Artisan Studio

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.

 


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.

 

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

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 these rock 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;

and evidence of the ducks and geese littered the waterless 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.


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.


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