Here in Florida, it’s hard to shake summer when our daytime temperatures are still in the mid 80’s. A road trip to New York state earlier this month has me blissfully lingering in a sweet candy colored autumn state of mind.
I was a little concerned about traveling, but we managed to stay safe and have a great time. Getting out of the heat and out of town was rejuvenating for us all. Now that I’m back home, I’m feeling pleasantly refreshed and eager to start new projects.
For those of you who can’t get away for a vacation, let me take you on a pictorial trip to beautiful New England. I took almost 2000 pictures! I sorted through them and still have almost a thousand favorites. It was hard to narrow them down to just a few. I hope you enjoy the scenic tour up north.
When was the last time you went apple picking? It’s been years for me. We visited an orchard where we could pick ripe apples. In advance of going, we looked dessert recipes up online. It turns out there are a lot of apple varieties and several of them are good for cooking. You want a certain texture and sweetness or tartness for specific recipes. Each type of apple has its own special characteristic that make them suitable for certain uses.
At the orchard, we were given a map that showed us where we’d find the trees with the apples we wanted. It was like walking through a delicious maze with tempting fruit hanging within easy reach on either side. I was surprised by the incredible number of apple clusters that hung from the bent and twisted tree limbs. We limited ourselves to one bag for good reason. Once you start picking it’s so fun, it’s hard to stop. And you can only eat so many juicy apples.
The orchard also had a pumpkin patch with round orange globes of all sizes nestled in a network of leafy green vines. The vivid colors and bold shapes were a striking in contrast to the brown dirt and fading blades of grass. The high contrast landscape was a magical location for taking pictures that echo the dramatic heart of the changing season.
With a loaded bag of apples, we then continued our journey to Lake George. My family gathers there almost every summer. I haven’t been there in the fall for a long time. It’s a spectacular time of year to travel to the mountains. We were lucky, the leaves were turning, and the daytime temperatures were brisk and in the mid 60’s. That’s luxurious sweater and fuzzy boot weather for us cold sensitive Floridians. It was the perfect temperature for long walks in the woods and bundled up boat rides on the lake.
Call me silly, but I love to take nature pictures of wild animals. You learn quickly that it’s easy to take a picture of an animal’s back side as it flees your intrusive presence. Taking pictures of animals while they behave without interruption, now that takes patience and a zoom lens, both of which I have. The chipmunk was the most elusive of the northern woodland creatures. I framed dozens of shots but only have one or two pictures I really like. The squirrel was another hard to capture resident. They were busy, busy running around gathering acorns for the long winter. I managed to get a few action shots, but nothing National Geographic worthy.
The real star of my photographs was the colorful, fall foliage. On the trail, the ground under my feet was blanketed with a soft layer of velvety red, golden orange, and sunny yellow leaves. There were tranquil moments, in the woods when I was transported to a wonderland where the wind sang soothing lullabies, and the forest floor appeared to be sprinkled with candy. As I walked, I looked for dramatic compositions with unique shapes and vivid colors that were brought to life by the warmth of filtered light.
The lake is always a captivating subject for my pictures. I can’t take enough pictures of the lake. The landscape of the area, with the far reaching lake, cupped by towering mountains is so different from the tropical scenery we have here in Florida. While I’m there I try to capture the beauty and tranquility of the rolling water. I think, absorb the spirit of the waves and somehow, you’ll carry that restorative energy with you until next year.
We’re all trying to navigate life and slowly rebuild pieces into it from our former existence. I’m starting with the most basic pieces, the small elements that make me happy and feel alive. That includes a mix of quality family time and special me-time. When I’m taken care of, I have the strength to take care of others. This trip was a string of small, simple activities. The accumulative result of a change of scenery lifted my spirit and has left me pleasantly refreshed.
Don’t wait. Go on an exciting trip, big or small, near or far, it doesn’t matter. Change your scenery and shake up your routine for a few days. It’s time to live a little.
Enjoy the little things,