Finding Fall

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Each year I hold onto summer for as long as I can. When I finally cave though, I’m all in for the Fall season. It starts slow here in New England. The trees will turn a bit, we will get some rain and wind so those early colored leaves fall to the ground rather quickly. As the season moves on the trees will finally dress up in all their magical colors like a blaze of glory and dazzle and sparkle before the final fizz of Fall stops and then we will move into winter. Along the way though, Fall brings a lot of magic in Nature. It’s not just about the trees folks. It’s about nature doing its own thing. Taking care of itself and actually preparing for next spring. Be aware.

Nature to me, is everything that happens outside of my control. Survival of the universe. Nature is always changing even when we can’t see it. Like the ocean, rivers, mountains, lakes and streams. Animals of all kinds big and small. Trees, leaves grass, dirt and sand. Look up in to the sky for the clouds and then look down into the deep blue, green hues of the ocean. See the fish. There is so much more out there surviving on its own. Doing it’s own fall dance while everyone is waiting for the trees to change color.

Being in Maine presents so many opportunities for blending with nature. One of the reason why Maine works for me is that I give myself more time to tune in and turn off. I’m aware of all that surrounds me in Nature…even when I least expect it. And I’m ready. My dining room table always has a camera on it…that doesn’t always mean I get the shot, it just means I stand a better chance of getting a good snap.

This past week we spent five days in Maine putting the summer toys away. It’s always a bit melancholy to say goodbye to another beautiful summer. I watch the boat leave the dock for the last time as it heads to the marina and remember all the good times we had on it this past year. The boat will go into to storage and so will all my memories of time spent on it with the people I love most in the world. Jim’s job is all the outside work. Mine is all the inside work. Ah, but sometimes I get distracted when working on the first floor.

Early in the morning, I exercise on the treadmill and then go upstairs to do a few stretching and yoga exercises before starting my day. This morning, as I was laying on the floor, I saw a swift movement out of the corner of my eye…when I looked there was the sweetest chipmunk filling his cheeks right there in front of me on my deck. Without trying to make to much noise I slid myself to the table and grabbed my camera and started shooting, right through the door. Then for the next two days him and I had a love affair. He taught me lessons on what fall means to him. And how Mother Nature provides for his well being. One day he brought a friend along but that didn’t last. I think they broke up. I don’t think he liked sharing his treasures.

If you look closely above you will start to discover what fall means to this little guy. It’s time to hide his acorns much like we stack our firewood. The deck is loaded with acorns this year, more than I have seen in many years. Of course, he can’t take an acorn at a time to his nest, that would take way too long, so mother nature provided him with cheeks that expand beyond belief. I watched and shot in amazement at how many acorns he stuffed in his mouth. Perfect placement and not a bit of wasted time…In photo three above it almost looks painful. But he cheerily went about his fall business of getting ready for winter.

And as quick as he came he was gone…Leaving me to photograph the beautiful acorns and yellow pine needles. I did a few more exercises in between each visit…

And as quick as he came he was gone…Leaving me to photograph the beautiful acorns and yellow pine needles. I did a few more exercises in between each visit…

Then he’s back and I’m taking it all in again. He was sweet and fun to watch. He reminds me that when the change of seasons come we all have our work to do. He moves about his chore of setting up his home for winter the same way we do. Work early in the morning while it’s quiet. It’s more productive. Don’t worry too much about how long it will take. Rest later.

After a busy morning of work, he comes again. Lunch time on the deck. He sees me but knows that I am no longer a threat. I am able to open the slider door a wee bit and he doesn’t run away. He knows that in order to continue his Fall clean up he must keep his energy level up. He is a wiz at opening his acorns. He surrounds himself with beauty. Life on the lake, a few pine trees and flowers. Smart little guy. I somehow feel he would be oh so happy if he could see his lovely bokeh background.

After a busy morning of work, he comes again. Lunch time on the deck. He sees me but knows that I am no longer a threat. I am able to open the slider door a wee bit and he doesn’t run away. He knows that in order to continue his Fall clean up he must keep his energy level up. He is a wiz at opening his acorns. He surrounds himself with beauty. Life on the lake, a few pine trees and flowers. Smart little guy. I somehow feel he would be oh so happy if he could see his lovely bokeh background.

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So the day moves on and so do I. I am reminded that I too have chores to do to set this house in order for winter. Fall is many things to many people but the lessons that I learned from this little guy this morning are important ones. The season of Fall encompass so much more that apple picking, pumpkins, cider donuts and leaves turning. It’s the little acorns on my deck and chipmunks storing then away for winter. Its orange pine needles and mums that bloom this time of the year. Its kids running through leaves or dogs finally getting to run on the beach again. It’s meeting friends for tea or hot chocolate in a warm bookshop or coffee house. It is wine and a good book sitting all comfy by the fire both inside and out. It is also realizing that Mother Nature takes care of her own, just as we take care of our own. She dresses the trees in beautiful colors before letting them sink into the soil to renew their spirits and come back to us in the spring full of fruits and flowers. She has a big job to do and does it so well. Look around you, notice the little things. Pull on that big wool sweater and slip your feet into some warm fuzzy boots and take a walk in the woods, on the beach or even just through your own neighborhood. Find Fall in all its beauty. Watch and wait and see what you see. Have your camera ready because without it, you might miss something quite spectacular…maybe even a cosmic Witch this time of year. And if by chance you come across a little chipmunk busy carrying his nuts, just stop and look at his little face. I bet you will be smiling…
Happy Fall to All…

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious
as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.
So I have spent almost all the daylight hours
in the open-air... Nathaniel Hawthorne

All of the above photos were taken with the Fuji XT-2 and the Fuji 50-200mm lens. I welcome your comments and love to hear from you. Please know that I read and answer every comment that is posted. Thank you for your visits.