Saying Goodbye to Color

Mayberry Church Road on the 1st of November

My eyes have feasted on a beautiful colored landscape for the past month. Slowly the trees turned color. But with last week’s heavy frost, the trees are now mostly brown or their leaves have fallen to the earth, to rot into the soil and nourish another season.

I thought I would share some of my favorite photos from this color season, along with two poems. One I wrote on Sunday evening, having done my 4 1/2 mile hike to Laurel Fork and back. Once I climbed my way up out of the hollow and the forest gave way to the hayfields, I was treated to a perfect ecliptic in the sky with four heavenly bodies (a crescent moon, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter) visible. The other poem was written while taking Amtrak’s Crescent (formerly Southern Railroads “Southern Crescent”) from Danville, VA to Atlanta.

Mayberry Church Road in late afternoon


The young moon, just above the horizon,
flirts with Venus as darkness descends.
The red of sunset has faded 
except a thin line just above the trees to the west, 
as Saturn and Jupiter, the only other objects visible
look on with approval.

Venus and the new moon. Saturn and Jupiter would be to the left, behind the oak still clinging to its leaves. Photo taken with an iPhone, handheld.
Laurel Fork early in October, with just a hint of color.

Bear Creek Road in late October

Nursery Road in late afternoon

Asleep on the Southern Crescent

Maturing moon high overhead
fills my compartment with light 
as the blowing whistle up front
announces our fleeting presence,
followed by clanging bells 
and the flashing red lights 
of the crossing guards.

The train snakes into the Carolinas,
with stops, I’m told, in Greensboro, 
High Point, Salisbury, Charlotte, Gastonia,
Spartanburg, Greenville, and Clemson.
But I sleep soundly and wake up in Toccoa, Georgia.

At breakfast, I’ve learned we lost a bit of time
in Charlotte, as they worked on a toilet,
but I never knew anything had happened.

My compartment at daybreak, on my return trip from Atlanta.

Mia, my frequent hiking companion (for short hikes)
The leaves may be gone, but there is still beauty to observe. Early November, behind Nester’s Cemetery.

18 Replies to “Saying Goodbye to Color”

  1. Beautiful pictures, Jeff. And your poetry is lovely as well. An ode to autumn! I find it too fleeting. Summer drags. Winter drags. Fall goes in a blink and same with spring. That sunset is stunning!

  2. I love receiving your Saturday Musings email and this blog is wonderful! Love your colors and the winding roads of the east! We are enjoying spectacular weather here in Utah and the dog walks are great fun!

  3. Beautiful pictures and beautiful words. We’re also late with the fall colors here in Middle Tennessee and they are spectacular.

  4. Such beautiful pictures. I was lucky enough to catch fall in Maryland when visiting my sister. It looked much like your pictures. Thanks for sharing these (as well as the pup picture–loved that one).

    1. Western Maryland, especially around Cumberland and Harpers Ferry, should have been very beautiful this year. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip.

  5. Gorgeous photos, Jeff! We’re just getting our fall color now and I’m not sure it will be able to compete with this. So nice to see Mia, too. She’s a cutie. 🙂

  6. Love all of the photos and I think this is the first time I have met Mia. She looks like a lovely hiking companion. Thanks for sharing, Jeff. Have a great rest of your week.

    1. She’s our million dollar rescue dog (okay, a million is a hyperbole, but after two surgeries, she has cost a lot more than the 100 bucks or whatever it was to the Humane Society. Sadly, she doesn’t like long walks (anything more than a mile), but she is sweet.

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