Here Comes Fall- A Photo Essay
I awake early for Misaligned Minds, a bike ride in Paducah, KY. It is a 100 mile tour of the flatlands of Western Kentucky. Cycling in the region winds down this time of the year and this will most likely be my last long event ride of the season.
As with all long rides, I have plenty of time to just think and reflect. As I feel the burn from the cool air in my lungs and a uncomfortable chillness in my whole body, I decide to just take in what the new season has to offer. The obvious signs of the changing seasons are, of course, the coloring of the leaves. But today, I notice so many other clues.
The low humidity, the longer shadows and morning sun have a different feel than normal. The light and color are subdued but ironically broadcast a warmer hue. Its like the sun is just a little too tired to turn itself on bright.
The sun provides a boost of color to the soy bean fields that have yet to be harvested. The mundane green fields of summer explode with yellow that vividly contrasts with the blue skies.
However, the once green and lavish cornfields are now harvested, scraped, and dusty. The lack of stalks allow me to see and hear the shrill call of the ground nesting Killdeer as they gather up the seasons last grasshoppers and beetles.
While overhead, the Mourning dove line up on power lines in between their gorging of kernels of corn that have escaped the harvesters.
Flocks of starlings darken sections of the sky like a black flag blowing in the breeze. Making abrupt changes of direction in unison with no discernible reason why.
Illinois as seen from Paducah, KY
Rivers and ponds have un-mistakingly blue mirror like reflections. Why the water seems bluer and more reflective puzzles me. I don’t notice this any other time of the year. Maybe a google search will answer that question. I prefer to just keep it a mystery, like why the roads look wet in the distance in the heat of summer.
Dodging fallen walnuts while riding is certainly a seasonal rite of passage. As much so, as watching the squirrels scampering around with the oversized nuts that are are still in their green hulls. What do they do with them? Do they store them for winter? Is there a code of ethics amongst squirrels that prevent less industrious squirrels from taking from those that started planning ahead?
Autumn certainly holds much of natures beauty. I too often just think of the fall leaves, sweaters and pots of chili as the spoils of Fall. There is, however, so much more going on if I just slow down a bit a look for it.