Fall’s Complexion

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.

Shenandoah Fall

Shenandoah Fall

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.)

Roadside Grandeur

Roadside Grandeur

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.

Golden Rain

Golden Rain

At higher elevations, every mountain side exploded in a mosaic of shades of yellow, red, and orange.

Whittaker, West Virginia

Whittaker, West Virginia

Here are a few closeups of fall foliage.

Maple on Fire

Maple on Fire

Maple Mania

Maple Mania

Blood Red Oak

Blood Red Oak

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.

Wild River Maple

Wild River Maple

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11 thoughts on “Fall’s Complexion

    • Thank you, Carsten. That was a HDR photo. I’m just beginning to experiment with the process. I know I have a lot to learn.

    • Thank you, Deva. Growing up in the north I enjoyed fall every year, but had forgotten how intense the colors of the leaves could be.

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