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Coming of Autumn

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The leaves are beginning to turn beautiful colors.  The farmers are watching their fields of corn and soybeans to determine when they can be harvested.  The nights are getting chilly and the days are still sunny and warm.  It's Autumn.

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I love Summer.  I love warm, even hot (but not humid), days.  I love being able to throw the windows open to let the fresh air into my house.  I love having fresh fruits and vegetables to eat, especially with breakfast cereal.  I love not having to wear layers of clothing to keep warm.  I love long days and short nights.  I love hearing the birds singing their courting songs.  I love watching everything in full bloom after awakening in the Spring.  I love viewing butterflies and blossoms and bugs and all the other beautiful things through the lens of my camera.

 

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And then comes Autumn.

 

I find as I look through my camera that the butterfly wings are tattered and torn.

 

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The katydid's wings are shriveled and dried.

 

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The milkweed is struggling valiantly to put on new growth after the monarch caterpillars have all but stripped it.  (For more about milkweed, click here.)

 

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Nuts and dry leaves are falling to the ground and creating quite a racket when I run over them with my lawn mower.

 

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It's Autumn.

 

It's also the autumn of my life.  My body is more tattered.  My energy runs out more quickly.  My joints feel like they are creaking and groaning.  So, I have to answer the question:  Am I going to waste my days by mourning what I don't have or can't do anymore?  I'm discovering that the Autumn of my life is not all bad.  I now have a better idea of what is really important to me.  I think I have gained a little more wisdom and common sense over the years.  With more realistic expectations, I don't feel as disappointed when events don't work out or people act like - - - well, like people - - with flaws - - - and different values.  Perhaps most importantly, I don't have the same need to impress others with who I am.  I am more comfortable with myself.  Autumn isn't all bad.

 

Now, it's Autumn, and there are pumpkin pies and apple cider and . . . 

 

Just As I See It - Autumn

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It's hard for me to say "Goodbye" to summer.  I love warm, even hot, days; sandals; no layers and layers of clothes; and lots of flowers and butterflies and birds.  However, Fall does offer its special moments so I've been trying to capture some of those with my camera.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  Some of them I consider to be good photographs but most of them just help express how I feel and show what I have seen.  I have to admit that getting the picture is 90% of the fun of photography.

 School is back in session.  I'm sure a whole range of emotions are experienced by children returning to school.  Some, like me, hate to see summer end.  Others are more than glad to get back to the daily routine of the classroom.

 

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Spiders!!!  They are everywhere!!  I found this one hanging beneath its web.

 

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There have been lots of praying mantis around our yard this year.  I have truly enjoyed photographing them because they let you get so close to them and almost look like they are posing for you.

 

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Fall flowers seem to know that the loss of summer flowers has left a void in our lives because they do their best to brighten our yard.

 

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Milkweeds pop open and spread their seeds for another year.

 

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Large Milkweed Bugs use the plant as their primary residence and source of food.  The bugs accumulate toxic glycosides from the milkweed which, along with their coloring, protects them from predators.  (Wikipedia)

 

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Monarch Butterflies also protect themselves by drinking the juice of the milkweed which makes their bodies poisonous to predators.  Fall is the time when monarchs migrate to the south.  Each butterfly has had a sticker attached to its wing with coding useful to biologist for the study of migration.  The Hardings hand each Monarch to someone who then carries it to a nearby bush where the butterfly will feed and fill its wings with liquid for its flight.

 

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We had lots and lots and lots of woolly worms (a.k.a. tiger moth caterpillars) this year.  As for their much talked about ability to predict the coming winter weather, I have to disregard it.  This year I have seen woolly worms in many combinations of orange and black.

 

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Rolled into a ball for protection.

 

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Corn dries and is ready to be picked.  If the crops are good, this is the best time on a farm:  the time when the farmer learns what his reward is for all the hard work and long hours he has invested.

 

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Colorful leaves are a part of Fall to which I always look forward.  This year there wasn't much color.  No matter how much color or lack of color, many leaves end up on our yard.  So, we tried an experiment this year.  The elephant ears plant is cut off and the bulbs are covered with piles and piles of leaves.  A tarp covers the leaves to hold them in place.  We'll see if the bulbs survive the cold weather so we don't have to replant them in the Spring.

 

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I love old buildings, especially old barns.  Maybe it is the part of me which is still a farm girl.  Maybe it is the hope that when I get to the autumn of my life, people will still appreciate what I have offered and still enjoy my presence.  Maybe it is as simple as it is -- an old barn.

 

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Perhaps the best things about this Fall have been the beautiful sunsets -- and we have had several.  A picture can never fully show the beautiful colors but it surely is fun to keep trying.

 

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And last, there is always one that perseveres. 

 

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Winter is not far away.  I am looking forward to what I can discover with my camera as the ground turns white and the temperatures drop.  Thanks for visiting!!