This Day

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” – Sarah Addison Allen

We are expecting rain here in southern Ohio today. I intend to use this day for rest and some much needed catch up work around the house. If I play my cards right, I’ll make time to cook something tasty and nutritious for this week’s lunches as well.

Not every day can be for adventures. Sometimes we have to stay home and recover – or better yet – prepare for what’s ahead! Enjoy this day, friends!

Franklin Park Conservatory In Fall

Yesterday took me to Columbus for some antiquing and for a stroll around Franklin Park Conservatory.

It was surprisingly quiet at Franklin Park and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the facility and grounds in search of the colors and textures of this season.

This is one of my favorite trees in the world but it’s especially beautiful right now.

They do a great job with colorful outdoor exhibits that can be enjoyed by day and by night when they are lit for a family friendly Halloween event.

There are a couple of pumpkin houses – one made for the small fry and the other big enough for grown ups.

There’s an extensive model railroad with a variety of trains and village pieces tucked into the landscaping.

And lots of pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns.

Plus, there are some fun Halloween decorations here and there.

This is a safe space to explore with your kids, a lovely spot to meander with your own thoughts and a beautiful place to stroll and catch up with a friend.

I spent most of my time outside yesterday but there’s a lot to see inside too. Want to learn more? Click here to visit their website.

Fall At Metahqua Nature Preserve

I called this spot “The Avenue.” The name is a nod to LM Montgomery’s famous character Anne Shirley who gave beautiful names to the beautiful places she loved. The Avenue was the name she gave to one such spot.

This heavenly place is at Metahqua Nature Preserve in Ross County. I went there Friday morning because someone told me the fall foliage around the pond atop the hill is always the most beautiful in Ross County.

And it is gorgeous but I loved this other spot more.

The light was golden, giving the foliage new life in a way that can only happen in mid October.

A hawk soared overhead as a white tailed deer sniffed the air. Both were embracing the day and living their best lives even while aging leaves released their hold on life and drifted gently to the ground.

These leaves provided a carpet of gold, brown, orange and red that crunched beneath my feet. They also provided that wonderful smell that defines fall. It really is just the smell of decomposition as those leaves break down and return to the earth but it always fills me with joy and even hope. There are better days ahead.

There is no cell service in this area so there were no interruptions save for a few squirrels as they busily darted about.

I absorbed all I could of this rare, beautiful, almost magical morning. It was fall and I wanted to soak in the sights and sounds and smells as much as my mortal body would allow. First breathing through the nose, then through the mouth so I could taste it too.

This place was more heartfelt, more beautiful and more sacred than any church. That moment was more holy than any I have experienced.

In case you wish to dawdle at this nature preserve, there are a couple of benches overlooking the pond.

Go into the woods, friends. Find a place that is quiet and almost heavenly and stand there. Allow your senses to engage in a way that simply isn’t possible other places.

You can thank me later.

Nature’s Cycle

“In towering splendor once I stood
A regal monarch of the wood,
My branches once reached to the sky
See me now but do not cry.
The Creator’s work has yet to cease
I’ve become a shelter for bird and beast,
And when at last I fall to the Earth
The life I leave will inspire new birth;
A seedling springs forth from the ground
Nature’s cycle goes round and round.”
S. Edward Palmer, Spirit Tree

I was devastated when a storm caused this tree to uproot and collapse earlier this year. It’s at a park where I walk often and I once looked forward to the shade it generously provided.

Now the mere sight of it hurts.

Imagine my joy last week when I turned the corner and saw a splash of color in the water. Fall is amazing for many reasons, not the least of which is how decay becomes beautiful and joy can be found in the most unexpected moments.

October is my month. It’s beautiful, cooler and packed with fun things to do. Falling leaves dance in the crisp air and the aroma of dry leaves mixed with campfire smoke is intoxicating.

Sadly, it’s fleeting and the weather is fickle so I try to make the best of every day. It’s easier to do that when you realize there’s evidence of change and something new to see around every bend.

Here’s to beautiful weekend weather and lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy it!

Jack O’Lantern Walk

Why, hello October! It’s so good to welcome the Autumn season here in southern Ohio. The weather has turned decidedly cooler and it’s beginning to look and smell like fall.

Last night, my cousin Sherrie and I strolled through a corn maze lit with Jack O’Lanterns at Walker Farm near Logan, Ohio. I recently interviewed the owners for a story at work so I was more than happy to say yes when Sherrie wanted to go.

The sky was magnificent and the company was good. I can’t imagine a better way to kick off what I hope will be a festive, busy season.

Autumn Weekend

See it, smell it, taste it, and forget the time of day or year. Autumn needs no clock or calendar. Hal Borland

I took this quote seriously this weekend and gleefully abandoned the clock to enjoy a quiet weekend mostly at home. I have been tired lately and I believe in listening to my body when it asks me to slow down. Not to mention, it has been gloomy, cool and rainy for a few days – ideal conditions to stay inside where it’s cozy.

To quote the frightfully wise six-year-old Wednesday Addams in the original 1964 television classic The Addams Family – “It’s so nice and gloomy.”

So I lit some candles, did a few small chores and slept in two days in a row. Well, I slept in as much as Scout would allow. Mostly, I read. My goal to read 100 books in 2021 seems well beyond reach as I am a daunting seven books behind schedule.

And, of course, Scout was thrilled to have me here and a happy cat makes for a happier life. The paper sack picture was made this weekend. All of the fall pictures came from early last week.

This was just before dusk and the light was lovely in places. Here’s one more for good measure.

So, here we are back at Monday. That means different things to everyone but whatever you do today, I hope you’re kind to yourself.