football League is back in action.  For me, it is something more than that.  For decades it meant that it was time to get out the football and go to the park.  For a few years as a kid it was tackle football in a league, but for decades it was pick up games with friends in the park.  These were touch games rather than tackle, although our exuberance may have made the touching a little more “enthusiastic” some weeks.  I loved this feeling more than the others.  When I walk outside, feel the autumn air and see the leaves change color, and later fall to earth, I think of football.

What does the autumn “feel” like to you?  Does the change of season have a special feeling to you?  Does the Fall  weather invoke anything inside your memory banks?  Comment below, then pump up the football and gather up the gang for a game of two hand tag in the park.


The season is coming on so fast, there are visible differences in leaf color in a six-hour period.

In the morning …

And the, a few hours later …

I have to go down by the river. That’s where the maples turn scarlet and our woods has very few maple trees.

I don’t know what to expect this year. It has been so dry. Regardless, I need to see.



Fall keeps on going. These were taken just a couple of days ago … and autumn has since moved on apace.

72-Early Autumn-Woods-0905_20

We still haven’t gotten any rain, but there’s some in the forecast. Hopefully, it will materialize and actually rain, as opposed to threatening, then dissipating without leaving any water behind.

This is our backyard and woods, now, in early September. It’s early afternoon and the sun is high in the sky. The world is glowing.