Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Old News

I fight through my mixed media emotions to bring you several stories which are old news. The big story was certainly the fall leaves. Basically gone. But that's not quite the whole story, the bands of wind protected Yellow Poplars and a few others still streak their brilliant paths up the hollows. The above picture shows what it looks like from the top of Old Rag.

Although it's been over a week now since the printing I have to show the beautiful personification poem printed on the front page of the Oct. 22 edition of the Rappahannock News. It is entitled Autumn Spectacular. I have always loved the downtown Sperryville tree it refers to. The picture can be clicked on and enlarged so you can read the poem off to the tree's side or I have retyped the poem at the bottom of this post with the permission of the author Al Simpson, he's my grandpa!

I don't know
But I've been told
If you keep on dancing
You'll never grow old - Steve Miller Band

Grandpa is 91. In July I watched him party till 1am, last weekend he was out dancing again, I am proud.

In other media outlets Fox 5 was in the park last Monday the 26th exploring. They found us, and I was in short interview on live TV. Here is the link.

Autumn Spectacular
By Al Simpson

Ohhhh, I am
So beautiful
So magnificent, so glorious
So wonderful to view

When the sun shines
Upon me
I glow, I sparkle
Each leaf of me
Ablaze with color
Red and yellow
Orange and green
And everything in-between
I am a living rainbow

I do a tango
Dancing with the wind
I sparkle in the sunshine
I embrace the breeze
I am so beautiful

I am a cameo
Captured for a time
Truly a favored tree
Displaying such design

I am the queen of Main Street
The belle they come to see
I am the crown jewel
Of Sperryville's autumn

Some call me "Big Red"
Some call me "The Tree"
Some think of me
As crimson
Some say burgundy

I prefer Scarlet
But call me what you will
Just come to see me
I'll pose for you

And share my beauty
With all who live
In our community
I am so beautiful!

Scarlet Maple

Monday, October 19, 2009

Counting Ravens

If you've never stared of into the distance than your life is a shame. -Counting Crows

Watching a raven fly in a heavy wind atop Old Rag Mtn. is the coolest thing ever. Ravens are the Cirque du Soleil of the avian aviators and with this weekends fog, rain, snow, and wind they were out in force. I would highly recommend sitting on a rock and watching them until the shivering becomes to much, than do some pushups, some jumping jacks, warm up and watch them again.

Friday, October 16, 2009


For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms...

-Henry David Thoreau

Fog adds a new mystique to the forest, as does brightly colored rain jackets!

Be it leaves, temperatures, rain, or snow, the woods of Shenandoah are precipitating. It may not be what you expected but it can be beautiful. Waterfalls run higher volumes, and what could be more stunning than a snow or ice storm in fall colors.
But be carefull, the unexpected breeds unpreparedness and you can find yourself a long way from the trailhead if you get hurt. Be safe, hire a guide if you want to stay safer, otherwise we will see you out there!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leaf Looking

Bright Maples like this one dot the entire park, and rain or shine its a great time to get out to see them.

Purple Aster flowers on the flanks of a back country bridge, Asters bloom all throughout fall and add yet another color to the patchwork.

Lunch at the lowest of White Oak Canyons falls where the leaves are not quite peak yet.

Another great Shen view through the leaves.
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