October 28, 2015

The Magic of Autumn Sunlight

bench

Isn't it great to find a new "secret" place close to home? Last week, I discovered a lovely spot of earth, drenched in the oblique light of a mild autumn afternoon.

The temperature was pleasant (~74F/23C), the wind was calm ... and there it was--a beautiful wildflower garden by the lake. A bench encouraged me to contemplate the scene.

Most of the wildflowers had gone to seed, though some--"Asters," Susans, and Coneflowers--were still blooming. (We've flirted with frost around here, but many flowers remain even today.)

The light, sparkling on the lake and the fluffy seed heads, was stunning. I wish you could have been there.

solidago 2

symphyotricum 1

panicum

mix 4

solidago 1

mix 2

pycnanthemum

mix 3

boltonia

symphyotricum 2

mix 1

I will return to this secret spot next season. I'd tell you where it is, but then it wouldn't be a secret anymore. ;)

Linking this post to Gail's Wildflower Wednesday over at Clay and Limestone. (Have I mentioned how much I admire this meme? Thanks, Gail.)

And I'll leave you with a Wednesday Vignette (thanks, Anna, for hosting). It's a view outside my front window yesterday, stylized because the photo quality wasn't great. (The colors are true to reality, but they're fading fast.)

autumn window

64 comments:

  1. would love to walk to that bench with you!

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    1. It would be nice if we lived closer to each other, Diana. I feel like I know you well and that we would be fast friends. I guess we'll have to settle for virtual tours of each others' locales. :)

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  2. How wonderful - perfect weather, perfect setting, perfect view - couldn't ask for more than that! I'm wondering how that spot will change with the seasons - I'm sure you will be finding out!

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    1. I might head over there in the winter, but definitely in the spring and summer. I'm guessing that pleasant little native plant garden is buzzing with pollinators during the growing season. Plus, you can't beat the view!

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  3. Isn't it wonderful how every season has its own beauty? Your stylized vignette says it perfectly!

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    1. Hi Anna: Yes, even winter is beautiful. It's just too cold! Thank you!

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  4. It is wonderful...and you know, we found two spots just before we moved, and I had lived there for 15 years...lol.

    Gorgeous shots Beth.

    Jen

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    1. Thanks, Jen. I've been near this spot sooo many times, but never that exact location. Yes, it is crazy that we discover these places after being near them for so long! Have you been back to your favorite places near your old home?

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  5. I enjoy seed buds and pods almost as much as flowers and color.
    We have recently had very windy days with several hours of rain.
    I noticed milk weed floaters beside the road where I walked today
    and enjoyed a moment of cheer thinking about the Monarch's
    returning next year and that they may find more milk weed pods.

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    1. The fluffy seeds are so soft, and they capture the sunlight in interesting ways. Yay for the Milkweed seeds! I harvested most of mine today. They were ready, and I don't want them to volunteer into the neighbors' yards since I live in a suburban neighborhood. Plus, this way I can grow more Milkweed and give some away!

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  6. This is beautiful and I needed that tonight with the rain falling and the wind blowing here in NY... Thank you for the nice comment on my post.. Before the rain I saw one bumble bee clinging to one cosmos that hadn't died back yet.. Usually I have the flowers for a bit longer....Michelle

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    1. I always enjoy your blog, Michelle. We've had wind and rain the past couple of days, too. Many of the deciduous trees have lost their leaves--quickly! My woodland understory, however, is still surprisingly green. We've had a strange autumn. Spooky. ;-)

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  7. Very fine captures of the seeds and pods--they mean so much to our birds in this season. I love your "stylized" photo. I know exactly what you mean. It's so hard sometimes to capture this fleeting season with its breathtaking colors always leaving us. Susie

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    1. Thanks, Susie. Yes, it is so fun to watch the birds on the seed heads. This particular patch of wildflowers on this particular day was surprisingly empty of visitors--of all species! I was the only human until one other person came to lunch at the bench. I imagine it's packed with people on a summer afternoon! The photo at the end was taken with my smartphone camera and the quality was weird--especially through glass. But the colors were so vibrant, and when I added an effect, it worked for this purpose. :)

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  8. That's beautiful! I love to sit on the bench and enjoy the scenery

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    1. Yes, it is a beautiful place. I would have stayed longer, but I had to get back to work. ;-)

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  9. I wish I could have been there too. I can almost feel the soft feel of the sunlight with a bit of breeze to remind you that it is fall. Aaahhhhh.

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    1. Aaahhhh ... Yes, those days are numbered. I hear the Midwest is supposed to be mild again next week, though! What a wondrous autumn we're having!

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  10. Looks beautiful! Right in the middle of your photo series, I noticed what looks like narrow-leaf mountain mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) which I'm trialing this year and have been very happy with so far. The spent-flower clusters have a lasting, haunting beauty... Speaking of which, Happy Halloween :)

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    1. Hi Aaron: Yes, I labeled it Pycnanthemum, although I'm unsure which species it is (could be virginianum). I think it would be easier (for me) to tell when it's blooming. This is one of those plants that seems under-appreciated, although the bees love it! Happy Halloween to you!

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  11. Well, what a lovely autumn show you've shared with us. Wishing you some mild days, before your cold.

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    1. Thanks, Tina. I'm envious of your climate this time of year. We've been cold for a few days, but it sounds like we'll have another round of mild weather next week! Yippee!

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  12. Such beautiful photographs. There is something very special about a crisp and sunny October day. Almost makes up for the shorter spans of daylight.

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    1. Thanks, Jason. Yes, it's hard to describe, and the photos (at least mine) never really capture the true magic of that type of day. It's worth attempting a few captures, though. The shorter days are tough, aren't they?!

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    2. I think you caught the quality of light pretty well. And yes, the short days can be really oppressive.

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  13. Indeed, sometimes we find spots very near to our home where we never had thought of before and all of a sudden we see the beauty, that bench a lovely place to sit and muse about the beauty of nature.

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    1. I've been near this spot many times, but now I know where to go next spring and summer. I will look forward to observing this little garden in spring and summer, too. :)

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  14. Sounds like a magical spot -- and now you have me wondering where it is. I'm so glad I was able to get out with the camera for a long walk last week. I caught the autumn foliage just in time. The beautiful Arboretum treeline along the Beltline is almost completely bare thanks to our recent windy weather. I'll be sharing some of the hundred plus pics over the next week or two. :) Happy Haunting!

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    1. I can't wait to see your photos! I noticed the Arb trees are almost bare. Gosh, they were beautiful earlier in the month, but they changed and then lost their leaves so quickly! Happy Halloween to you, too!

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  15. I want to be sitting on that bench in 74 degree sunlight, how lovely. Also your stylized vignette captures the mood very well.

    Also I must admit that I popped over here after reading your comment ("Now that I see your contribution, I realize I should have made an attempt with the contest. This is quite creative!") on Ricki's Sprig to Twig blog. You still can!!! You've got a couple of days...just get me a photo by Sunday...

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    1. Yes, it was quite pleasant. I wish I could have sat there all day. Thanks, Loree. Sorry, I ran out of time with Halloween and other activities to join the contest. I've so enjoyed the posts and photos showing creative uses of ornamental kale and cabbages. They are beautiful plants!

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  16. thank you for sharing your secret spot with us Beth- wonderful visuals and inspiration for how an autumn garden should look - bench a must - lake an optional extra -

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    1. You are so welcome, Laura. ;-) Yes, I was quite impressed with this little native plant garden that I wasn't even aware of until a couple of weeks ago. Bench a must--absolutely! There are so many lakes around here, we almost take them for granted.

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  17. What a lovely place! Your photos are wonderful and really capture the beauty of this place. I hope you can keep it your secret garden.

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    1. Yes, it's a great spot. I'm sure many, many people know about it! But most of them probably don't even notice the little native plant garden to the side. I'll look forward to checking it out next spring and summer. Hopefully the crowds won't be too large. ;-)

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  18. that is truly a wonderful place, and beautifully photographed, Beth. And I love the photo through the window as well. Happy blogaversary, it's been a joy sharing nature experiences over the last few years.

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    1. Thank you, Sue. It's always so much fun to find a new favorite place. I've enjoyed sharing experiences and information with you, too. Here's to continued virtual gardening adventures!

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  19. Oh that looks simply lovely, with the bench by the water and everything turning golden all around! I love the Wildflower meme as well. I wish more of my wildflowers were still in bloom, but it is much the same here, with everything going to seed.

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    1. Long story, but if I would have had more time I would have captured more close-up/macro shots of the seed heads. They were so pretty ... but so was the lake glistening in the background. Beautiful spot, beautiful day. :)

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  20. Keep your secret spot secret ... but keep sharing the photos for me to enjoy! It looks very peaceful and calm!

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    1. LOL...I imagine many people are aware of this spot, although few of them probably notice the lovely little native plant garden on the side. I can't wait to see what it looks like in spring and summer.

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  21. What a beautiful spot Beth! I so miss being near water, in all the places I lived in Norway I was either near the sea or a lake, here in London we have the Thames but I can’t see it from my house and I don’t really have a view, there’s just lots of houses. If this is close to your house you are really lucky 
    And great view through your window with lovely autumn colours, have a good week!

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    1. Thanks, Helene. We are truly spoiled around here with all the lakes. I admit I do take them for granted. This particular spot is not within easy walking distance (although it would be a wonderful long hike!). But yes, I do count myself fortunate to have so many pristine views so close to home. London is an incredible city. I would count it as one of my favorite cities, and I don't say that lightly. I hope you have a wonderful week, too!

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  22. I can imagine how this place was colorful spring and summer, but again be the same next year. Now we are gearing up to plant and sow seeds. Regards.

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  23. A nice place for texture and fall color. I do like all the windflowers. You had nice weather too.

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    1. Yes, I'll look forward to going back there. The weather has been incredible for this late in the fall! I hear your weather has been fantastic, too. Hope you're having a great trip!

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  24. Love your secret place, Beth. It will be fun to see how it changes with the seasons. We are enjoying a short Indian Summer right now, and I'm not looking forward to the cold returning. P. x

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    1. Yes, it will be fun to visit this place in the spring. I'm not too interested in the winter, but maybe I'll check it out during a warm winter day. ;-) We've had an amazingly mild autumn so far, too. It makes the cold weather more difficult when it comes. But maybe it won't too brutal this year.

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  25. What a wonderful spot, this is my kinda place to sit... Lots of flowers...
    Amanda xx

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    1. Hi Amanda: Yes, agreed--my kind of place, too. Can't wait to see it in spring and summer!

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  26. Secret spots are part of the magic of life. This one is lovely indeed. The combination of autumn light and the colours are simply intoxicating. And, congratulations on Year #5!

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    1. Yes, yes. Memories of lovely settings on beautiful, mild days help me make it through the winter. And thanks on the congrats. :)

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  27. The stylized view outside your window is remarkable. I love the fall colors, and there is something magical about the autumn light. Everyday I am out in the garden to admire the sunshine glowing in the leaves. Your secret garden is delightful!

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    1. Thanks, Deb. The view out the window was just perfect that day. I was busy working, so I picked up my iPhone and too a quick photo through the glass--terrible photo quality. But it translated well to the stylized version. I agree--autumn light is mesmerizing!

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  28. Beautiful!! I do love it when we discover places that have been right under our nose yet gone unseen. It's an eye opener, pun intended, ;o) How wonderful it would have been to have enjoyed it with you. :o)

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    1. It is comforting, isn't it, that these little special places are still waiting to be discovered? Well, if you ever visit Wisconsin, we'll have to check it out in the spring or summer. ;-)

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  29. Autumn light is indeed special! Your pics look a lot like my landscape right now. Fall is nearly over and winter is beginning to set it. But there's still so much beauty out there right now. I've been taking pictures and plan to do an autumn light post soon on my new blog. Hope you don't mind. I love that you take the time to stop and see what's in front of you and capture it so well with words and photos. Thank you Beth :)

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    1. Hi Diane: I suppose your autumn has been mild like ours? Wow, the weather has been exceptionally nice! Oh gosh, I can't wait to read/see your autumn light post! Thanks for your kind comments. :)

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  30. Thanks for the thought...and then producing the next best thing to being there.

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    1. My pleasure--the experience, and then the memories. The only thing that would have been better would have been to have friends like you along for the visit. :)

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  31. Great post - wonderful seeds and I love the vignette!
    All the best :)

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    1. Thank you. It was a beautiful day, and fun to find a new place to enjoy plants and nature. :)

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  32. Beth that is a special spot with fabulous seedheads, flowers and light.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. Working my way back through recent posts to catch up with comments. That was a beautiful day, and a pleasant memory now. :)

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