Mountains Call

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” ~ John Muir

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall…” ~ Oscar Wilde

One of my favorite sayings is that “a cliche is a cliche for a reason.”  Cliches become such because there’s a kernel of truth buried at the core of the oft-repeated phrase.  The same with sayings or quotes that get served up time after time on social media.  They resonate because there’s something at their core that speaks a truth, even if (cliche alert!) you can’t quite put your finger on it.  Mountains do call, if you listen closely enough.  Summer does collapse into fall, if you open your eyes.

The sun rises later and goes to bed earlier, mornings are longer, the air crisper, remnants of the night’s rain linger longer on the ground and branches and sidewalks, the chill of the air takes longer to relinquish its hold on the morning to the warming rays of the autumnal sun.  Apples ripen and flowers fade, crabapples fall to the ground, and squirrels flit about in a last flurry of gathering before settling in for the long embrace of winter.

This is my favorite time of year.  While leaves turn and fade and fall and the ground turns to brown and the animals gorge one last time and the last crops are cut and the pungent sweet smell of wood fires start to float along the evening breezes, this is when I smile, content to watch the earth prepare to slumber.

A couple of weeks ago the mountains did call, whispering tales of turning leaves, and I did go, camera in hand, to walk among the turning aspens and breathe in the crisp air and look out at the bands of color green then yellow then orange crashing across the valley below likes waves…


As I walked, clouds started to roll in, soft and cool, whispering, carrying away the sounds of summer and wrapping themselves around the trees and laying across the ground, ushering in the silence of transition…


A couple of weeks later, after high winds and dustings of snow in the Sangre de Cristos above Santa Fe, I knew that fall would soon give way to winter, so I went again to capture that last gasp of autumn orange before the landscape faded to the dull grey of winter…

Leaves shimmered in the breeze, morning light kissing them gently…


And, again, the clouds came in, darker, brooding, ready to slam the door shut on fall.  Snow started to fall, gently, silently, as I made my way down the path, but one last gasp of orange and gold presented itself to me, an offering, and I accepted.




If you’d like to see more of my work, my online portfolio (where my work can be purchased) is here.  I post photos daily on Facebook, share my photography journey on Twitter (@KSchafferPhoto), and share iPhone pics from the road and around the house on Instagram (kschafferphoto).



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