On Wednesday, the eve of Thanksgiving, I had to work, but Kali was off. Traditionally, we close the office of the preserve an hour early on the eve of holidays, so I took full advantage of the opportunity to leave while the sun was still shining, and I hustled Kali out the door for a walk before sunset. Because we only had time for a short walk, I didn't take the camera with me - big mistake! After all, what does it take to sling the camera over my shoulder? The late afternoon light turned out to be perfect for photography, even on our short walk, and I could have kicked myself. Fortunately, Thanksgiving day was forecast to be a meteorological repeat, so we set off again on Thursday at about the same time of day, which allowed me to capture the preserve in the way I had been unable to do the day before. Upon entering the grasslands, we came across a doe half-hidden in the grass. She had been at exactly the same spot the day before.
But this handsome buck, which had not been present one day earlier, was browsing at the edge of the woods.
The dried seed heads of staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) made a stark contrast against the cobalt blue sky.
Late afternoon light bathed a sycamore in a grassy draw.
The low sun burnished the grasslands...
....and the massive ancient red oak tree (Quercus rubra) capping a hill.
But the turkey in the oven was nearing the end of its roasting time, so we cut the walk short and headed back across the already darkening fields.