We had our coldest night yet this season Monday, well into the 20s. It was a lovely, though chilly, day today, but more than a little bittersweet. A few hardy flowers were left -- about the same as last week -- but the only representative of order Lepidoptera was an unassuming little brown moth. No butterflies at all. A fair number of crickety things were singing. On the plus side, though, no mosquitoes.
The fall colors are still going strong; the rain this weekend doesn't seem to have stripped the trees. I'm not sure if this is an unusually good year for fall colors or if I'm just noticing more than usual thanks to having the free time to get outside.
My plan for the day was to follow the Out and Back trail around and see if I could get my mental map straightened out. I fairly definitely worked out that even though it seems familiar, the horse trail south of the haul road (which connects to the trail I found last week over Emerald Pond) is not actually part of the loop I've walked before. I can't figure out why I'm so sure that I remember coming up that section of trail to return to the road; the trails just don't go that way.
Striking colors against a beautiful sky near the start of the Out and Back trail.
Here is a goldenrod gone to seed in the large prairie area.
More fall colors, just past the large prairie area along the Out and Back trail.
Here is another goldenrod gone to seed, in a hopefully artistic shot catching the light.
Grass beside my special pond at the end of the haul road.
Another shot of the pond at the end of the haul road to show how blue the water looked.
Grass beside the pond again. I don't think I'll ever get tired of trying to capture the beauty I see in grass seed heads.
This dead tree trunk on the Emerald Pond trail made a nice anchor for a picture of the fall leaves and blue sky.
As I was leaving, there were a lot of deer in the developed part of the park. Some of them allowed me to pull up very close to them. Is hunting season chasing them to where they know they're safe? This was taken with my 85mm lens through the open passenger window; I was only about 15 feet from this doe.