Fall is such a glorious time. Since our move from Florida where the fall was much like the summer, Mr. MT Nest and I look forward each year to this beautiful season. And we always look forward to doing a little leaf-peeping. This year, after a warm, very wet summer in the mountains, one that appeared to persist well into fall, it seemed that the leaves would never change. In fact, many leaves turned from green to brown and fell from the trees before any signs of fall’s splendor. Finally, a few days before Halloween, we experienced a serious cold snap and the remaining leaves seemed to change almost over night. In the course of a week, the hills were ablaze.
It was time to get out and soak in Mother Nature’s autumn show and try to capture a bit of the beauty in photos.
Due to other obligations and some rainy, gray weather we didn’t get to do our leaf-peeping until this past Monday. Monday afternoon, we set out toward our usual leaf-looking destination, the Blue Ridge Parkway. The nearest entrance is less than 20 miles from our home. When we left home, the sky was clear and the sun was shining. But, the closer we got to the Parkway entrance, the foggier it became. After a short ride along the Parkway in a thick-as-pea-soup-and-getting-thicker-by-the-minute fog, it became obvious that we’d be seeing no leaves from there. We knew that the remaining opportunities to view this year’s colorful vistas were quickly waning, as we’re already past the peak of the color in this area. So we headed off in another direction, and visited the area around Carolina Hemlock, a National Park in the Pisgah National Forest.
We parked the car and wandered off into the woods and down the banks of the South Toe River. It was so much fun! We were alone in the forest on a brisk fall day, enjoying the fresh cool air, the crunch of dry leaves along the path, the sound of the river flowing, the smell of the forest and the sights of lovely autumn.
We hiked to a spot where we’ve enjoyed family picnics in years past. In summers past, we’ve floated on inner tubes down this river, entering the frigid mountain river water from this spot.
We climbed on the huge boulders at this part of the river and snapped “king of the hill” photos from atop these rocks.
It was a very different leaf-peeping experience this year than in past years when we viewed the colorful vistas from the Parkway.
This shot was taken from the bridge over the river just outside of the park. Too bad the electric lines are strung across the river here.
On our trip back home, we drove through a residential area where we once considered purchasing a piece of property. The neighborhood consists of a rustic road winding up the mountain and heavily wooded homesites. I was taken with this picturesque entrance.
Mr. MT Nest and I finished our leaf photo safari excursion and as the afternoon was drawing to an end, we headed home. That evening, wind and heavy rains washed many of the remaining leaves off of the trees. We almost missed fall’s glory. Almost. But, thankfully, we did not.