The Other Side of Autumn

When I’m on the road for abandonment photography, sometimes the pure landscape grabs my attention. I admit that in fall I go for the color; the foliage, the grand spectacle when it comes to landscape photography. Then I’m reminded, somewhat embarrassingly, that there is more to autumn than just pretty leaves.

Pretty needles! I love tamarack pines (aka larch) and they might be my favorite trees. Not only are they cute, but they are the only conifer to drop its needles in fall. Before that they turn the most lovely shades of yellows and golds. It’s been on my mind to do a tamarack turning project, but I just haven’t found the right location yet. This little scene illustrates pretty well what I love about these trees. The reflection was a bonus and so was the moody sky.

When company calls

Another day, another month. Still on back roads. And what do you know…another little wetland. This time a marsh with some lovely leatherleaf (I think) and grass gone dormant. Alongside tamarack are often found black spruce, which we have here. The light’s a little harsh, but I couldn’t resist. The colors are rich and I really should do more work near bogs or marshes in the fall. Such great textures, too.

Are you with me?

These next two were taken a few days later in another county, but only minutes (and feet) apart so I processed them in a similar way. The first has turkeys gathering in a typically large winter flock, feeding madly before the snow flies.

Turkey muster

As you can see, they are quite wary (all those heads up!), but didn’t panic and race off when I got out of the car. There are a few bushes and trees out of camera to the right, but then there was this –

Battle fatigue

I have no idea if the tree is dead or clinging to life, but it was dramatic and imposing so I had to walk around looking for the right composition. The cattails in the foreground speak to the season as well, but in a different way. It’s been ages since I shot cattails in fall and I’m glad I stopped for this little view.

All of these photos were taken while standing on a road – no hiking involved so it can be easy to get interesting landscape shots if you have a mind. I always keep my eye out for scenes like these when I’m on back roads, but I don’t always show or write about them well. Like I said, I get seduced by foliage and intense color, but I do have a side crush on the starker side of fall.

2 thoughts on “The Other Side of Autumn

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  1. The monochromes of a dry autumn are very real here in California – hills, fields, landscapes are shades of beige and brown. Presently, with a few rains (too few) the landscape is greening up again. These little things mean so much in the seasonal rhythms and are much looked forward to . . .

    1. Yeah, water management in California is a bit unbalanced to say the least. I hope things aren’t really bad this year and you keep getting at least a little rain. It snowed a few inches yesterday. Precip is something Wisconsin doesn’t have an issue with – it’s mostly all white or all green. I’m hoping to get to some waterfalls when the melt comes (it’s 10 below 0 right now) and with all this snowpack, it will be lovely and loud! But today…snowshoeing on fresh powder.

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