Yesterday was the quintessential perfect autumn day here. I had a chance to spend the afternoon assessing the survival rate of 1,000 white ash trees planted 21 years ago, and I didn't have to pushed out the door to do the survey work. (I did end up with four black-legged [i.e., "deer"] tick bites, though, which itch like a son of a gun today.) During the survey, I chatted with three good friends who were walking the trails, taking advantage of one of the last good days left this season; it might snow on Saturday! One friend had just returned from a week's trip to western and central New Mexico, which is "Mecca" for me, so I especially enjoyed seeing him.
The afternoon was so spectacular that, upon her arrival at home from work, I immediately told Kali to put on her walking shoes because we were going for a stroll before dinner. I guess I was a bit too forceful in my proclamation because she became a bit put off and cranky. Once we were among the golden prairie grasses, though, all her gruffness evaporated. By the time we got down to the creek, the light was going out of the world, but I managed to make this image, which I'm dedicating to Grizz because I know that all this image would need to make him happy would be to PhotoShop himself sanding in the water casting for trout.
By the way, though the survival rate of the white ashes I was assessing was high, I know that they're all doomed once the emerald ash borer gets here to the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont. Their only hope would be if we treated them perpetually with a systemic insecticide--something we just can't afford.