A subtle time of year

Just drove to town and back, and was reminded of how much I enjoy the scenery this time of year. At times it is dreary, at other times it is rich and subtle.

Some favorite things: the black silhouette of the oak against the sunset...the thickets of swamp willow, fringed with orange, touched with frost...the lone cottonwoods rising like a geyser out of the prairie...the last few leaves clinging to clumps of underbrush...the orange berries hanging like Christmas ornaments on the mountain ash...the slender white trunks of the aspen forming gentle parallel lines...the dead grasses in the ditches and swamps, their colors not yet worn to gray by winter...the slowly fading green of the lawns...a subtle golden hue mixed with the green of the needles on pine and spruce...

What a nice time of year for a drive at sunset. It seems that the beauty of this time of year is easier to appreciate, compared to the overwhelming greens of summer and the sometimes gaudy colors of early autumn.