Golden

Things were quite golden nearly everywhere I went in southern Ohio Saturday.

Here’s the view early morning at Lake Alma.

And a couple of hours later, to the south at Lake Vesuvius.

The sky was a gorgeous blue for much of the day and the aroma of campfire smoke hung in the air. It was a spectacular day to be out and to be free.

Fall Foliage

The fall foliage in Ohio has been disappointing so far this year. Experts say our peak will be a little later than normal but I suspect it won’t be grand. It has been hot and dry this fall and the leaves seem to be turning brown and dropping before they have a chance to turn pretty.

The best color I have seen in Ohio so far is at this lovely country church in the Hocking Hills.

I’ll swing by again next week to see how the colors progress. Meanwhile I keep thinking back on the foliage I saw in the mountains in West Virginia earlier this month. It wasn’t nearly as vibrant as it was last year but still quite pretty.

In fact, it was so pretty I hated to leave.

Hello, September!

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul…but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October.”

Peggy Toney Horton

Fall is my favorite season.

Warm but not hot days followed by cool evenings. Blue skies punctuated by fluffy white clouds. Fall showers and colorful umbrellas. Leaves of yellow, orange, red and brown drifting aimlessly through the air. Pumpkin goodies and tasty soups. Hot chocolate and cold apple cider. The smell of smoke and the feel of a soft sweater on your skin. Jaunty hats, plaid scarves, boots that click when you walk and jackets that pull together an outfit. Pumpkins in a field and apple crisp in the oven.

Fall doesn’t officially begin for a few more weeks but I’m busy preparing. There are adventures to be planned and recipes to try.

Right now, my focus is on prioritizing all the many things I want to do and the many places the Nerd Mobile and I will go. I want to go to fall festivals, pick pumpkins and buy mums for the porches. I want to visit Jack Pine’s exquisite glass pumpkin patch again this year and spend a day and an evening wandering through the Franklin Park Conservatory’s Pumpkins Aglow Exhibit.

There’s so much to see and do in this big world of ours and fall is an excruciatingly short season.

The above picture was taken near Thomas, West Virginia while I was coming home from the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia. It was the single most beautiful drive of my life through mountains and fall leaves with very few cars around to disturb the peacefulness of it all.

This is the day that I passed up a fantastic photo op just a few miles up the mountain. I will always regret that decision but it has taught me to embrace all the pictures, all the pumpkin stuff, all the fun of the season. The opportunity may never come again!

So, Hello September! Let’s get ready for the most exciting season of them all!

Thomas Stairs

I want to climb them just to see where they lead. This is one of many colorful, offbeat things you’ll see in Thomas, West Virginia if you park the car and go looking.

Thomas is a special town with a lot of history and heart that celebrates diversity. I was there last fall when the pandemic was hampering what should have been a busy fall weekend. The colors were glorious and, according to the locals I met, the best they had seen in years.

This area is on my list of places to return to another day. That list has become stunningly long.

What’s on your post pandemic to visit list? Because I need more ideas, you know…..

An Unusual Fall

This has been an unusual fall.

Many summer flowers continue to bloom and this gorgeous tree still has all its leaves despite the fact its neighbors dropped theirs long ago.

It’s a little odd to see pansies and roses blooming next to pumpkins but it’s nice too.

We should appreciate whatever life and beauty and unexpected goodness we can find around us.

Winter is coming.

Helmick Covered Bridge

Yesterday I told you about adventuring with my folks to find two covered bridges. This is the other bridge we found.

It’s called Helmick and it is positively picturesque. That pop of red against the landscape was a real thrill to see and a closer look didn’t disappoint.

Built in 1867, it has been restored so you can drive through it and there are a couple of good spots where you can park if you wish to stop for pictures.

There are also some places where you can scurry down to the stream if you’re wearing decent shoes. I was just wearing tennis shoes and made it ok. The water was low enough that I could skip rocks to get a good look.

I’m not a fan of graffiti in any place but was quite taken with this little portrait. The bow is a nice touch.

Want to visit? The GPS coordinates are 39°43’11” N, 81°56’32” W.