Crisp autumn days are my favorite time to walk my dogs. I watch the shifting scenes of autumn: trees turning shades of red, orange, and yellow; leaves dropping gently to the ground—then days of high melodrama when howling winds and heavy rains come to rip the once-vibrant leaves from their stems, stripping the trees bare.
As the rich autumn shades—all warm hues on the color wheel—replace the cool hues of green, autumn wraps me in nostalgia, carrying me back in time to my youth. I’m warmed by memories of raking leaves into circular paths resembling the yellow brick road; of walking through the woods with oak, hickory, and maple trees awash in fall colors; of gathering acorns and hickory nuts while a blanket of dried leaves crunched under my feet.
I’ve been in Petoskey, Michigan, since Tuesday, and I’ve been walking Ziva, my dog who came with me, and Bogey, my mother’s dog. Petoskey, nestled on the eastern side of Lake Michigan, is beautiful anytime of the year, but October is my favorite time to visit. The weather, scenery, and vegetation are a blend of southeast Wisconsin, where I grew up, and northwest Wisconsin, where I live by Lake Superior. Coming here is like returning to the fields and woods of my youth, while almost feeling like I haven’t left home because Lake Michigan keeps me from missing Lake Superior.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, sunshine, warm breezes, and fall colors filled the days, and the dogs, my sister, and I walked the country roads in my mother’s neighborhood. My sister went home yesterday, but I’m still here with my mom and the dogs. Today, the rain and wind arrived, pulling autumn-colored leaves from the trees. The dogs and I still walked, but we timed our strolls between shifts of rain. Bogey has a raincoat, but Ziva would rather get wet than wear one. I could’ve carried an umbrella, but the strong winds would have turned it inside out.
On our second walk of the day, I had the dogs pose by a vignette of pumpkins, squash, mums, and hay bales arranged by one of my mom’s neighbors. I’m going to have a 5 x 7-inch photo made and frame it, a reminder of a gray but lovely autumn day when two big-hearted dogs kindly let me take their picture on a blustery day.
So beautiful and serene!! Those dogs are so good, I think they are actually posing for that pic 😊.