While out hiking, I saw several deer, a frog, and lots of deer tracks. The leaves are falling to the ground quickly and it's getting difficult to see the trail through the layer of dead leaves. Despite the hidden trail, I love the crunch of leaves underfoot.
The colors of Fall are quickly fading. As rains move into the area, leaves fall from the trees and the colors are lost for the year.
Here are a couple of fun, fine art images giving the feeling of Fall colors.
Not all sunrises show spectacular color. All you can do is be there and hope the clouds break. On this particular morning, they did not, but it was still worth getting up and being there. There were so many birds, frogs, and other wetland animals singing a chorus to the daybreak that it was a delightful morning just listening to them sing. A crane flew overhead and before I crossed the street, it said, "honk, honk." I laughed and a local denizen informed me that this particular crane "honks" every time it crosses the street. What a personality!
I find it a catch 22 that we move to remote places for the trees and the beauty, but then we destroy it in order to build houses, sub-divisions, stores, and conveniences. Sure, it would be nice to have a house on this lake, but then the lake would be lined with houses and these beautiful trees would be gone. The serenity of the lake, the calmness of the waters, would be disrupted as we put boats and jet-skis into it. And the animals would have no place to go because we have destroyed their homes in order to make our own. This area would no longer be the same as what first attracted us to it.
I don't know the solution. I wish I did. One idea is that the price of already developed areas should be cheaper than the pristine lands in order to discourage building on the wild places and encourage buying abandoned areas. There are so many empty buildings that we really should recycle those places before we destroy an area that takes hundreds and thousands of years to create.
This 65-foot waterfall runs along a river that was so polluted with industrial waste, it caught fire over a dozen times. The last fire occurred in 1969 when a train car created a spark and ignited the river. Not only did it create a fire, it ignited an environmental movement. Legislation was passed for Great Lakes Water Quality and Clean Water Act. While greatly improved, the waterway still needs a lot of work and has impaired sections.
But along the healthier areas, eagles have created a home and raised fledgelings for several years. Deer, fox, raccoon, and other mammals call this area home, something unheard of years ago.
This gorgeous marsh used to be a junkyard with oils and other toxic substances leaching into the ground and waterways.
In the early 1900, land development drained the original wetland. Over time, it became a junkyard before park services and volunteers cleaned the land. In 1984, clean up began, hauling away cars, car parts, bedsprings, and all sorts of junk.
Around the same time as the cleanup started, beavers moved back into the area. They had been missing from the area for over a century, trapped out of the area for their fur. The return of the beaver was a sign that the health of the area was returning. They build dams that flooded the area.
With the human cleanup and the beavers flooding the area, dormant seeds reawakened and wetland plants returned, creating a habitat for all sorts of wildlife.
46% of endangered species need wetlands. This marsh coming back too life is an example that it's not to late to reverse the damage.
Beyond the golden rod are these beautiful purple fringed swamp grass. I don't know the proper name for them, but I love them and the way light plays on and through the fringe.
While out photographing another set for my "Into Nature" series, we saw a herd of deer. Several does, two bucks, and a fawn. However, I wasn't out with the intention of photographing wildlife so I photographed the deer in the landscape, instead of closeup.
If you look closely at this one, there's a fawn or doe on the right watching the two bucks rut.
In 1870, lumber schooners passed through this area of Lake Michigan, heading to sawmills and adjacent to pine forests.
Today, visitors come to enjoy the view, fish off the pier, and relax on the beach.