Monday, September 28, 2009

Leaf Peepers: We Go On a Sunday Drive

Bernie and I have agreed that we want to do something fun every weekend, even if it just to take a drive to some place we haven't been before.

This past weekend had been pretty full of tasks needing to be done, so it was almost 4 o'clock on Sunday when we decided to bag the "to do" list and take a ramble around the area instead.

While he gassed up the car, I took shots of the hills around our house.

( Re: The blurry sky in the picture above and below: One should check one's camera lens frequently. Especially if one never goes anywhere without one's is bound to eventually need cleaning.)

I was pretty excited to see the color change views just a block from our house.
As our son told us when we first moved here:

Fall comes down from the mountains, spring comes up from the valley floor.

Fall was definitely streaming down the mountainside on this very hot early fall Sunday.

The hillsides that were green, green, green in spring are now a shaven golden color with freckles of color popping up here and there.

I think the white rock layers are pretty cool too...originally flat, but after centuries of earthquake activity, now appear almost like rickrack trim on the hillside.

Once the car's tank was full, we headed north east, toward Ogden. We really hadn't travel up north much before.

Fifteen minutes on the road...and I was yelling "OH MY GOSH!!!"
The tree colors were spectacular!
At the first wide spot in the road, B. pulled over and I jumped out of the car with my camera in hand.

Now this is a mystery to me: Sweet Peas are blooming wildly all over SLC right now.
I could of sworn that Sweet Pea is a spring blooming flower. It is April's birth flower for goodness sake. My birthday being in April, I know this to be true.

Pink and white blossoms trail weirdly through the autumn leaves.
Is this typical? Anyone out there know?

There was a path through the trees..

I walked and stared up at the colors overhead, taking picture after picture, and breathing in the scent of autumn around me.

Growing up in Southern California I used to dream of scuffling through colorful fall forest.

It is a dream come true.
I keep repeating, rejoicing over and over: And all this is only 15 minutes from my front door!

The path crosses over a stream and leads up the mountainside. I want to trek the path...but Ogden is still ahead and the light will soon be gone

Mentally I decide I will take a few days off work...explore all of these paths...think about going over to the paths after work. Decide working is a blasted waste of time when the earth is putting on limited time showings like this.

I'm thinking of friends...wishing they were with me to walk and take photos and go "" right along side me.

Why didn't anyone tell me Utah and SLC had such gorgeous fall colors before?
Back to the car...and I notice that there will be more color change in the days ahead, judging from the trees that are still green across the way.

Looking back down the road: Yes, I should come back here every couple of days just to enjoy the changes.

We push on, driving on curving narrow roads that do not have places to safely pull over.
At last there is one place...from where the view of mountains seem to continue forever.
The fall colors have arranged themselves in orderly streamers rippling down the mountainside.

Blasts of yellow morph into flaming orange then red then green...a fallen rainbow of color.

The white sticks beneath the green topped trees tells me that this celebration has just begun.
The aspen has not fully given in to golden garb as of yet.
What day will that happen?
Tell me...what day?
I can not bear to think that I may miss the ultimate color explosion.

Will the red still be in the mix when the hillside turns totally yellow?
Will snow fall and add white to the pallet I now see there?

Colorful stripes!
How does that happen?
No man planted any tree that I see.
Yet the organization there...SOMEONE must have had a plan.
Can't stop taking shots of the stripes! Wish I could shot the scene in morning and afternoon light too.

Then we press on. The hills are like brown sugar lumps, with odd shapes of yellow embedded here and there. The Mormon pioneers travelled this passage a century and a half ago.
Did they ever see the upside down L shaped aspen grove on the distant hill?

An isolated forest has formed up on the craggy ledge. Are those trees remnants of when the ground was flat, or did breeze carried seeds plant themselves on an awaiting ledge?

We stop to peek at a stream...
and a few miles further on discover a stream feeding waterfall.

It was almost dark....

I craned my neck to capture the font, trying to capture the view with flash, and then with camera settings for low lights, bracing my camera to hold steady for the long exposure.

Leaning over the railing on the roadside, I tryed to get closer to the falls, trying to get just a wee bit more light for a picture.

Behind me the evening's last light caught a protruding rocky tip with a single stubborn plant growing up high.

Car whizzed pass with lights on, stabbing the darkness, missing the watery view that I enjoyed.

It is never to late to cast a was however too late to be able to see well enough to tie a fly on the line.
The fish will be there another day
Ogden...well, I'm not sure how to get to the charming little old part of the town that nestles up into the mountains.
I've read they ring huge church bells when the first powder snowfall arrives. The day is a holiday; everyone heads to the slopes.

We'll have to come back again to see what the town has to offer. I've heard rumors of quaint shops just waiting to be explored.

Even though we didn't explore Ogden,the trip was clearly not a waste. The fall colors were fantastic.

But oh is it hard to stay inside now. Outside a warm southwestern wind is whipping the trees, and by this time tomorrow there could be snow on those hillsides.
I want to go wander the hillsides.
I want to go enjoy outside!


Deb said...

Hi Jill,
Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I love your autumn photos of the glorious maples. In Georgia, we will not get to appreciate that kind of color until the end of October.

Lovella ♥ said...

I just checked your weather and forecast and it all makes sense why your colors are so gorgeous. . .warm days and cold nights make for beautiful colored leaves. I love the striped fashion of your mountain sides.

T smiled at B's fly tying efforts.

Vicki said...

Awesome! God's got the absolute best set of watercolors, doesn't He?!

Sure wish I could have been there oohing and aahing right alongside of you. I miss the autumn colors.

Sara said...

What a glorious place, Jill!

Anneliese said...

Beautiful colors - patchwork and stripes! I love this about Fall!

Islandsparrow said...

Gorgeous scenery!! I'm just like that especially in autumn - "wow wow wow!" and continually snapping photos. Ours are coming - the full colours will come by mid-Oct.

Dawn said...

Just beautiful, Jill!
Thanks for taking us along...

Janitha said...

Oh wow, now I really miss fall! Thanks for the wonderful pictures :)

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Calendar pictures...for sure! Wow...those are beautiful colours. Enjoy.