Archive for the ‘Autumn’ Tag

More like home

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where corn grows ready waiting the harvest

and granaries are tall white towers

stretching upwards into bright skies.

Where trees, large and twisted

their bark like wrinkles baked in the sun,

with heavy foliage on hanging branches

 bow low to the ground now covered in leaves,

and busy little squirrels scurrying around.

 The sound of trains rumbling down the tracks,

the blast of a noon day whistle heard,

with the semis and tractors sharing the road

between quaint shops that line the street;

a bank, a post office, grocery and gas pump.

Are all beginning to feel more like home.

_________________

Joyce E. Mannhalter © Oct. 2018

 

 

 

Posted October 26, 2018 by Joyce in Autumn, blogging, My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry

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A New Season in Life


Like tiny bits of crinkled paper

leaves fall, scattering in all directions

chased by the wind, scorched by the sun,

some caught on rocks, some gather in piles.

Trees grow more bare day by day;

exposed and stripped branches cannot hide

what found refuge through summer’s heat.

A season ends, and another begins.

I welcome the changing times of life,

each day a gift like the leaves that scatter

one upon the other like the passing of time.

I pray there not be a day go by

that I fail to bare my soul to Thee, 

and thank you, God for what you’ve given me.

__________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

October days

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There are nature trails

where leaves and trees turn a bright

gold, yellow, orange,

and farms and fields grow tall corn

and pumpkin vines on the ground

~~~

where kids run and play

in a corn maze and hay found,

on days, warm and dry.

It is what makes October

a special fun time.

__________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Footnotes: The top picture is one taken of a walking trail in our town, Loveland, Co. The other pictures  are ones taken recently of my husband and grandchildren at a pumpkin farm in Wyoming while visiting our daughter and family.

Embracing autumn

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Dry leaves blow, like crisp

bits of fine paper, scattered

in all directions.

The sun fades slowly into

dusk and cool, dark autumn nights.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

The annual quest for Colorado gold

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Every year when the leaves turn and Autumn arrives we head out, on our quest to look for the best places to photograph the changes in color and the Aspens turning a bright golden-yellow. And sometimes, a shot of something else will do too when we stop to explore along the road. The top photo is one of the Aspens in the Rocky Mountains seen off highway 7 between Lyons and Nederland, Co.

The bottom photo is one of Barker Dam off the road on the way down to the city of Boulder. Timing, location and altitude can make all the difference in the color and changes seen. In some areas just a few days earlier, there was more color with rust and red tones showing in some of the plant life, brighter in places, but in others it had not yet reached its peak. Photographers with tripods set in place can be spotted along the road, as everyone wants to capture the gold.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/quest/

A quiet retreat

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This photo was taken of the Cache la Poudre River near the Bighorn cabins where we stayed. Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

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The cabin we stayed in beside the river. Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

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I took this photo from the top of the Elkhorn Creek trail we hiked. The Mummy Range can be seen from where we stood at about 8,000 – 9,000 ft. elevation. Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

The beginning point of the Elkhorn Creeks trail where we started our climb up the mountain.

The beginning point of the Elkhorn Creek trail where we started our climb up the mountain. Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's me while on the Elkhorn Creek trail. My husband took this photo.

That’s me while on the Elkhorn Creek trail. My husband took this photo.

For two days one recent weekend we enjoyed fresh air, rest and solitude in the mountains of northwestern Colorado, fifty miles from where we live in the city (Loveland). We booked a wonderful, quiet little cabin at the Bighorn Cabins in Bellvue. It is close to a little village like community town called Rustic, along the winding, climbing county highway 14, at an altitude of 7-10,000 ft.

We had two days to explore and hike on the trails nearby and the weather was perfect with the warm sunshine to our backs, and the cooler autumn breezes blowing through the canyon and down along the Cache la Poudre River towards late afternoon and evening. The trees had already peaked in their autumn colors, and the golden Aspens were beginning to dry up with leaves falling, piling up along the road, river or trail paths.

Northwestern Colorado is a favorite vacation spot even during the autumn months after the summer tourism season ends because of the autumn colors seen in the changing trees. There are hunters who come up to hunt elk, deer or moose, and the fishermen trying their luck at catching that one good trout or bass before the cold season sets in for the winter. And of course, one cannot forget the bears who roam about getting their fill during the fall feeding frenzy before hibernation. Although we did not spot a bear while on our hikes we kept our eyes open and alert to any wildlife that shared the open space with us. The deer and elk are plentiful in these parts and beautiful to watch. The bears? Well, we know they’re somewhere, maybe not far, so we’ll keep our distance, and allow them plenty of space.

For more information on the Bighorn Cabins and rental rates, or for reservations, you can find it here. For information on the Cache La Poudre River you can find it here. It is a wonderful vacation place to visit.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

 

Autumn’s crowning gold

 

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This photo was taken while on a walking trail at River’s Edge, Loveland, Colorado. The interesting thing about this photo is that when it was taken it was already growing dark, just past sunset. My husband took this photo and used the flash so we thought it interesting it could get this much light, so there was maybe more distortion than if taken in brighter light.    Photo credit: TW Johnson

 

 

  I watch the changing

of the trees dressed in golden

coats of leaves, and wish

it not a season passing,

but unending, reigning crown.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015


Autumn vacations

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All of the above photos were taken while on vacation trips years ago to the upper northeast, New England, (U.S.) and Nova Scotia, Canada province area. It was in October when the orange, gold and rust colored leaves and trees were at their peak, a variation of shades and hues merging amid the landscape and natural areas wherever we traveled. These are a few of my favorite shots taken while driving through the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Main, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Nova Scotia. As we drove through these states, exploring, walking the hiking trails, seeing historic places, the architecture and style of Victorian and Cape Cod homes, pristine beaches and shores of the Atlantic it did not take long before I declared this one of the most enjoyable vacation spots and a favorite place to travel and photograph. I will post some more favorite photos from these trips in future posts.  

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)   

Colorado’s gold

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These are some of our captured images while on a day trip Saturday (Sept. 26th). We had beautiful blue skies of over 100 miles in a day taking in the color, sights and sounds of the rising majestic Colorado Rockies northwest of Fort Collins, Co., in the Roosevelt National Forest, along the Cache la Poudre River, west across Cameron Pass Summit (10,000 + ft. elevation) and down into a valley where marshland and wetlands is the habitat of moose, elk, bear and other wildlife. All of this lies in a serene setting surrounded in a bowl of mountain ridges that rise into the skies like the jagged backbone of a dragon with the quaint little town of Walden nestled below and mountain folks reside. Every year the many hunters, fishermen, photographers, tourists, climbers and hikers come through this way to view the changing colors from summer to autumn. We make it an annual trip to view the aspens’ green leaves of summer turn golden-yellow with shades of orange and rust to merge together in a kaleidoscope of color. This is only one of the many popular routes or scenic highway drives seen crowded with cars going up into the high country for the views, but the state is awash with images, videos and stories of everyone’s adventure to capture Colorado ‘gold’. I am just an amateur at best with my little digital Nikon Coolpix or Sony video cam, so this is just a sampling of shots taken this year. But, the memories made and the scenes captured make it an unforgettable day trip.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Welcoming autumn

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Autumn in the Colorado Rockies – mountain ridge along the Cache La Poudre River, northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado

The days seem shorter;

I want the sun to linger,

but autumn beckons

like a host at nature’s door,

 and I welcome it today.

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

 

 

 

What grows beneath the rock

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This rock cropping is a part of the large boulders we have on our mountain property in Roosevelt National Forest, northwest of Fort Collins, Co. where the Aspen trees can grow and survive through any season or weather in the Rockies. Their leaves turn a bright yellow during the peak of autumn. When we see the first of the leaves turning we know it will be an early fall season, and the temperatures begin dropping. I took this photo on Sept. 6, and wrote the poem for this photo.

From out of the rocks

grow tiny Aspen seedlings;

green and yellow leaves

claiming a place all their own

declaring it now autumn

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

Desperately seeking

 

While on a vacation trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada many years ago we had reservations at a Bed and Breakfast place, but when we finally got into Halifax after driving all day with stops along all day we were unprepared for this huge metropolitan city during rush hour traffic using only a (print) travel atlas to guide us.  Our check in time was for 6:00 p.m., and it was nearing that time. We got lost several times while looking for the B&B. By the time we found it and drove up into the drive right at 6:00 sharp it appeared to be just an average looking residence with children’s toys visibly scattered around its back yard. We knocked on the door several times, but no one answered, so gave up and figured it had either gone out of business, or was a bogus site on the internet.

Frustrated and desperate to find a hotel room we drove around while praying for one to open up. It seemed every place was booked up. We learned later it was the eve of their Canadian Thanksgiving Day holiday, and places booked up.  As we came off an exit of the interstate we spotted this inn. We saw their ‘No vacancy’ neon sign lit up, as was the case with so many hotels that night. But, something told me we should stop and inquire. My husband didn’t think it would do any good, but I persisted.  

While he went in to ask, I waited in the car and prayed. Soon, he came out, smiling, holding a room key. They told him there was a cancellation at the last moment, and a room had just opened up. With the key, and our luggage we walked up a stairway and down a lit hallway to a warm, clean, spacious room with two queen beds and beautiful antique furnishings. It was perfect, so inviting, even luxurious with its atmosphere. I could hardly believe our good fortune that night. And yet, why not? After all, I prayed there would be ‘room at the inn’. 

We were also hungry and wished for a good hot meal. Again, to our unexpected, happy surprise we found a wonderful dine-in restaurant on the first floor, open late and serving their full menu items with the day’s special; roast turkey dinner with all the traditional sides. We enjoyed that meal like none other, had a delicious chocolate mousse dessert to top off the night, and slept like contented, happy kids with filled bellies. Our bodies were at rest, our soul was blessed, and our minds put at ease. 

I took this picture of the inn the following morning when we checked out before heading back on the road. Now, I look back fondly on that time when we drove desperately seeking a room that night and this special blessing that opened up for us so that we could enjoy a Canadian Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend. 

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)           

Trees in transition

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Trees in transition,

leaves turning; autumn jewels

gold, red and amber

a profusion of color

bursts forth in rich foliage hues

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)


One year after

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  Nature reclaims what

the flood took away last year.

This weeping willow’s

branches bow with due respect

to trees lost last September

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 Footnotes: This week marks a year for our state when devastating floods from days of unrelenting hard rains and raging high rivers destroyed much of our front range; parks, roads, homes, businesses, even parts of the Interstate highway. It took lives too. Our local newspapers have run stories on surviving families and people who have forged on and begun the rebuilding of their lives and homes again with a strong commitment and determination that is born from tragedy leaving scars and wounds in ways that devastate lives and livelihood. There are other posts on this story in my archives under the Big Thompson River Flood.  And also  here

Farewell Sweet Summer

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Autumn leaves; this photo is one I took a year ago at the peak of Autumn.

 

Farewell sweet summer nights

when a cricket’s chorus

sings to dark, cool skies,

and lulls my slumbering eyes.

When through my window, a breeze

 turns to early dew,

and blooms shiver in the morn,

and the rising sun

brings a cold brisk autumn chill.

With the change of season comes

colorful array

of trees that shed their bright coats

now red, amber, gold,

and the harvest’s bounty grown

in abundance on the ground

gathered up and sold

to town markets all around,

with baskets full of

ripe cornucopia found.

Farewell to sweet summer’s end.

 __________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 

Nature prevails

Oct. 7, 2013, less than one month after the most destructive flood on record in northern Colorado, Sept. 2013 Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

The Cache La Poudre River, northern Colorado, Oct. 7, 2013, less than one month after the most destructive flood on record in northern Colorado, Sept. 2013
Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

The water is stilled

Color dots the river’s edge

Nature has prevailed

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

Roads taken

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A scenic route in Vermont, New England, U.S.
photo by:  Joyce E. Johnson

The roads that take us places, whether literally or metaphorically are ones that fill our mind and life with indelible memories to visit from time to time, hopefully happy ones. That was the case with this trip we took years ago to the New England states, where American history was charted and documented.  We have taken two trips like this to the New England states, and both were memorable with a lot of great pictures of all the places we visited like the farmland and beautiful trees in Vermont changing color as shown in the above photo. We took walks along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean of New Hampshire, visited Plymouth Rock and the restored Mayflower in Massachusetts, the waterfront of Boston Harbor, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall of Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island in New York,  a lighthouse in Portland Maine, Arlington Nat’l Cemetery in Virginia, and the White House, Capitol, and Supreme Court buildings in Washington DC.  Our second trip included some travel up into Nova Scotia (via ferry) visiting Halifax and cities up and down the northern and southern coastline.

Both of these trips were like a whirlwind, blurring the hours and days in too short a time to ponder the things seen. But, still it was a wonderful way to see the different culture, lifestyle, and meet the people along the way, and learn about their region’s history, or even a bit of their own. Sometimes significant things, big or small leave indelible  impressions that make that trip an unforgettable one. One of those things the trips back east did for me was to make me more aware, knowledgeable and thankful for the foundation laid by our country’s founding fathers in the USA. Those founding principles of,  ‘truth and freedom, justice, and the pursuit of happiness’ that are found written in our constitution were not just paths chartered for that time, but also ones to pave a foundation for a more unified nation today. It is a lasting legacy we can or should be reminded of.  Metaphorically there may be some roads we may not want to return to if unhappy ones, but some we need to re-visit, if for no other reason than to just be reminded of what we once had in this country, and from where we’ve come, if we still have it, or still want what we once had, and the sacrifices of those who pioneered and charted the roads we take today. I count my blessings for what I have, and for what I’ve gained by right as a U.S. citizen. But, I do not curse my country for what it cannot provide me. We may travel different roads, take different paths, believe differently, but at some time or other we intersect or meet along the way like the pilgrims and Indians when they celebrated their first Thanksgiving together. It was their coming together, the unity and sharing for that time that they celebrated, and what we should still cherish and celebrate today. It gave our ‘founding fathers’ hope back then that whatever comes, whatever befalls this country there is still a reason to hope, to hold fast to things cherished, and celebrate what we have. It is why I love the approaching time and holiday of Thanksgiving, and feel blessed that we have much to give thanks for.

_________________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

Autumn Gold

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Autumn gold: Aspens

Nourished near the river’s edge

Dip their leaves to drink

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Photo and Haiku poem by : Joyce E. Johnson

Note: I could not resist posting this photo taken last year at this time while I walked the trail along Big Thompson River with my husband and dog. This was a section of our river trail that has since been so devastated and washed out by the recent floods here in Northern Colorado. Here in Colorado the Aspen trees are a favorite to view every Autumn when thousands of people go up to Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park to see them turn a beautiful golden-yellow, orange and shades seen up and down the mountain sides and photographers come out in droves to get pictures. I am one of those, too. 🙂 This year in order to get up to the higher elevation one has to take back roads and other highways not affected or washed out by the flood, so we took one on Monday where I was able to get the shot posted previously on Tues., Oct. 8th on another trail along Cameron Pass. I never grow tired of looking at our beautiful Aspens and hope those seeing some of my Aspen photos and ‘reflections’ seen from them enjoy them as much as I do. Until our trails, highways and roads affected by the floods are rebuilt or repaired we have to find other routes to these pristine places of beauty.


Shades of Autumn

Aspen trees in Roosevelt National Forest, Larimer County, Colorado
photo: Joyce E. Johnson


There stands a forest

Below snow-covered peaks where

A grove of Aspen,

Autumn’s golden shades

Grows beating nature’s fury

Undaunted and strong;

Mere flecks of yellow

In a mass of tall pine trees

Like a flower show.

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

Home: A Nice Place to Be

Home. It is a nice place to be, and always a nice place to return to after a trip.

It has been over three weeks since I last posted, but have been traveling. Revisiting our old town of Independence, Mo., seeing our old house of nine years which was our first real home as a family where we welcomed our first child, and the streets where we walked our daughter to school, walked our dog, hung out with neighbors, friends, rode our bikes, and the list goes on. But, being away made me miss my home here in Loveland, Co., having been gone from the former for over thirty years. Twelve days on the road traveling through Ks., Mo., Il., Ind., and Ky. to visit family members, friends and relatives was nice, but I was ready to return home to Colorado, to my own kids and grandkids. We get kind of spoiled and grow accustomed to our own things and in general just our current ‘nesting place’.

It does give us a new perspective on things though while gone and seeing how life goes on in other places, foreign or familiar. The changing times and distance can change the way we view things when not living there again. I think I can relate to the way a mother bird feels when she flies away to visit places once gone to, only to return to her current, familiar place called ‘home.’

It was fun browsing and shopping in antique stores, hanging out with my sisters in places where we spent what seemed like hours looking for good ‘deals.’ Then there were the long walks along the Mo. River, through the neighborhoods looking at the colorful trees with the changing leaves, the fresh look of autumn. Those were the times my husband and I enjoyed the most. Getting the ‘perfect shot’ with our cameras everywhere we went was a venture requiring patience, charged batteries, and just the right light, and time of day. Driving almost 3,000 miles through all kinds of weather, good or bad, heavy traffic, or no traffic, getting out to stretch our legs, do quick rabbit runs, or a turtle walk around the parking lots at rest areas depended on how my stiff joints felt after long hours in the car filled with luggage, a cooler, and shopping bags with goodies and bargains. It was a great trip, but am happy to be back home and once again in a familiar routine.

The picture here is one taken at home, in Loveland of our little bird house perched among the colorful changing leaves in October.


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