Every season has a characteristic appearance. At its peak, fall is renowned for a collage of unequaled color. My husband and I recently took to the road to immerse ourselves in autumn splendor. We began in the beautiful Shenandoah region of Virginia where the leaves had just started to turn.
As we wound our way across the Valley toward the higher elevations of West Virginia, every mountain switchback brought scenes of breathtaking beauty. We took each opportunity to pull off the road–without endangering ourselves or others. Sometimes that meant hopping guardrails perched atop breath-catching drop-offs to trudge through thickets of tall grass, brambles, and stick-tights. (I must have pulled 50 of the nuisances off my clothing at one stop.)
Each new vista was worth stopping to enjoy. We could see for miles. At this visit the mountainside was paved with lichen-laden stones. A gentle breeze sent golden leaves raining down on the forest floor.
At higher elevations, every mountain side exploded in a mosaic of shades of yellow, red, and orange.
Here are a few closeups of fall foliage.
Finally, this struggling maple sapling caught my eye. It grew out of the rocky wall of a rain-swollen, raging river. Amazed by its singular charm and awed by its tenacity, I had to capture it. I hope to frame the image for my wall, not because it’s a great photograph, but because it reminds me that beauty can exist in the most difficult of circumstances. Life’s challenges ebb and flow, just like the river, so it is likely that I may need the sapling’s reminder some time in the future. Perhaps God put it there just for you and me.