Today was a beautiful combination of summer weather and fall colors. A strong breeze made the warmer temperatures tolerable, golden sunlight streamed down, fluffy clouds floated swiftly along, and a bright blue sky created the perfect contrast to the sporadic flashes of autumn colors appearing in the trees. Jazzmin and I took full advantage of the perfect weather by taking a nice, long, semi-leisurely walk. I say semi-leisurely because Jazzmin doesn’t really have a “slow” speed so everything has to move at a decent power-walking pace. Even though I could slow her down if I wanted to, the pace is beneficial for both of us and we strut along side-by-side with her on my left as I keep my eyes peeled for oncoming cars.
The warmth of the sun today convinced me to seek a shady route for our walk. Since we were heading out at 2:30 p.m., the only viable option for shade from the sun’s angle was the farmer’s access road. The farmer’s road is one of my favorite walking routes because we never have to worry about other dogs and the only “traffic” is the occasional slow tractor that we can easily avoid. Along the road today, there were intriguing spots of bright red and warm orange among the tree leaves as well as numerous butterflies, dragonflies, and birds. I was happy to see and hear the bluebirds because I know it’s only a matter of time before they head south. I don’t blame them and I wish I could go with them but I’ll miss them when they’re gone.
When we reached the area where the farmer’s road opens up into multiple fields, I decided we’d walk up to the top of the nearest hill and then back down to investigate the little pond filled with cattails. The farmer very recently added fresh dirt to the road leading up the hill and it was well-packed but refreshingly comfortable under our feet. We walked until we reached the top of the hill and the end of the tree shade and then paused for a while so I could take in the view. Photos don’t really do the view justice but I took some anyway in an attempt to convey the vastness of the surrounding landscape.
After we made it over to the little pond, I was pleasantly surprised to see a pair of redwing blackbirds flying among the cattails. I’d just been thinking the other day that I hadn’t seen any redwing blackbirds in a couple months and I’d wondered where they went. Apparently, they just become more particular about where they live once they’ve settled in for the season. Unfortunately, the cattails were too tall to see anything else through so we headed back toward the main road home.
Walking among the “tunnel of trees” on the farmer’s access road is one of my favorite experiences. It looks as though the path is endless even though I know there’s a paved road on one end and fields on the other. The canopy of branches and leaves gently falling down from them created a very serene feeling that I reveled in all the way back.
Jazzmin and I had just turned the corner onto the road we live on when I heard a hawk cry from up in the sky. I looked up and saw not one, but two hawks circling above the trees to our right. I stopped in my tracks and watched them circle as they talked to each other amid lazy circles. Eventually they separated and I grabbed my camera again to see if I could capture one in flight. It’s no easy thing finding a distant hawk against a bright blue sky when looking into a camera viewfinder but I managed to spot him and snap a couple pictures. I then tucked my camera away and we continue down the road and into our driveway as I kept my eyes on his soaring form.
The hawk flew south over my driveway and into the farmer’s field behind my house before disappearing beyond the treetops. I appreciated that he felt the need to make sure I got home safe and I imagine I’ll be seeing him again soon.
I do love autumn, it’s one of my favorite seasons, but I don’t mind when a bit of summer manages to sneak in before the end of its run. Every day with sunshine, warmth, changing leaves is a blessing and I’m going to revel in it as I try not to think about the less pleasant season that follows.