Autumn View

Vines and leaves are drying up and shrinking back even though we have not yet had a frost in central Connecticut. Views are starting to expand and birds are mores easily seen in spots that have been hidden by summer’s lush foliage.

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We walked this morning along a mowed path at the edge of a wooded wildlife management area, easily spotting many species of birds that just weeks ago we could only hear.

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Click on any photo below for larger view or slide show.

After a frost that will help make the poison ivy even more visible I’ll venture off the path.

Adventure

We had driven all around Sedona, Arizona, seeing the red rocks from all the tourist spots at various heights  from the top of the airport mesa down to the water at Red Rock State Park. Anywhere you looked there is some size “rock” jutting up into the sky.

The ultimate adventure was to see it from above, where the pace was slow and the air quiet, at the whim of a hot air balloon. I was a little nervous but the skill the crew from Red Rock Balloons demonstrated as they unpacked, rolled out, and inflated our balloon eased my fears. The pilot was clear in his instructions to us, including how to climb into the basket -I’m not that nimble- and what was going to happen when we came down.

The heat from the dancing flames took the chill off the early September morning.

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There were three balloons in our group . We were the first to lift off and saw the other two complete their final preparation.

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You really couldn’t feel movement as we drifted out into the valley.  The sun rose and the light changed rapidly.

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In just minutes the entire valley was lit.

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We startled a few small groups of mule deer.

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In about an hour we were back on the ground.  The pilot discharged the end of the fuel to cool the tubing, the balloon came down, and the crew packed everything back in the trailer.

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Yes, I would do it again!

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Rose Garden Promises

The rose gardens at Elizabeth Park are still full of promise with fresh blooms opening daily. The plants on the archways, popular for prom and wedding photos, don’t look so healthy right now, but the bushes in the rows between range from having one or two blooms to  massive displays.

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The individual blooms are outstanding in a range of warm colors reaching for the late summer sun.531A4911

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Show Stoppers

Dahlias know how to show off with big, bold blooms with perfect form and splashy displays.

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The opening buds give a hint of what is to come.

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The plants aren’t much to look at, with solid stocks that require staking. Hartford’s Elizabeth Park has a display with above ground beds for easy removal of the tubers in the fall.

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Get up close and the detail of each bloom is a work of art.

Click on image to see larger image or open slide show.

 

River Dawn

The light and moisture on the Connecticut River at dawn  shift quickly.  As the sky lightened  a stream of  fog became visible rising out of a field onto the river.

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Spider webs and wild flowers in the field  gave an artsy display.

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Fog swirled around on the river even after the sun rose.

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Pulled down by the weight of the moisture, grasses dipped and bobbed.

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Birds were busy catching their first meal of the day.

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