One of the many nice things about autumn, is that a bit of rain doesn’t spoil the day.

In the summertime, if you’re headed to the beach, determined to swim and sunbathe

but then a rain storm blows in, your day is scuttled & scuppered.

(I thought those terms seemed more sea-worthy than “screwed up.”)

You can go back home, put on your DVD of “South Pacific,”  stand real close to your plasma widescreen,

soaking up a bit of UV radiation, eating your rum raisin ice cream cone with a dusting of sand.

Uncork the vintage bottle of Coppertone you found behind the clothes dryer and have a few sniffs.

But it’s just not the same as a day at the beach.

In your living room, it’s rare to have a gull swoop down to steal your doughnut, for one thing.




But this time of year, a walk in the park on a cool drizzly day is A-OK with me,

bathing in a great woodsy, earthy aroma.

The color of the wet leaves and the mushroom-y notes in the air intensify.

It doesn’t smell of decay, but kind of rich, really.

It’s a smell of health & wealth, as the leaves fall to enrich the earth.



It’s cool enough to wear a rain jacket, so you’ve got pockets for an apple and a few snacks.

Just enough rain to lay the dust, same idea for taking a hip flask along.

So here’s a few cellphone snaps from a couple of walks, on wet days, sometimes taken during a brief sunshower or an actual outbreak of sunshine.




These two characters were hanging out together. Gray tree frogs. The one hunching on the right, looks much darker, because I didn’t notice him at first, and startled him when I shifted a trash can, so he jumped into a planter filled with water. I scooped him out and dried him off with some tissues but he’s still looking grouchy, or maybe just a bit woebegone, in this shot.











I liked this little alien guy, who cleverly disguised his flying saucer as a toadstool.



Autumn, Nature, Uncategorized

A walk in the park – early autumn


36 thoughts on “A walk in the park – early autumn

  1. pinklightsabre says:

    The gray tree frogs! Woebegone. Gorgeous piece here, brimming with life! Makes me envious, funny enough. Zero rain here in the PNW for forever. No rain jackets or pockets for apples, boo hoo.

      • pinklightsabre says:

        The espresso will always be here, it just shape shifts from the really cool street side pop-up ones that are now extinct to the more Portland-influenced kind. But it never goes away. And nor will the rain, pray god!

  2. Yeah, great time for a walk, and great shots, Robert.

    Interesting that you use the word ‘autumn’ in preference to ‘fall’ – I’d always assumed all Americans thought of the season as Fall.

    • Thanks, Mick. Yeah, you’re right, “fall” is more common but not until the leaves are coming down. No, just kidding, I just felt like using “autumn” which seems more formal somehow.

  3. I had a lot of fun reading your post, Roger. And I did enjoy your thoughts about autumn leaves.
    The tree frogs are spectacular. The dark one looks like a stone even after you wiped it dry.
    I think I would prefer a walk in your park instead of a summerday 😁😁
    Happy autumn weekend

  4. Your mention of the woebegone frog reminded me of the good old days of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon. Now I’m wondering whether he chose the alternate spelling as a way of suggesting-while-minimizing the essential midwestern gloom that’s always hovering around the edges: tuna hotdish and jello salads notwithstanding.

    I love that you mentioned the scent of wet leaves, too. For me, that’s the very essence of fall. I remember certain wet evenings, walking under streetlights with piles of leaves underfoot. There’s nothing like it. You’re right that it’s not the scent of decay, but of enrichment.

    • Are these memories of Iowa? Dry leaves, damp leaves, wet leaves– I like the way all of ’em smell. Tuna casseroles, on the other hand, not so much. I’ve never read Keillor’s books but have enjoyed recordings of his shows – – one of them, he reads notes from the audience, which included my grandparents a couple times, and he read an announcement of my birth!

  5. Gorgeous autumn colours, Robert. I wish we had them, too. Here, leaves are yellow and brown for lack of water. I wouldn’t mind having days and days of rain. I think I would be outside dancing in it.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. George says:

    I always lament the passing of summers until the tired dusty washed out tones of August give way to the rich russets, reds, and golds of October. Then I remember how much more I love the autumn. “Bathing in a great woodsy, earthy aroma. The color of the wet leaves and the mushroom-y notes in the air” absolutely nails it. Beautiful account and beautiful pics.

  7. Nice set of shots. Interesting how colors can render even more nicely on gray days than on sunny ones.

    Like Linda (Shoreacres), your woebegone comment triggered thoughts of Garrison Keillor’s lake, and how he described its fictional location as near where I non-fictionally grew up. Maybe that’s why my attitude is sometimes like your frog’s.

    • Thanks Dave. I knew his Woebegon was a fictional place, but I just looked him up and was surprised he grew up in a city of 17,000. I realize that’s not exactly a metropolis, but I really did expect a small town. Anoka is more than three times the size of my hometown

  8. Your writing is the bee’s knees! And the photos are a treat, too. What a lucky thing to see those tree frogs! I have to second what the reader from the PNW said above. Eventually I suppose we’ll get some rain and boy, will I be inhaling! 😉

    • Thank you, Lynn. I’ve always felt a lot of affection for toads and frogs, don’t know why. My grandmother’s house, which was pretty near the Genesee River in NY, always had a couple of those gray tree frogs glued to the outside of her windows and glass sliding doors. Always very cool to see a creature that can climb a vertical piece of glass.

  9. Lots of beautiful autumn images, and reminders of earthy autumn scents. Let’s not forget the sounds of autumn – for me, it’s the cricket chorus, brassy and voluminous in late summer, and fading to a smaller number of voices in early fall.

    • Thank you, Tom, and absolutely, the sounds are essential & woven into the experience. And as the weather cools, the chorus slows too, I read something about the scientists who can tell you the temperature based on timing the crickets or frogs. Handy if you lose your watch raking leaves!

  10. Darts and Letters says:

    What in Hades were you doing in the trash? Searching for treasure? We could use some cool rain, we haven’t had any since July. Friday, it looks like it’s back, woo hoo! Great pictures, Robert.

    • Thanks Jason. No rain since July! wow. I think we got 4 or 5″ just last month. I wasn’t digging in the trash! just moving the bin back where it belonged, didn’t see the frogs until one of them jumped

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