Travel Theme Challenge: Foliage

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Ailsa, over at Where’s My Backpack, invited me to join her travel theme challenges with my photos.  I had a great time browsing her blog – she has a post about the Eternal Flame Falls near Buffalo, New York.  It’s not very far from where I took this photo from Letchworth and is undoubtedly part of the same geological upheaval that created Niagara Falls.

Part of the fun of the photo challenges is the opportunity to go back through my photos, ooh and aah over them and then pick a few to share.

I decided to show foliage from all four seasons, as a reminder of the changing seasons.

Winter – Freshly fallen snow brings such a beauty to the landscape, but I enjoy it much more if I don’t have to go to work.  I love my snow best from inside my house, preferably with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand.  I don’t spend as much time outside in the cold, so it’s finally time to work on my indoor projects.  I love Sunday afternoons snuggled under my electric afghan, reading a book.

My backyard

Spring – After the cold, snow and ice of winter, spring is such a welcome relief.  It’s still cool enough to need heavier coats and clothing, but at least my hands and feet aren’t so cold!  Once the temperature hits 38 degrees, I’m back outside walking during my lunch break at work.  The flowers start coming out now, giving food to bees who are starting to waken.  I love the cold hardy plants that make their appearance and keep on growing, even through several more frosts.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Summer – I grew up in and lived in the Midwest for many years, so the lethal heat and humidity of the summer is not a surprise.  I do wish it wouldn’t last so long though!  A new round of flowers are blooming now, from daylilies to hollyhocks.  The dragonflies are out, so are the butterflies and bees.  I love the early morning of summer, when it’s quiet and peaceful and the dew is on the ground.  I enjoy sitting out there and just relaxing for a few minutes before going to work.

Taken at Colonial Williamsburg

Fall – I think fall is my favorite season.  The nights are cool and I can sleep with the windows open, but the days are warm enough for shorts and T-shirts.  The marigolds and mums are in full bloom during this time and will survive even an early frost, as will the thyme and mint in my garden.

Fall has such a noticeable progression, more so than any other season.  First the leaves are green, but drying out so that they make a clacking noise in the wind.  Gradually they start turning colors and dropping off the trees.  Finally the fall colors come into a full riot of reds, yellows and oranges.  It might last but a few days, especially if its rainy during the peak colors.  As fall winds down, some leaves cling stubbornly to the trees, way past the others, creating a minimalist beauty of their own.

Maryland Side of the C&O Canal
(Near Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia)

Thoreau once said,

Live each season as it passes;
breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each.

This quote is where the name of my blog came from – a reminder to live each season fully and not be wishing ahead to what’s coming next.  Live in there here and now, let it influence my life however big or small, and enjoy the present moment.

The seasons are, of course, not only the physical changes that happen with the passing of each month, but also the seasons of life.  Enjoy each one so that when it passes, there are no regrets.