Creative Outlets

Autumn & the Kishwaukee River

When I stepped outside to take Pepper for his morning constitutional, the early crispness in the air beckoned me to explore the colors of autumn with my camera. After coffee and a breakfast of zucchini bread and bacon, I headed out with my camera to the various forest preserves and parks along the nearest portion of the Kishwaukee River: Blackhawk, Espenscheid, and Bauman Park.

The bridge over the Kishwaukee River in Blackhawk Forest Preserve made me realize that the colors are just starting to appear in most of the trees, but it seems that most of the Aspen trees have started dropping their leaves without changing color.

As I walked along, I found bees working hard to collect the nectar of fall blossoms.

Bees collecting nectar
Bees collect nectar

What I find amazing is that although we had a great deal of rain over the summer, the weather has been dry for the past several days and the river bed has very little water running through it.

Kishwaukee River
Kishwaukee River

The receding banks of the river exposed intricate, twisting root structures.

Tree Roots
Tree roots exposed at the banks of the Kishwaukee River

On July 4th, we had gathered as a family to picnic in the park and waiting for the fireworks display. We walked our dog, Pepper, down to the rocks on the banks of the Kishwaukee River, and he splashed in water that was at least a foot deep. Now the river has receded, and I was able to walk out to the middle of the river bed and along the sandbar. Wildflowers, or weeds, had blossomed in the damp, exposed river bed; open clam shells revealed that some bird was now well-fed;

Flowers in Dry Riverbed
Flowers in Dry Riverbed

and evidence of the ducks and geese littered the waterless riverbed.

Duck feather
Duck feather along riverbed

Then quietly, and quite unexpectedly, a turtle swam upstream and pulled himself up on the exposed roots of a fallen tree to sun himself. He sat there as if he were posing just for me.

Turtle in river
Turtle in river

As I walked back to my car, I found myself grateful for the partly sunny skies and the temperature near the 80s that made for a beautiful end of September day.

As you move through your day to day activities and responsibilities, remember to

live life –

keep things simple –

look for the positive –

and smile.

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