1 - Yes, the glorious color of Fall makes my heart sing inside like a symphony. Here's a Thomma Lyn style photo essay of my walk home from the bus, so I can take you through my woods to see the wonder of it all.
2 - Once I get off work, I walk along the Halifax waterfront and get the ferry over to the Dartmouth side. The bus that rolls up in just a few minutes is a different one than I take on my way into work. In the morning I get the bus that goes right past my place, but after work I end up in the subdivision behind my own.
This is the cut-through that takes me from the street into the path system that winds all through the neighborhoods here. It's like having a narrow park stretched for miles and miles, tucked between the backyards of two streets. In fact, if you think of the letter H, and imagine each column of the H as two streets, there is woodland in between the two columns, with the crossbar acting as entryways into the woods. The people here make full use of this path system. There are always dog-walkers, joggers, bike riders, walkers and kids playing. And after work, people strolling home with briefcases.
3 - Once I get onto the path I hang a left and head this way. Out of range of this photo on either side, peoples' backyards are visible through the trees, but there's still a sense of cocooning into the woods as I walk along.
This section is a good example of the recovery the forest is making from Hurricane Juan, which tore up these woods five years ago. This area was once towering fir trees, which all became a tangle of trunks, roots and evergreen boughs. These days the forest has become a young hardwood area. This happened completely naturally, which has been a source of wonder to me as I realize it's not every day a person gets to watch a forest rebuild itself.
4 - When I get to the tree on the right side, behind the spray of red leaves, I usually turn right and make my way through a charming path that leads to the backyard of my neighbors, Heather and Bernie. They invite everyone to cut through their yard, as their house is at the curve of our street and halfway between access points onto the path. They have a beautiful garden with a little pond, grapevines, ornamental poppies and colorful bursts of perennials.
5 - But we'll keep going along the path. In only a few steps we get to this open area that took a lot of the remains of the downed trees. City crews fed the twisted wood (that couldn't be carried off by the locals as firewood - the locals who carved up the trees with their own chainsaws so people could get back onto the paths) - the rest went into huge woodchippers and got spread all over this section. It's a bit boggy naturally, so it was a helpful addition to the woods.
6 - This part of the path isn't paved and is bordered by grasses and purple asters.
7 - Here's a swath of asters along with rosy raspberry bushes fronting a stand of young maples and beech trees. They've grown above my head in only a few short years.
8 - Heading into the woods along the path.
9 - Gorgeous bronze-colored ferns.
10 - These are the stately firs that survived the hurricane intact. In the foreground is the ballfield to which the path leads. It's part of an elementary school playground. Our house is beside the ballfield.
11 - Just past the ballfield and an excellent playground is my bus stop where I catch my ride into work. Or rather, I stumble aboard and promptly go back to sleep until I reach downtown Halifax.
12 - We're coming full circle. I took the picture from the sidewalk next to our yard. The pine in the foreground and the line of maples within the black fence is part of our woodland garden. In the distance you can see my bus stop.
13 - Back home - that's my side woodland garden to the right, and our white house is visible through the trees.
Hope you enjoyed our trek through the woods. And I hope you're able to get out and enjoy the Fall colors in your area.