"Where are the horses?" I cried in impatience and frustration. Then -- "Stop! Turn right!" I'd spied them from a distance.
The curiosity of these massive, beautiful animals is part of their charm, along with their soft, warm noses and sweet, tickly whiskers.
Along with nobility, generosity, and unself-conscious beauty, these two also had friendly, confident and slightly teasing personalities. What glorious animals! What a perfect encounter for a beautiful fall day!
Sumac is among the first to turn. Soon it is blazing scarlet!
Behind the sumac -- over its shoulder, so to speak -- note the more subtle colors of the ash.
I still remember the first autumn I really began to notice ash trees. The young saplings by the side of the road were the first to catch my eye. These days, when so many adult trees have fallen victim to the emerald ash borer, I take heart from the roadside saplings. Too small to attract the borer now, will they grow to maturity and replace the trees we're losing?
Poplars, birches, and what in Michigan we call popples (known to the West as quaking aspen) make the gold in the fall palette, scattering bright coins in the grass beside the roads.