And So Fall Arrives Suddenly In Dry Iowa


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I’ve pretty much given up on any fall photo competition. For the previous two years, I attempted to enter the Gazette’s photo contest, but although I think I had some nice images, clearly my pictures were not what the paper was looking for. I tend to shoot details and they seem to want panoramas, but there you have it.

Fall is suddenly here, kaboom. We had a couple of cold nights earlier this week, two with lows dipping just under the freezing point of water, and suddenly the trees are starting to turn.

Many ashes are tinged with gold. Some maples are dappled in pinks and yellows. Sumac and burning bushes are starting to shine with bright crimson.

We’re in a dry, windless stretch of weather—which is too bad because we surely can use lots and lots of rain—but at least it means the leaves are staying on the trees for a bit as they turn colors.

Today, I rode the Cedar River Trail to work, which added about 20 minutes to my commute. I had time to make it to my morning class, and I just wanted to see if those cold nights have visibly changed the seasons.

They have.

The hillsides are still mainly green, but there are certainly flashes of color. Tulips trees and Catalpa, two trees with huge leaves, are still pretending it’s summer, but I’m betting in the next few days we’ll see that they got the memo from Mama Nature, too. I didn’t go by the big Sweetgum tree that is on my usual commute this morning, but last time I saw it, it was holding back, hanging in there green. Sweetgum trees usually turn vibrant colors and I’m looking forward to seeing this tree this autumn

Fall in Iowa! Is there a more glorious time?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “And So Fall Arrives Suddenly In Dry Iowa

  1. Wanda

    For what ever reason, I keep tabs on the HUGE ash in our front yard. My journal is dotted with dates recording spring’s ‘full canopy’ and fall’s ‘leaf mizzle’ – not surprising: these things occur almost to the day each year. Not so 2012. Wherein our normal ash-leaf ETD is October 10-12 — it is occurring now, Going to be an interesting fall/winter. I’m predicting a Scottish November – rain and misery – so pull out those root veggies and start running down those hearty stew recipes!

    BTW — WE love your photos so keep posting them here!

    • crgardenjoe

      I hope you’re right about November–as a bicycle commuter I would get tired of it, but a nice rainy month would be a good thing.

  2. Ditto on the posting of your photog work! Keep it coming. As a heads up . . . if you get a chance, head over to the bypass out by Gardner Golf Course in Marion. Turn and gaze in the south/southwest direction. The golden tree color is breathtaking. I wished I’d stopped this morning and taken a shot at it myself.

    • crgardenjoe

      My wife and I watch “Project Runway” every Thursday–and last night noticed that there was an unusual amount of reflected light in our family room. The street light outside is no brighter than usual, but the ash trees in our neighborhood are suddenly a bright gold and a lot more reflective than they used to be. And this morning I noticed the tree-lined ridged in western Cedar Rapids is definitely splashed with color. Thank goodness we had some August rain so we have some tree color this year!

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