Sunday, September 2, 2012


This is a magical time on the trail.  I know that sounds corny but for a photographer this is a special time.  The summer is nearing an end and the fall color will soon emerge.  My Saturday hike at Morgan Territory was a good prelude of the colors to come shortly.

I picked a nice 9-mile trek from Morgan Territory's Old Finley Road trailhead.  I would take the Sulphur Springs Trail for an out and back hike with a short loop along the Grizzly and Jeremiah trails.

Honestly it was strange day.  The hike had and odd feel to it.  The light was very subdued.  The morning started out with a thick fog shroud that cast deep shadows in the tree line and twits and turns of the path.  It almost felt like in some ways I was hiking at dusk, with darkness approach.  In someways it was perfect sky for the colors unfolding around me.

No kidding this is a great time to take pictures.  Trees are filled with shades of red and green as the leaves change, making one last bold statement before the coming change of seasons.  In the soft light these hues seemed to almost shine as the light struck them.

The shadows behind them were dark and almost foreboding.  It was just one step short of being an eerie time on the trail.  There was no one else on the trail except me.  The still air had a heaviness to it.  All I could hear was the sound of my own footsteps on the leaves in the path.  Part surreal, part peaceful, it was an odd hike to categorize.

But everywhere I looked the colors are what stood out.  In this pre-fall day the colors seemed to almost glow.  I came across a tree with it leaves that reminded me of stars twinkling against a night sky.  Standing on top of a ridge I looked across at a slope leading down to a dark tree grove.  The juxtaposition of the gold in the grass and the trees shadows seemed to be out of a dream.

Making my way back to the car with about a mile to go the sun finally broke through the fog.  The trail was cast in a different light as sunlight filtered through the leaves.  A breeze finally rustled the trees and the glow that I had seen earlier receded back into the trail.

This is truly a magical time to take pictures on the hiking trail and this short preview is a promise of the fall colors to come.