An Autumn Walk With Gretel

These two are my precious loves – my son Caleb, and my dog-ter Gretel!

This was taken about a week ago on Gretel’s first birthday.  We celebrated by buying her some new toys and getting the most puppy friendly oatmeal cookie which we topped with sugarless ice cream.  Ok, so dairy isn’t puppy friendly, but it was barely a scoop and she inhaled it so fast that I think she might have gotten brain freeze.  And I didn’t stand a chance of getting a picture of it.

The weather today has just been spectacular.  So I set out with Gretel for a walk and snapped a few pictures along the way.

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.   So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.”  – Faith Baldwin

At times like these, I wish I had a better camera – one with telescoping lens that would allow me to capture the quilted background of the multi-colored mountain range.

My son comes by on the four-wheeler, checking the corn.  It has been drying on the stalk and is ready for harvest.   Right now it is too thick to walk through.  Caleb warns me that the bobcat he saw on more than one occasion has been passing in and out of the corn field.  He is worried that Gretel might confront it if it peeked out at us, so we continued to the pond.

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”  – Emily Bronte

Reeds poked dagger-like from the dried leaves that feathered to the pond’s surface and collected near the water’s edge.  Something slithered away from us, down the bank, parting the tall grass in a zig-zag close to the ground – a snake!  I tightened the grip on Gretel’s leash, sensing her inclination to follow it, and suddenly delighted that I had chosen my tall hiking boots for this jaunt.

The sun glinted on the water’s surface as though a fist full of diamonds had careened across it.  The back side of the pond is mostly just evergreens.  But the surround is beautifully tiered with maples, oaks, poplars and various other deciduous trees.  Their coloration reflects in the pond.

“Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

A hawk circled overhead, dipping side to side on the breeze.  I point my camera and it nearly laughs, ducking into the forest and shoots out again from behind me.  Am I imaging its humorous play with us?  You’ll find no picture of it here.  It completely evaded my attempts at giving it a place of glory.  I suppose it doesn’t need that as much as I do.

We head back for home and along the forest path.  Gretel looks so cute among the pine needles that I get a final shot of her smart and curious face.Then I took a snapshot of the leaves right behind my house and I liked them so much that I replaced my header – at least for the season.

“But I remember more clearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees.” – C. S. Lewis



  1. Tweeted and promoted your post. I also love the change of leaf colors…we are just heading in the peak season on LI. Already, upstate NY is topping out. Would love a return of favor for sharing your post with my followers, Share my post on Technorati? Thanks. It’s

    You should be able to recognize a few folks, if you are into watching food channel occasionally on TV or Channel 13 occasionally.

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    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. I try to get the most out of my old sony camera. I just can’t get the long shots and high definition, but i suppose it could be worse.

  2. By your words I can feel just how thankful you are for being able to live in such a beautiful “corner of the woods!” To me the forest is magic and mystery. My favourite place on the

    1. I remember our walks in France – especially the ones along the forest line and through the vineyards. How marvelous it was! And those nosegays you made from a grape leaf and whatever posies you came across along the way, were gorgeous.

  3. Thanks for reminding me that I am wasting some beautiful weather and spending too much time at the computer. 😉

  4. What a lovely walk, thanks for sharing! I love all the seasons, but I always come back to the thought that fall is really my favorite. We are experiencing a beautiful fall season here in SE Alaska, all the more enjoyable because fall here is usually about rain, rain, and more rain!
    Happy birthday to Gretel, love the “dog-ter” title! ~ Sheila

    1. My son says I treat her better than I do him. I just say, she’s a baby and needs a little extra attention. I can’t wait to see your fall pictures. When there’s a lot of rain, it ruins the mood, but since you’re expecting a nice one….

  5. Happy Birthday Gretel! You are such a beauty! (The German sends a waggle tail and says paws up for vanilla ice cream! Her vet says a little of it (and yogurt) OK for her tummy soothing.)
    The fall sounds lovely where you are…shooo bobcat shooo!
    Hawthorne is one of my favorite writers – what a great quote!

    1. Glad to hear that a little ice cream and yogurt is ok on occassion. Gretel will be delighted with this news.

      The bobcat is a little scary, but we are getting ready to harvest the corn and then it will likely look for another bit of cover, going back to the woods hopefully.

      I’m glad you liked the Hawthorne quote. I thought it was nice too.

  6. Share your cookies, Gretel. But with all those walks, I’m sure you keep a fabulous figure. Fall turned cold and wet here in Oregon, so thanks for sharing yours.

    1. It was a super day. And she enjoys the time with the different surroundings. I can tell how she pays attention to everything in a sharper way.

      And though I try to respect my son’s privacy and only post things that he approves, he loved this picture too. Thanks MJ.

  7. That was a lovely walk :-). I understand how you might have thought the hawk was laughing–I feel the same way often. Great pictures Renee 🙂

  8. I love fall. You post reminds me that I need to get out from under the laptop and take more walks before the glory is gone. I love how you really looked into the day.

  9. This one is a beautiful walk with Gretel, Renee. I remember that post, where you informed us about bringing her home and those sleepless nights. 🙂 I am glad now she has grown up to take care of herself. Belated happy B’Day to Gretel. 🙂

    1. Arindam, when we recall each other’s previous posts, it truly means that we have paid attention and absorbed the words like friends across a table. No wonder our blogging buddies become important to us. Thank you.

  10. Fall is my favorite time of year. I look forward to putting on a sweater and taking long walks. I don’t always end up taking those long walks but I do look forward to them.

    1. Well, there is something to be said for looking forward to long walks, whether or not they materialize. Even a short one is awe inspiring at this time of year. Don that sweater and join me for a trek through the forest.

  11. That’s the view out your window? Lucky you, to live in such a beautiful part of the country. Your walk was delightful. I enjoyed going along with you. Do you live on a farm?

    Happy birthday greetings to your beautiful dog!
    I’m glad you included a photo of your son.

    1. Yes, we have a farm – two actually. This is the one in NC and we have another one in VA. It is beautiful and sometimes I don’t realize how peaceful it is until I go for a trek around the place. My husband farms full time.

      I’m glad you liked the pictures. My son is 23, so he is all grown up. But Gretel is the baby. I guess you can tell she is spoiled and sooooo loved.

  12. If it helps, Miles approves of ice cream for dogs. He loves it in fact. Happy birthday Gretel. Miles would love that walk…not sure what he would do with a snake. He thinks he a great squirrel hunter even though he has never gotten close to catching one. Thanks goodness actually.

  13. I’m not an autumn fan but your photos brought with them a bit of nostalgia. As did your photos of your son and Gretel. I miss my boys and my dog and your moment with them was a lovely break for me. I miss apple picking too. I guess grape harvest will have to do. Thank you for the Autumn walk.

  14. Wonderful post, Renee. I especially liked this sentence: “Reeds poked dagger-like from the dried leaves that feathered to the pond’s surface and collected near the water’s edge.” I can see that scene, even without the photograph.

    Do you have the sense, every autumn, that it’s all brand new, and you’ve never seen it before? I do — every spring, too.

    1. What an insightful thought about autumn and spring. Yes, there is a newness to both. Our fall colors here in the south can be absolute perfection – near blinding in beauty – or the rain and wind can hit on the tail of a hurricane and beat the leaves off before they have a chance to reach their full potential. This is a good year.

      Spring can be the same way. We can get enough warm days to encourage budding and blooming and then get a frost or freeze and lose them. Our fruit trees have suffered for several years, but again, this year our orchards escaped getting bitten and we have a bountiful harvest.


  15. These is how we should embrace every moment of everyday, ” I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” Beautiful images and your son and Gretel have the most generous, amazing smiles….somehow it also mirrors the smile you had when you took their photo. Beautiful post!

    1. Thank you. What a nice comment. We do a lot of smiling together, that’s for sure. And you know about that, seeing how you react with your beautiful family.

    1. There’s always so much going on in nature that I wonder what some people miss when they trek about with their headsets on and don’t hear the sounds of the life beat around them.

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