yep, fall is here

This time of year, the landscape is changing rapidly. We don’t need a calendar to tell us that fall is here; the change in the seasons is reflected all around us. We see it in the trees, the flowers, the birds, and even the squirrels madly gathering and stashing acorns in preparation for winter.

Most of the summer wildflowers are gone or in decline, bowing to the onset of the golden reign of the goldenrods that are so prominent now.


The asters, also blooming in large numbers, fill the fields and woodland edges with color.


These late-season flowers provide sustenance to bees and other pollinating insects searching for food that is increasingly harder to find.

Like the rest of nature, the grasses are also reacting to the shorter days. Little bluestem, festooned in contrasting shades of green and maroon, stands in beautiful contrast to the yellows of the ironweed and goldenrod.

Butterflies are becoming less numerous as their favorite flowers decline. The monarch butterflies, which began their fall migration through western Virginia five days ago, still can be seen winging their way south. This one is enjoying a brief stopover to visit a butterfly bush before continuing on to its wintering grounds (for more on monarchs, see previous post, “monarchs on the move“).

Just by chance, we were lucky enough to spot this praying mantis watching us from the camouflage of the autumn grass – it’s amazing how the insect’s coloring matches the grass reeds, making him virtually invisible to predators.

As I look out, the fields are awash in hues of yellow, gold, russet, and brown. The trees are in transformation as well; some, like our neighbor’s maple, are showing tinges of yellow and orange. In just a couple of weeks, it will be a blazing reddish-orange.

Soon the Blue Ridge will be blanketed in a glorious quilt of autumn colors, a sight more breathtaking to behold than any postcard or photograph could ever portray.

Each moment of the year has its own beauty.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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8 thoughts on “yep, fall is here

  1. JoAnn: I have been meaning to tell you that you are a beautiful photographer! Your pictures should be on display in a gallery!!!!!! Dan and I really enjoy seeing them and reading your blog! Much love, Margie and Dan

    • Thank you both so much! We found a bluebird in the field yesterday that appeared to have a damaged wing and couldn’t fly. He did fine overnight (in a shoe box). I’m dropping him off later this morning at a wildlife rehabilitator – Always something going on here!

  2. Love your pictures. Especially the design of your golden aster. I have just started getting into digital photography and have been enjoying the challenges of getting good pictures. You do seem to have an eye for it -and enjoy your writing as well. Looking forward to future posts.

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Donna. I picked up basic photography skills from my daughter who really has a knack for it. Beyond that, I study other photographs and try to learn from them. I rely on the automatic setting on my camera – a Canon Powershot – it’s the technology that makes me look good!

  4. Excellent time and place post. The images you caught are awesome – catching that mantis is remarkable the way it’s camouflaged! Thanks for sharing your part of the world.

    • Yes, I couldn’t believe my good timing to catch the praying mantis. It kind of makes up for a couple of times when I could have gotten an awesome picture — if only I’d had my camera… 🙂

  5. I think spring is my favorite, although fall is a close second. After months of cold and loading the woodstove (!), I can’t wait for the sun, flowers, and birds singing!

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