Just look around you and even where the trees are still green there is a dustiness to them. Fading. The underlying yellows and reds and browns emerging. Even summer flower beds are going to seed. And where the blossoms are managing to hang on, you know you'd better enjoy them now. Because one morning, probably more sooner than later, they'll be a memory. Ducks swim on golden ponds as the leaves reflected off the water from the woods beyond are changing. A pond that gives off morning mists as if it's whispering secrets.
But if the ponds are whispering, the woods are out and out shouting. Some of our favorite rides are vibrant right now with the changing of the season.
Golden Memorial State Park near Walnut Grove lives up to the "golden" in its name in the fall with its abundant walnut trees scattered over its acres. Campers coming to the park for a weekend getaway right now are treated to Technicolor vistas off the decks overlooking the lake where they park.
And it's not just the walnuts. The oaks are joining in. They say the color leaves turn in fall has always been in them. Only it's masked during the growing season by the green of the chlorophyll the plants use with sunlight to make their food. But as days shorten and cooler weather sets in, the plants turn off and get ready for a long winter's nap. And the color that had been hiding there all along becomes their dominant feature.
The dogwood puts on an autumn show every bit as welcomed as their first blooms of spring are after a long winter, with their burnt umber and salmon colored leaves this time of year. And "long winter" may be a misnomer in this part of the country. These dogwoods will be in full bloom again in about five months.
Manager of Golden Memorial State Park, Tim Riddell, says the park is pretty year round, but fall is the topper.
"It brings out the beauty of the park. That's how I put it. I mean it just gives you a different feeling in the fall of the year."
A different feeling partly because of the beauty of the season and partly because fall is a tangible sign that changes are obviously coming. And there is always excitement and anticipation about change. Especially change that is ushered in so colorfully.
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