Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall

September has been a month of family crisis this year. Everyone I know experiences emergencies, worst-fears-realized, and drama from time to time. They are a part of life painful though they may be. Sometimes we are blessed with sweet joy when victorious over catastrophe; sometimes loss is followed by grief. We have experienced both this month; the loss of Tim and Maria’s baby, and the near death experience of my dear father. One loss we still grieve, the other we celebrate because he beat the odds and survived. Once we realized Dad was going to survive this last crisis, the family celebrated and the tears turned from those of fear and grief to tears of rejoicing. When all was said and done however, I for one felt emotionally depleted. This has been a month of drama, of extreme highs and lows.

Late afternoon yesterday Richard and I needed to get out into nature to refresh our weary souls. When the world crowds in, or when I am weary from whatever the stress, a walk in the woods does absolute wonders. So with camera in hand, we headed out for a late afternoon and early evening soul-healing jaunt. Remembering the photo challenge this week, I thought a return to the nature preserve would be a nice place to start our trek. We were not disappointed.

To begin with, cloud formations created dramatic scenes for most of the day. We often get gorgeous clouds, I think because they are coming off the great lake nearby.

Next, I noticed the fall flowers: beautiful, colorful, a wonderful sight on a glorious fall day.

We also enjoyed the different fowl that inhabit the nature preserve, some of them quite colorful.

But after a bit, the storm clouds began to move in . . .

and the rain began to fall . . .

and the ducks swam for shelter!

Then the heavens opened up and rain poured down. Fortunately we sheltered in the nature center till the deluge subsided. And when there was a lull, we made the mad dash to our car, but I hesitated along the trail to shoot one last frame.

Back in our car, the heavens once again opened up as we headed out of the preserve. Since we were already out, we decided to run a few errands on the way home, all the while thinking that our jaunt was drawing to a close. When we pulled into the market parking lot however, we sighted a reminder that in good times or bad, the Divine Presence is still with us. . . Always.

We did our shopping, but Richard suggested one more stop before going home. Since moving to Cleveland earlier this month, we had not yet been to the lake. Even though clouds filled the sky and the view was rather gloomy, my dear romantic husband thought that tonight would be a good night to get our first peek at this magnificent body of water. No gorgeous sunset greeted us, but what a beautiful sight, an enticement for frequent visits in the future.

On our way home, I had one last conversation for the night with Mom. We both realize how fragile life is, and how our lives can and do change instantly from time to time. But for tonight, our family is thankful beyond words that Dad is with us. In fact, he is already talking about his next camping trip. And after our wonderful trek into the natural world this evening, Richard and I finally relax into a good night’s sleep.

56 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall

  1. A perfect place to refresh. Amazing cloud formations, the waters just serene, those ducks just drifting quitely, the colors so vivid. Just so beautiful. It’s great to be around your love ones. Best wishes to all. Stay blessed always.

    1. Yes, IT, it was indeed a perfect place to refresh. I plan to visit the preserve and other areas, too, in the future. . .and I will share with all of you. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  2. beautiful flowers of fall, We have the same ones all along the roadsides and in the fields. I love your walk to regain strength. The picture of the wood duck makes me jealous, we have travelled far and wide and I am yet to capture one photo.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Maggie. That is the first wood duck I’ve seen in ages, so I feel fortunate to have captured that shot! And I hope to take many more walks. Being in the natural world is the most soothing place for me to be. I hope to share many more walks with y’all. 🙂

  3. I didn’t know about Tim and Maria’s baby..how sad.. I had six miscarriages and ended up with three lovely daughters.so tell them not to be down heartened… all will be fine!
    Your photographs are very good and show the many aspects of weather and plants in autumn.Thank you for taking the time to share them with us.

    1. Thank you, Martin. We are happy this morning, optimistic about the future. Crisis is a part of life we realize, but today begins a new day with joy and happiness. Thanks for your well wishes. The double rainbow did indeed look to me like a sign of good things to come! 🙂

  4. Cecelia, you and Richard were able to celebrate you Dad’s recovery and perhaps think a little less, for the moment, in a good way, about Tim and Maria’s baby with your walk in the woods and visit to Lake Erie. Once again your photos are outstanding, especially, to me, your photos of flowers. I will miss your header photo of the geese, and I like your new header photo of the flowers.

    1. thanks Barbara. I’m always happy to see you here or at your blog. Thank you for your kind words. I change the header periodically to reflect the seasons. I usually miss the one that leaves, too, but like the new, fresher look each time.

  5. It looks like it was a beautiful walk, and a wonderful way to recharge your souls. 🙂

    This is such a beautiful time in northeast Ohio. Just wait until the trees put on their great displays. If you haven’t been to the Holden Arboretum yet, you should check that out. Lake Erie in the winter months is pretty amazing, too.

    1. The Holden Arboretum is on our list of places to visit, also the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. I look forward to seeing both. I’m also looking forward to the “leaf” season in October. I hear it is magnificent in these parts. Thanks for stopping by. AND, if you have other suggestions of places to visit please feel free to share. 🙂 I feel like a kid in a candy shoppe as I explore northeast OH.

  6. So glad that your father is on the road to recovery! Absolutely gorgeous photos! Thank you very much for the pingback.

  7. That nature reserve looks like a wonderful place to spend some time!
    I’m glad you were able to stay dry (for the most part), too – those clouds produced some amazing photographs, but it sounds like they made things pretty soggy in a hurry, too!
    Stunning images, Ms. F – very, very nicely done!

  8. Deep breath and…. goodness, it does me good to read other people’s blogs. They pull me up sharp and make me remember that other people sometimes have more than their fair share of ups and downs, it is not solely my perogative. Your photos are beautiful and you sound very positive despite all that is being thrown at you. Thank you

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Ronnie. I appreciate it. Yes, we’ve been going through a “spell” but all-in-all, life has been good. I never want to lose sight of that fact. Have a glorious day. 🙂

  9. What awonderful photo journal of “fall.” I was fortunate to see and snap a picture of a double rainbow a couple weeks ago, but have not yet figured out how to get it off my phone and onto my blog. It’s not a smart phone so it’s not helping me any. Great photos.

  10. thank you for sharing this glorious outing.
    i always love rainbows, as they are a reminder of the first one which was accompanied by a promise that has never been forgotten by the promise maker.
    what a brilliant way to end the day – and the sunset was perhaps understated, but nevertheless very beautiful. and with the good news that your father is mending – i am thankful with you!
    many thanks also for visiting my ‘fall’ corner and leaving the “like” badge behind. much appreciated.

    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts and words. It was indeed a glorious day with all that has been going on. And I remembered the promise when I saw the double rainbow, and how fitting given the crisis we have passed through. As to your blog, it is lovely and I always enjoy stopping by whether or not I have something to say. Have a wonderful day.

  11. Sorry it took a while for me to visit your page nonetheless happy that I made it here today.

    I am so enthralled with your photos for this week’s photo challenge. Those are truly amazing pictures. I like all the pictures but my favorites would be the first three photos. Love the greens that’s why.

    Thanks for sharing, Cecelia!

    1. Thank you Doris! It has been rough, but we all seem to be coming through it. Dad is now in rehab and continues to improve. I am glad to see you. Haven’t seen you for a while and was wondering how you are doing. Hopefully I will get back to visiting blogs as things settle down here. Hugs to you, too!

  12. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos, both beautiful. It is so easy for me to praise God in the good times and be bitter in the hard but God is good and I have to remind myself to thank and praise him in all circumstances no matter how difficult.
    Most days I just pray for peace, an opportunity to live life without difficulty at least for a little while trying to regain some energy before it seems we are thrust into more difficulty. Blessings to you and your family. Jeanne

    1. I so agree with you, flyinggma. We have a saying when things are not going so well, Gamzu L’Tovah, this, too, is for the good. It is a reminder that rain or shine, all is in G-d’s hands. That does not imply we are absolved from doing our part, but that even when life is at it’s worst, goodness still abounds and meaning can be wrought from every circumstance. Thank you for stopping by today and for leaving your kind words.

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