October is a beautiful time of year around here. As the fall colors change from higher to lower elevations, the next to take center stage are the Cottonwood trees that line the local greenbelt. These trees can get massive! Along segments of the trail they can create a golden, leafy canopy come fall. They make for beautiful scenery as one strolls along the greenbelt.
There are other tree varieties that share the space. I don’t know all their names – but appreciate the colorful displays they put on during the autumn season. Living walking distance to the greenbelt trails gives you the opportunity to observe these seasonal changes. It’s quite beautiful. And being able to walk across the street to one of the trials access points is a nice perk too! Any time I can lessen my carbon footprint by not driving puts me in my happy place.
Reflections or Alternate Reality?
While the trail runs along the winding creek, there are also several ponds. Come fall, the trees that line the pond make for some very cool photos. The reflections of the trees in the pond water is all too reminiscent of a Bob Ross painting with his “happy little trees”. It really makes you appreciate those paintings.
The flip side (no pun intended) is that when I see these tree reflections I cannot help but think of them as an alternate reality. In the stillness of the pond water, the tree reflections look like an entire other world. It makes you think? Of perhaps it’s my imagination working overtime? That’s ok cuz Nature’s wonder never goes out of style – IMHO
Cottonwood Trees and Winding Paths
The winding paths lined with these massive trees invite you to walk along and explore. You can disappear among the branches – yet come out the other side unscathed. If a winding, tree-lined dirt path doesn’t do it for you, then how about a wooden footbridge? I’m a sucker for these and love taking photos of them in both fall and winter.
Sharing the Space with Critters
The greenbelt is filled with critters seen and unseen. The scat lets you know coyotes are not far off and roam in the night. The difference of opinion I had with a young rattlesnake who was laying across the middle of the path. He made it clear he was NOT about to relinquish his primo sunbathing spot. No photo of that one! Rattlers have the right of way in this instance.
Then of course there are several sprawling prairie dog colonies. They take up some serious real estate. These fellas and the burrow mounds are hard to miss. Sitting up their chirping sounds the alert ever watchful for lurking predators! Often you will see a local nesting pair of hawks circling above the colonies in search of a tasty snack. Or they hang out above in an old Cottonwood tree as silent observers…
Time Out for Stillness
A sunny fall day is so inviting to take all this in. The golden Cottonwood trees – among others in their full, fall regalia.
The leaves crunching beneath your feet. The smells – a reminder it’s time to bake some pumpkin power muffins (a healthier version of the conventional) that are a seasonal favorite.
And if that’s not enough, a park bench invites you to stop and take some time for contemplation…
A welcome reprieve from our crazy go, go, go over-connected world.
Consider it Nature’s gift to you 🙂