Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall colors

A couple weeks ago when I was out stomping on that land in Kansas, I had to really search to find anything in color. This closeup of some sumac leaves was the best I could do.

Everything else seemed lifeless...if not charred.

The only thing with any sort of life was this dead leaf attached to a spider web remnant, endlessly oscillating in the slight breeze.

I walked in the woods for a while but the slight breeze at the top of a hill turned out to be a kind of dangerous. It sounded pretty, the sound of wind blowing through the tops of the trees, but when a large tree crashed to the ground in front of me, just about twenty feet away, well, that was too much drama so I left.

But the following week when I returned, it was sunny. It was even somewhat warm. And there were bugs!

I got a good staredown from a stinkbug.

Watched a little common buckeye butterfly sun itself on the gravel.

And found the tiniest little ringneck snake under an oak leaf.

But still, not too much color...although there were hints that something would be happening soon...

Yesterday when I returned, it was a gloomy and wet day...but big changes had been made in the landscape. Look at that pretty little maple tree now.

The colors are finally reaching their last minute crazy weird intensity.

Even the moss glows more than it really has to.

The colors get brighter, brighter, brighter...

...and then it's all over. It's like a good fireworks finale, watching all the colors go all crazy at this time of year and I don't want to miss seeing any one of them before they all go out.

17 comments:

Maureen said...

Very pretty, where's Aussie?

Maria said...

Ha ha ha. I didn't see Aussie the first two times I was out there but on Sunday, she did show up so suddenly she crashed right into me. When she found out I had french fries (I had stopped at Dairy Queen earlier), she put on an excellent pity face and got most of them. Hope her owner doesn't find out. I'm not good at saying no to a dog. :-)

Leenie said...

Thanks for showing us the beauty of your property in the finale of fireworks. The Buckeye butterfly is my favorite, but the stinkbug stinkeye--:D.

Hilary said...

Wow.. these are beautiful shots. Love that bold stink bug and how nicely you documented the changes.

Country Girl said...

Yes! That's what it's like. Like a fireworks show slowly winding down.

MObugs said...

Beautiful photos, what part of Kansas. I'm curious how far u are from me. I live in Savannah, MO
I love the showing of colors, just hate that cold and dreary days are to follow

Maria said...

Leenie-I think of you when I see stinkbugs now because of your stinkeye description. Ha ha ha. And yes, that buckeye butterfly was lovely and perfect. I think it was a freshly made one. I wish my camera hadn't cast such a shadow on it but it was the best I could do before the little guy took off.

Hilary-When I was going through all my photos I was happy to find a somewhat successive shot of that maple. Photographing absolutely everything is my way of getting familiar with the land. It is really astonishing just how much that place changes from week to week. Can't wait to get out there permanently!

Kate-I know. It's winding down fast but this year has been such a good show!

Shelly-Savannah is near Saint Joe, right? I live in the Brookside area of Kansas City right now but the land I bought in Kansas earlier this year is in the Linwood/Bonner Springs area of Leavenworth County.

Rural Rambler said...

Pretty property made even better because it is yours. And I can only imagine how happy you will be to be there all the time! I picked up Squirrels at My Window yesterday afternoon and I am half thru, I'll finish it today. It is a great read, I love it. Genius, sort of, is like the Old Man but I think our Old Man is boss of the yard.

Ellyn O. said...

Oh, Maria, Teddy just loved your stinkbug! (He has a thing for bugs - that's why he was shown that cute picture or two). You really take some amazing shots that I enjoy. Someday, perhaps I will be half as proficient with my little green machine. I so enjoyed your pictures and story line of Rex and all of the animals...especially Girly; such a unique name. I didn't think that Kansas or Missouri could ever be so picturesque, but your photos dispel that myth. You need to come up here near the North Pole, and try to make this place beautiful!

Q said...

Dear Maria,
BUGS???? I do love bugs.
Your Buckeye is perfect. They are my husband's favorite.
Photographing your land is such a fantastic way to really get to know it. Love the little snake...
October is almost over and November brings the last shot of color. I hope we have a long Indian Summer this year.
Enjoyed catching up this morning.
Happy Halloween!
Boo!
Sherry

Maria said...

Rural Rambler-I can't wait to move out there too. It's going to be so much fun.

Wow! You really tore through that book. :-) I don't get much interaction with my squirrels in the backyard. Surprisingly, for squirrels, mine are pretty well behaved. Might be because I don't serve them fun things to eat like what my neighbors feed them... I've seen squirrels run around with candybars!

Another book I read a long time ago (at least a decade, if not more) is an out of print book called "Camelot." Maybe your library might have it. It's about a woman who started inheriting animals to rehab...like circus animals...and her crazy ways of trying to financially support them and herself after her divorce. It made me want to get a peacock. One of these days I"m going to have to figure out why I am so drawn to bad, bad birds. :-/

Maria said...

Aunt Ellyn-that photography thing is all in the cropping!!! Once you get that green machine working, you'll be surprised what those little Canons can do. Just take lots and lots of pictures and edit them later.

Redbud Ranch (where my friend Sarah lives) is always absolutely gorgeous. I don't care how much she tries to tell me the contrary, it's unusually gorgeous. Maybe you need to concentrate on some action shots up in the North Pole. I remember one time (a New Year's Eve?) you called and said you were going out no matter what, even though the front door had just been blown off by a gale-force wind. Ha ha ha.

Maria said...

Sherry!!!! I've been so darn busy at work. I think I finally have time to get together for lunch in the next week or so. I'm coming over to your blog right now.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Love love LOVE your snake photo! It just looks like... captured motion, I guess. I can never seem to trap that within a photo, so I admire the heck out of it when someone else does. Nice job. :)

Maria said...

Swampgirl-I love that photo too. Here's my secret: Set your camera on macro, reach out with your arm and start clicking on where you THINK something might be happening and hope that you got something when you upload the images to your computer. I really, really am proud of that picture but the truth is, I was trying to take a picture of its head.

Chris said...

Nice photo skills Maria.

Maria said...

Chris-Aw, thank you Sir. :-)