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