I'm looking for fall leaves. Since I am here in Florida, that commodity is hard to come by. We do have a little bit of change in color, but it doesn't arrive until late December through February, and never the glorious colors that you find in Georgia on north.
When it is Fall, I am prone to wander. One bright October, I was invited to a wedding in Athens Georgia. So I took InterState Road 75 on north, and hadn't been in Georgia very long, when I started seeing fall colors. (For some reason, the interior part of the state is like this. If I cross the state line off the coast, the colors are rather drab off of I-95.) Anyway, I continued my trek to Athens. Thinking I could make up some time, I went straight north, through the Okefenokee Forest.
Did I make a good decision? The road was a narrow two lane highway with moderate traffic. Did I save time? Not enough. I arrived at the church, just in time to see the wedding party posing for pictures in front of the altar. I actually needed to have left an hour earlier, but I was distracted.
What distracted me the most, and my own children can testify of this, are trees in bloom. In this case, those in brilliant colors can also make me pause and often stop. So there I was in the middle of one of the best preserved natural parks in its full splendor. The intense yellows against the subdued burgundy reds and lavished oranges, made my heart skip for joy. I don't deny that I almost wanted to skip the wedding, but I considered the groom, a family friend, that I had seen grow up from the time he was three, and didn't. But I did stop. I stopped at a river, right there in the middle of the forest. It was a place where 18 wheelers also decided to journey. I stood right there in the middle of the bridge to take some wild pictures of one the most serene places I had ever seen. I could feel the whipping of the wind and the charging of the wheels behind me as I teetered and steadied my camera for the view below.
It was worth it, I think. I printed out the picture and have it right there tucked on the side of my mirror, waiting for a frame. So it is fall and I am again leaf hunting. Obviously, I need to wait a week or two for October to arrive and the leaves to do their thing. I can't wait. It can't come too soon.
I promise I will be more careful.
If you can't go personally there are always webcams. Here are a couple of links:
Best Foliage and Autumn Links
Banff Provincial Park Web cam
Blue Ridge Parkway
Fall Foliage Report