CROOKED CREEK

 

October 16, 2011

 

I decided as an intro just to go ahead and put up here what I wrote about this morning and sent to some friends:

 

Well, summer is sliding into winter without its usual fanfare. Carl and I decided to go out this morning
for an autumnal drive despite Mother Nature's great lack, so we went up to Crooked Creek where
there are some favorite spots of mine I've taken tons of pictures at in years gone by, though not last
year. Is cloudly, make that cloudy, and a little breezy with the threat of rain coming in, but being intrepid
of soul, such do not deter. Yesterday, though, the 50 MPH winds blew down most of the leaves that had
dared show color, still one cannot, simply canNOT go from summer into winter with at least a momentary
pause at Fall. Our unusually wet late summer (obviously we are NOT in Texas!) has indeed led to brownishnesses
on the yellow maples, etc. But no matter what, it was pretty around the lake and we pilgrimaged to my favorite
spots and I did take some pictures which I shall inflict on an innocent public later if any of them come out decently
and probably even if they don't. So our last stop is below the great earthen dam...and I cannot stand below any
great earthen dam anymore and not think Johnstown thoughts since writing The Waters...and we go to the spillway
which is spilling very spillingly due to the much waters of the wetness and then there is a section I have not trod
before along the left hand side of the valley below the dam and I betake myself, wearing my brace, up the slope
over the leaves through the rocks cuz, well, I wanna, and Carl is standing in the dam valley, watching and taking
pictures of me with his phone, no doubt to be used in some sort of evil extortion scheme as he knows how I
dislike being photographed yet he just WILL do it and he also has the phone out and ready to call 911 should
I go tumbling as I make my way laboriously but determinedly ever upwards as I look for interesting single fallen
leaves that catch my eye. Then I am up and, of course as is rather usual, what has gone up must come down
unless filled with helium and I am, alas, currently heliumless. So I am inching my way down and it's slippery because
the bare patches are sorta muddy due to the Great Wetness and there are leaves atop that and every size of rock
imaginable and even some unimaginable all scattered through and about and around and I get maybe 20 feet further
down when I stop and look at the husbandperson standing in the dam valley with his phone in his hand and I call
down to him, "I think I might like to hold onto your hand!" so into his pocket goes the phone and I am saved from
further evil photographic efforts on his evil part and he comes up through the rocks and the leaves atop the mud and
extends his now phoneless hand, which I take and together we go down through the rocks and the leaves atop the
mud. I think he must shake his head a lot at the places I insist on going despite my bracedness but I figger, heck, even
broke folk need to poke about...so I do and besides, it gives him something to pray about.. Then we drive homeward
and stop by the Creekside Inn in Apollo for lunch, which is nice, and it is not until we pull into what laughingly passes
as a driveway but which is really only a parking place, that the first spatterings of rain, obviously also quite heliumless,
begin to, well, spatter. So now I am home and I guess it will snow by dark since I have autumned.

 

 

This is my classic view of the lake at the point where we always stop first. As we stood here I said, "I want this view out my front window."

What a great spot for a bench, isn't it!

 

 

Above and below...near the bench.

 

 

 

Then down near the point of land where there's what they call 'the beach'. This little maple was in the best condition of all the maples I saw.

 

 

Same little maple. No brown splotchies.

 

 

This is how you can tell a bench is NOT in Texas or Oklahoma. Drought is not the word that comes to mind when you see this bench.

 

 

I think this is my favorite shot of the day. This is in the area on the other side of the dam, beyond the spillway.

 

 

 

In the middle of the spillway. The water doesn't know which way to go so it flings itself at itself in the middle.

 

 

Carl walking to facilities while I was still by the spillway.

 

 

 

The rest of these are all taken up the slope to the left of the dam valley.

 

 

 

I just took this one because it shows the brown discoloration of what should be solid yellow leaves.

 

 

Standing in the dam valley looking at the dam. Has a road across the top.

 

 

I took this as I started up the left slope. There's Carlito in the dam valley, bottom edge of dam on the left.

 

 

Lower edges of the slope, luring me onward.

 

 

A little home in the forest.

 

 

It takes me a while because I notice everything on my way. I thought about how this tree had probably once been a small

sapling several inches out from the end of the big rock and how now it's pressed so tightly against it.

 

 

As I looked at this, I, being me, thought I should really stuff a character I'm writing in there someday.

 

 

 

The only reason for this is I liked the arch the sycamore limb made. That's the dam through the leaves, not water.

 

LEAVES THAT CAUGHT MY EYE:

 

 

This was the first one, a sycamore lying upside down on the path by the spillway. I wondered why it had fallen when it was still so green.

It refused to talk, however, probably because of its very upside downness.

 

 

Then there was this curled poplar leaf stuck delicately in the roughness of dark bark and I liked the contrast.

 

 

I find felled sycamore leaves almost always to be the most eye-catching. This one was showing off its bi-coloredness atop green.

We have not had a frost yet so green is still green.

 

 

But an oak did catch my eye next by being brown among green with tiny blue flowers.

 

 

Then there was this oak/sycamore pair being green among the brown....just to be different.

 

 

Again, the great drama of a felled sycamore leaf.

 

 

I blame this sycamore for my journey up the slope. It struggled and struggled to free itself from the sharp, green grip of the dandelion

and with great effort pointed to its left, crying, "That way!" So what could I do but go?

 

 

And then there is the quiet respect that must be paid to a flash of bright orange in the midst of great brownness.

In the links below I've put two albums with other leaves that have attracted my eye in autumns past.

 

BACK TO JO'S OTHER PLACE

 

CROOKED CREEK OCT. 11, 2009

 

CROOKED CREEK NOV. 1, 2009

 

DOES A LEAF HAVE A TALE...1

 

DOES A LEAF HAVE A TALE...2