Monday, October 30, 2017

Sumac and Sassafras

Autumn! Now there’s a season to be loved. Many people declare autumn to be their favorite season, and you could certainly put me in that camp. But this year, it’s practically making me giddy. And I’m not exactly sure why. I just know that I have to be a part of it. I need to see the colors, and decorate for it, and burn pumpkin candles, and just generally enjoy this beautiful season.  I’m determined to grab every minute of fall before it fades away.






I find that autumn makes me restless. I have to go out and explore Mother Nature to fully enjoy it all. It might start with a walk at one of my favorite Metroparks, Blacklick Woods. If I go early enough in the season, I know I’ll see monarchs nectaring there before heading south to Mexico.







Then I may need to see the autumn displays at Franklin Park Conservatory.








And for sure there will be several trips to Chestnut Ridge. If the colors aren’t at peak on the sweetgum trees there, I’ll have to come back again later. Because I just have to see their crazy kaleidoscope display. As you can see, they weren’t quite ready this day. I’ll return again soon.





If I’m really lucky, I’ll be able to include a journey “home” in the fall. Home to me is a small beachy town on the shores of Lake Michigan called St. Joseph. This year, I was that lucky, and I managed to hit peak color season in southwest Michigan.







In my memories of autumn there back in the day, every fall was drenched in red, yellow, orange, purple, and green. You know how your remembrances can play tricks on you, and exaggerate the reality? Well, my memories didn’t lie to me this time. It was every bit as magical as I remembered.






One of my stops in the area always has to be Fernwood Botanical Gardens. I've never met a botanical garden that I didn't love, but this one is particularly special to me because my grandmother loved it so, along with my mother. Now it's special because I always share it with a dear friend. We find "our" pair of Adirondack chairs, and sit there sharing our lives with each other. Silly me, why didn't I photograph the chairs themselves? Next time.





But it’s always the sumac and sassafras I remember most. These two plants provide a large part of the color show that I love so much. It’s how I know that I’m home. I’m sure they grow in Ohio too, but not so profusely. Once I see the sumac growing enmasse along the highway, I sigh deeply. Have you ever pulled a sassafras leaf from the tree, and chewed the stem? It tastes a bit like root beer. My mother taught me this as a little girl.





If you’re really lucky, you can go home again.





8 comments:

  1. Such beautiful fall photos, Robin. All so peaceful.

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    1. These are all my peaceful places, including home!

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  2. Hello again. We have been blog friends for a long time. I have always enjoyed your garden and your gorgeous photography. You have a beautiful garden and a sharp eye to make it look even more beautiful. I enjoyed this beautiful post with all the fall colors that your part of the the country has. I was very happy to see that you found me again. I really must get on Instagram.

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    1. Yes Ann, I make it a point to visit your blog regularly. Many have dropped from blogging, but I still enjoy it.

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  3. Wow! Such gorgeous, gorgeous autumn photos! There is so much inspiration in this post. The winding stairway with all the pumpkins is amazing, and some of your images from your home town are truly magical. Spring is my favorite season, but fall is a very close second!

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    1. I love spring, summer, and fall, but autumn is definitely my favorite!

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  4. Colorful, beautiful, cheerful photographs! I love fall!!!

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  5. Autumn is a wonderful time of year with all its beautiful colors. Thank you for sharing your amazing photographs!

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