Falling Toward Autumn

It’s another nine days until the autumnal equinox, that time of year when the shift from sultry summer weather gives way to the crispness we all love about fall. But . . .  over the past few weeks we’ve been on the cusp. Warm days, some a little less warm than others, and cool nights, some a wee bit cooler. And with the change in temp comes a change in coloration of the world around us.

o-morning view 4

And so this morning as Marita and I approached Overset Mountain in Greenwood, our fancy was tickled by the tapestry reflected on Hicks Pond.

o-boulder in river

At last we reached the trailhead we were seeking, and first hiked beside Sanborn River, where the flow of the water added a voice to the display.

o-jack in pulpit fruit

On one small rocky outgrowth I spied something red and we quickly realized it was a lonely jack-in-the-pulpit in fruit form.

o-following marita

After a little more than a mile, the trail we chose to climb Overset Mountain turned right, away from the river and soon we passed under a power line, where energy hummed in a manner we couldn’t hear above. From our waists to our feet, however, the pollinators buzzed.

o-aster gone to seed

While many flowers were still in full bloom, a few, like this aster, were ready to send their young forth on individual parachutes.

o-Indian cucumber 2

Others also shared their colorful youth-filled fruits, including Indian cucumber root,



o-bluebead lily

blue bead lily,

o-witherod berries


o-maple-leaf viburnum

and maple-leaf viburnum.

o-overset pond and mountain

At last we reached Overset Pond, its water as calm as could be while it clearly reflected the sky and mountain we were soon to climb. Here and there, touches of color peeked out among so much green.

o-overset cliff

As we circled the pond, our voices echoed off the cliff above–our destination. We were going to climb up the rock face . . .

o-marita just before summit

but decided we’d take our time and hike up the trail instead. (And if you believe we would have attempted that cliff, think again.) We’d describe the hike as a moderate climb to the summit. The terrain changed with the natural communities, so while we’d been on soft duff beside the river, we encountered some granite, including steps, on our skyward leg of the journey.

o-approaching the summit

About an hour and a half after starting, we reached the view point, where lunch was served–BYOB style, of course.

o-Noyes Mountain

To our left, we recalled a recent climb up Noyes Mountain.

o-tapestry begins

To the right, a colorful tapestry that changes daily.

o-heart-shaped overset pond1

And below us, Overset Pond, which appeared heart-shaped from this vantage point.

After lunch, we continued on the loop trail, paying attention for a ground nest we’d been forewarned about. Thankfully, we spied it before the bees spied us and were able to bushwhack around to avoid being stung. We continued on and finished up the mountain hike, then decided to also follow the Sanborn River Loop, thus covering about seven miles by the time we were done.

o-blood milkwort

And near where we’d parked I spotted some flowers I met for the first time the other day–purple milkwort. It’s always that way–meet something for the first time and then realize it’s everywhere. In this setting the milkwort added its own variation to the start of the fall tapestry.

I love all seasons and the in-betweens as well. That being said, it’s always hard to give one up for the next. But I guess that’s the job of the in-betweens–to help us transition. Right now, I’m falling toward autumn.




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