Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Walking with Friends in Fall Color
Monday was another perfect Leelanau fall day, and with Bruce filling in for me at the bookstore, I was free to meet friends for a walk in the woods. While waiting for them to arrive, I took in a few close-up wonders around the parking lot--the scarlet leaves and softly furred stems of sumac and a tiny spider on a big brown oak leaf.
Ah, here they are! Now we can hit the trail!
Every step of the path through the wooded dunes is inviting, but my friends and I step slowly, looking high and low...
and up and down.
Changes in elevation and soil bring changes in plant life.
A new trail loop skirts around the open dunes, rather than through the fragile habitat, culminating in a viewing platform over the gurgling creek. Most pleasant. Although my friends were upset by the confusing nature of the trail markings, they had both already been lost on recent occasions and now, luckily for me, knew the right way to go.
In leisurely fashion (for we are not speed hikers) we take in nature's miniature masterpieces--
as well as the big picture views.
There were short stretches of the walk where I lagged behind,
lingering over views on the ground and up through the leaves:
And the day was not over when we finished our loops.
Back at Ellen's house after our walk we continued our visit, talking of books and nature, life and death, travel and home. We enjoyed her homemade soup...
with Stone House bread...
and admired the beautiful fall colors in her garden.
Altogether, it was a most beautiful and satisfying day, one for which to be grateful in many ways.