We haven’t gotten much in the way of autumn foliage. Hardly any. Little patches of yellow and occasionally a hint of red. It’s not much, especially considering how glorious our foliage can be. We were blah last year and the year before. So this will be the third year without “real” autumn.

Mumford River Dam in downtown Uxbridge

Garry’s got an ugly abscess in a tooth, so we had to be at the dentist early this morning. As it happens, the dentist’s office is next to the Mumford River dam. I took a few pictures. They aren’t great. I did intensify the colors a bit because they were so pale. It hardly looks like autumn.

But oddly, our woods is very bright with yellow leaves this year. No red or orange — we don’t have any maple trees back there. But the aspen and the vines are very bright and you can see them behind the bird feeders. So I guess it’s not a complete loss!



RDP Saturday – FALL

Yesterday, in the rain driving to the doctor, we kept looking for fall. We could see touches of it here and there, but given that it is already the end of September, it should have been everywhere.

One autumn tree in a sea of green

But today, with the temperature just right. The rain has finally finished and the sun is shining. I live in hope. If we look, I’m sure we will find a little hint of the fall to come.

So, just so you know what might be on its way, these were all taken in mid-October. By the river, on our own street, near the dam in the middle of town.

It’s coming. I can smell it in the air.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

So this post is a bit early. It’s not autumn yet. Not for another week. In this region, mid-October is generally peak and the week before is delicious — as is the week after.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I won’t give up until all the leaves have fallen, I promise.

This is MY season!



I don’t think we are going to be affected by the big storm that’s hitting the southern coast, though I’m betting we’ll get some of the rain. As long as we don’t get the big winds. I would hate to try to weather a Force 4 hurricane surrounded by all these trees.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong


Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Meanwhile, the brightest leaves continue on the banks of the river and canal. In a few days, it will bright Autumn will be everywhere.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong


All photographs taken by Garry or Marilyn along the banks of the Blackstone River in Mendon, where the river crosses under Route 16. Except for a couple in the Revolutionary War cemetery in town where the trees are always exceptionally bright.




This week’s topic is Building and Trees. Any building, any tree as long as they are in the same photo.


There are trees everywhere in the valley. I don’t believe you can find any building without a tree.



Without the dramatic colors of other seasons, I love the subtle gradations of color and light.


Can you see the house (above) tucked in between the trees?


house by whitins pond november



With rain, wind, and the ending of October, the trees are going bare.


It’s a strange mix between naked branches, remnants of green, and glowing autumn.


The in-between season. It’s mostly been warm during the day, chilly at night.


I love the warm weather. The longer it stays around, the better. I’m not eager for the not-to-be-named-season that comes next.



As I sat in the living room, baseball playoffs on the screen, I looked outside. Today is the fifth anniversary of my bilateral mastectomy. Which means five years officially cancer free.

Do I know for sure I’m cancer free? Of course not. No one knows that, not really. It does mean that I have had no symptoms, no signs. Nothing that makes that red light start flashing.


As part of this unofficial celebration, my granddaughter gave me a hair cut. Actually, I got several hairs cut. My hair has been falling out by the handful, probably the anemia and vitamin deficiencies catching up with me.


Having mid-back long hair wasn’t helping. While I try to get my levels back, it turns out the hair looks pretty good.


I am alive and with just a little bit of luck, I will stay that way for a good many years to come.

Meanwhile, the leaves are finally changing. For real.

The sun was low in the sky, just before sunset. It’s a particularly beautiful time of the day and especially beautiful this time of year. The sun is more golden in October … and today, the leaves got serious about autumn. It was only after the rain — last week — that color began to show in our trees.

It isn’t our best year, but it’s improving. I think it’ll be good, if not great. This is what you see from out my front door.


winter sunset

When I looked out my window this afternoon, I saw something I haven’t seen in many long weeks. Ground! I saw — clearly for the first time since January — the green steel cap of our septic system, plus a tiny bit of the earth which surrounds it. Not much on the face of it but I found it encouraging.


You have to take it in context. In conjunction with other omens and portents — a general lowering of snow levels compared to the height of fences and switching the clocks back to Daylight Savings Time (from which they should never have been moved) — I take it to mean spring is just around the corner.

Which corner? I’m looking, seeking. I know it’s hiding somewhere nearby.


I believe the snow will melt (faith matters). The ground and mud will appear. I will come to know that mud well. All 16 paws of Our Gang will run in and out of the doggy door a thousand time every day. Each time they come back into the house, they will bring clumps of mud with them. My mop, my patience, and my back will be strained to its limits.


This too shall pass. Soon, there will be flowers. Weeds. Bugs. Ants. No matter. As long as the sun shines and it doesn’t snow until next winter.


But — call this an existential question — why did the first appearance of the good earth have to be the lid of the septic tank?



This is not a great month for photography. Although I love the absence of snow, the bare trees, hibernating flowers and gardens aren’t inspiring.


Of course it’s possible to find pictures any time of years, but some periods are much more photogenic than others. Meanwhile, I’m motivated to look through the folders of pictures from other months. See what pops out.

October was the bonanza month for photographs.


The top three pictures are Vermont, near Peachum. Glorious days. The scarlet and orange leaves had passed, but the gold remained. The trees were breathtaking.


These final two shots are in and around Jackman, Maine. You can see the difference in the advance of the seasons between Maine — slightly higher both in altitude and latitude than Vermont.



Autumn Leaves – Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

This morning ... our early autumn woods.

This morning … our early autumn woods.

Talk about mixed emotions. I love autumn, by far my favorite season. The color. The smell of the air with that tang I can’t even describe. The sun changes to amber and the entire world glows. Of course, here in New England, foliage rules. In a good year … I hope this will be one such … it is incomparable. Magnificent.

But Autumn also comes bundled with its own sadness. Always there is a melancholy overtone to remind us this is the end of the warm time. The finish of a cycle that began when the ice broke at the end of last winter. Now, the visible shortening of days begins and the chilling of nights.

In our latitudes, snow will follow. Snow, ice, bitter winds will blow. We will hunker down, locked in our houses and wait for spring.

Note: I took all the pictures this morning, between writing the first paragraph and publishing the post. Hot off the presses.


It’s weather like this that kills the foliage  … Bye bye colors of the season.


Here’s the End-Of-Autumn forecast.

Note to all: In this neck of the woods, 50% chance of rain means it is going to rain, 100%. In fact, anything about 25% chance of rain equals 100%. I understand why they hedge their bets, but when it come to rain? Trust me. It’s going to rain. They are often wrong about good weather, but never about bad.


Dam at Whitins Pond

Dam at Whitins Pond

I literally paid in blood for these pictures. I think they are worth it, though I’m pretty sore and have a feeling I’m going to be very uncomfortable tomorrow.

A perfect water lily

A perfect water-lily

Funny to discover this dam after passing so near for more than a dozen years. You really can’t see it from the road, which is where we usually shoot from and I probably heard it, but didn’t pay attention. It’s an interesting dam, not like any of the other local dams.

dam at Whitins pond

It’s not very tall, perhaps 10 or 12 feet. Water doesn’t flow over the dam as much as it comes through holes in the dam, set at various heights in a long crescent. The waters spits out and onto a plateau of flat rocks. I’m not sure what this design was intended to accomplish, but there must have been some special purpose in the design.

Close up at the dam

The old mill used to be an antique cooperative until last year. They recently converted it to an adult activity center. The senior center in Uxbridge is tiny, so this is definite upgrade. The building has been beautifully restored and its location, adjacent to the river and Whitins Pond … well, it couldn’t be lovelier.

Pink-eyed grass by the dam

Summer’s Ending

This afternoon, I saw the first sign of leaf change. The alders are showing bright yellow. They are always the first — the heralds. The maples down by the river will be next. For some reason, trees along the water change before other trees and are always brighter than anywhere else.

This is the season for which I wait all year. I’m charging all the batteries. It’s photographer’s heaven for the next few weeks!