A matter of a few degrees*

Every Fall I feel impelled by some inexorable inner force to GET OUTSIDE and ENJOY THE WEATHER.  I am convinced that doing this will make the winter months more bearable (whether it actually does so? not sure) and I also feel a strong anxiety NOT TO MISS ANYTHING.  (I speak in capitals merely to echo the strident voice of my Inner Self.)  My other inner self tells me to calm down and that I am exaggerating the urgency of it all.  This post validates all the feelings of Panicky Self and shows Measured Self that if it were up to her, nothing would ever get done around here.

As you know, we drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon a couple Sundays ago, and while there we saw a lake with a nice boardwalk/trail around it which I had never seen before (Silver Lake, I believe)---but it was too crowded and as the hour was hastening on, we didn't stop.  When I saw later that the weather was going to change mid-week, I was really sad at the thought that we might go to our graves (so to speak) without having enjoyed that lovely walk.  So when Tuesday afternoon was sunny and warm, I bundled the children into the car and off we went.  And although Sam didn't get to come and the boys didn't do their homework and I got stuck in traffic on the way home and missed Young Women's (sorry ladies!)---I must say, it was totally and completely worth it.  Because those leaves were something so fleeting that we could have blinked and missed them.  But we didn't, my dears.  And now that day is ours forever. 

The sequel to this adventure is that we returned only five days later (the kids were anxious to show Sam every step of that trail) and it was like a whole different world.  A few degrees colder, only, and still lovely, and still wild and woods-y---but just, muted and muffled and dimmed.  And though I loved the muted version, I was so glad not to have missed that flash of brilliance earlier in the week.

If you read my other blog you have seen some pictures of this trip, but for you, my dear non-obligated readers, I include the best of them: a veritable, vegetable paradise.  It would make the most sense to order them chronologically, but because I like happy endings, I will put the most beautiful ones last.  Except for a few before/after comparisons which I will intersperse with each other.  And now you know my plan down to the last detail.
Mirror with frosted mountains.  I love the way the reflection is brighter/purer than the scene it is reflecting. [Insert commentary on virtual reality here]

If this is Fire . . .
these are the embers.

Trees . . .
Ghosts of trees

So placid, this lake.  There was very little wind.

Here, the color of the trees themselves changes very little.  But the context and the lighting make them read so differently!  Warms . . .
and cools.

How odd.  I took the first of these pictures, and Sam took the second.  Yet they seem to have a nearly  identical vantage point.  Either it was a very picturesque spot, or we are uncannily similar to each other.

Aaa!  How did these get in here?  Two bundled people.

Now we go back in time.  More mirroring, and those tall watchful pines!  The effect of this double image reminds me of the Rorschach inkblots.  If the types of objects seen in inkblot-readings tell us about a person, what can we infer about a person who sees inkblot tests in objects?  Actually I also see a heart-monitor readout in this picture.  And perhaps half the head of a sideways lamb?

Light changing and dappling with the cloud cover---I love this almost abstract blending of land and sky

Shadowed, but glowing.  
Suddenly, the sun breaks out!  And look at those trees flame up! (like shining from shook foil, as I have said/quoted  before, though not regarding trees)

Driving home.  Just in time: (though not for Young Women's; sorry, ladies) the storm approaches.

Home again: looking back at the canyon, now shrouded and dark.  The sky, holding on to its light as long as possible.  One more glint of gold before the night takes over.


  1. When I first saw the title I thought it was a reference to "Just a few units of difference" or whatever it was. What was that from again?

  2. Sam: What, you don't follow all my links?!

  3. Ginna's here, and i am eating my breakfast sandwch w one hand. Gasping at wimpling wing. write later.

  4. That is my favorite hike of the year. We go up every fall. This year, it appears we are late. We'll head up this week.

    On a sidenote--the family and I just did our longest hike together (6 hours) on Saturday. The trail: Indian Trail. We started on 22nd street in Ogden and ended up the canyon.

    It was glorious. This time of year just speaks to my soul. I always tell Timothy we need to live in a tent all of October so I can soak it all in.

    Loved your pics.

    PS--The hike/walk you posted about is where we saw moose last year--three of them just off the trail. Exciting.

  5. You really make me miss seasons. We have about ten trees in the whole city, and they change from green leaves to dead in a matter of days. I wish I could have hopped in the stroller with little Juni!

  6. Sam: aha, Poe! You refer to, "Really between four and five there is but a single unit of difference." Yes. From "Some Words with a Mummy." Sorry I missed YOUR allusion!

  7. Sooo cute Marilyn! Great pictures of the canyon leaves! And your darling kids... :) I need to go up and hike around before it gets too cold. Wait! I might have already missed my chance..

  8. Oh my - wow. Just wow! You see autumn beautifully, capturing her chamelionlike ways. Also beautiful are your bundled people.



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