Perhaps I shouldn’t use that title the weekend before an election run-off…to clarify, the surprise is that this tree (at the less-than-six-feet-tall stage at present) is in our back yard (aka garden in Brit Engl). I did not know we hosted a beech there. Yay; so classy! [The winter foliage of beeches is so distinctive. This species, Fagus grandifolia, is the only Fagus species in North America—pretty sure.]


While you may be thinking that this accumulation of ginkgo leaves means the ginkgo leaf drop has happened, lemme tell you that there are plenty of (non-scientific estimation) leaves remaining attached to the tree above.

Beginning of December

Here’s another beach that has a prominent place in my memory…this one facing east near Punta Cormorant, Floreana Island, Galápagos.

Last of November

Sometime in the night, we woke up to realize that the power was out, I think because the smoke detector blipped. [The outage only lasted about two minutes, I was able to determine by looking at the stove clock much later.] I soon fell back asleep and sometime before I awakened and got up and headed for the coffee-maker, I had a dream that I remember little about except that I was standing on a sand beach next to Lake Superior. This beach is at the mouth of the Au Train River, last May. Look at that sky!


Despite the color to these leaves, at night, moonlit, they look rather like snow might have accumulated, when my brain is sleepy.

Small dents pending?

We decided to early vote today. We cruised our polling place aka our library branch, and the line was short, perhaps five people waiting to get their IDs accepted. Thus, we only had a few minutes to watch—and hear—the acorn rain from these oaks along the back edge of the property, as we stood outside.

Rain predicted for tomorrow

We played hooky from our responsibilities and chores, and went leaf peeping. Here’s the view to the piedmont as we climbed into the mountains…many leaves intact, some green, some not.

We looped around through the mountains and stopped at a cemetery on Angel Drive. Touching address. Dramatic, colorful plastic flowers on most graves. Abundant fluffy leaves.

We climbed up to Winding Stair Gap. Fewer leaves at elevation. Beautiful and sunny. This was the highest we got.

Reaching for…(not perfection)

The motel that brought us to this spot: in need of updating. Their problem: the “bones”/structure of the property: unalterably lacking. Yet…the view: wow.
Credit to the management for tending to what they can.

Here, the valley-mountain topography offers a beautiful morning-moment that we don’t see in the UP or at home. A supremely unimpressive motel, and a terrific Appalachian morning-view.

Light along the way

With the exception of a delightful interlude in A-Squared, we have been logging mile….

…iterspersed with rest area stops. During those I found a few dramatic sunlight moments. Or semi-dramatic. These were both in Ohio.

Floral organics

Single best visual find in months: the icy cap on these wee mushroom caps. What texture! What subtlety! What ephemera!

This, on the other hand, is mostly a color mosaic. I’m amazed how many leaves are still on the tree, and still colorful, with that blanket of the fallen foliar fragments.