Search Results for 'fall'


My return trip to Bend is in full swing and I’ve been enjoying a mix of hiking and biking – both road and mountain bike.

One of my favorite hikes is the trail at Tumalo Falls. This is not the first time I’ve done this trail and I enjoy it every time I find myself in this area.

So not surprisingly, one of the first hikes I did on this trip was this one. It’s the trail that keeps on giving. At the trailhead you are treated to a spectacular falls of about 100 feet, and it’s a short walk up the trail to a viewing platform to get a really good look and listen.

But then you keep on walking up the trail along Tumalo Creek. And all along the way you find spots like this photo to the right.

In my case this visit I hiked up along the creek for 3-something miles and then turned back to make it an out and back hike. Not surprisingly given the direction of the water, the return trip on the trail is mostly downhill. And for that reason too – and because it’s a pretty popular trail – mountain bikers that ride this trail must only do-so going uphill.

As to logistics: I recommend getting out there early. It’s a very popular trail and spot not far from Bend and it fills up fast. Parking is very limited though you can find a spot along the side of the road into the trailhead if you can’t get a spot amongst the maybe dozen available at gravel lot. When I finished my hike I counted 30+ more cars along the road that weren’t there when I started. And this was a Monday.

Some other notes: there’s a pit toilet there at the trailhead in case the need arises. You need a parking permit. $5 on the way in at a self-pay station unless you have a $30 seasonal pass (not available on-site).

There’s something about autumn in central Texas that has me make a point of capturing photos of the fall color. Finding fall color here can sometimes be elusive. But I have great memories of fall color when I lived in the northern midwest and it’s a favorite season so I do take notice when I see any great displays of fall color around here.

The last time I posted about our Austin fall color was in 2018. I don’t remember if last year was just really busy or there just wasn’t much to take notice of. But this year, despite how much of a dumpster fire that 2020 has been, we’ve seen some really nice displays of color since early November.

Right now, the oaks are putting on an excellent display of color and I’ve made a point while out on my bike or while out walking to snag some photos. All of these photos were taken within biking distance of my front door.

And more:

It’s been a few more months now and I thought I’d post an update about how the cycling has been going since my prior post.

I’ve managed to keep up a pretty regular regimen of riding. I try to get out most days for an hour+ unless it’s raining or I’ve got something else planned for the day.

Early in September I was away for a couple days and then at some point mid month we finally got some rain so my Sept mileage is off my August pace but I still managed to log over the 300 miles threshold again this past month.

That was no doubt helped by some fantastic weather here in Austin as September came to a close. It’s not unusual for summer to linger on well into the fall around here but somehow we managed to get a nice blast of cooler fall air and the last week of the month has been spectacular. I took the photo of my bike propped in a big batch of Lantana just a couple days ago. The Lantana seems to be outdoing itself so far this fall.

Who knows about October… I hope we continue to have great weather like this. Maybe I can get out to the Texas hill country and do some longer rides. We shall see…

Monthly Cycling Sept 2020

Fall Color

Since I have posted in past years about our Austin fall color I would be remiss if I didn’t jot some notes on this year’s display.

I’m actually writing this on New Year’s Day of 2019 and back dating this post but I’m trying to catch up on my notes here. Call it a new year’s resolution.

2018 fall colors came earlier than I remember in past years. In fact, if you click thru the link above I had noted last year that we usually see our best color around the solstice in late December. That was not the case in 2018. In fact, both the photos here were taken the weekend of Thanksgiving.

The red Oak leaves were shot in Hunt, Texas. And the shot below was just in my neighborhood here in Austin.

I wasn’t the only one that noticed the display of color this year. Here’s just one reference I recall running across late in the year.

Fall generally seemed to be wetter and cooler than I remember in past years and I gotta figure that was a factor. And maybe some perfectly timed sunny days.

If you search back in this blog you’ll find that it’s pretty typical for me to go out looking for fall color at the end of the year. Here in Austin what would qualify as our autumn and winter seasons can sometimes be counted in days so if and when we have some fall color I try to take notice and capture just a bit. Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons.

Like most years, fall color peaks in Austin, TX closer to the winter solstice rather than after September concludes as it does in the more northern climes. So these pics are of course recent and just prior to Christmas.

These three photos all come from a single end of year walk and in fact were probably all within 100 yards of one another. The office complex just a couple block walk from my place has some nice trees and landscaping so as I walked through the area I snapped a few pics. (I was of course under the watchful eye of some security dude in a pickup the whole time … which is kinda weird in a way but maybe something for another post.)

My favorite of the bunch was the still bright red Oak leaf juxtaposed alongside its siblings that had already dropped to the ground. It was the only one I posted to Instagram.

I like Cedar Elms and it’s typical of them to get a lovely yellow hue before the leaves drop completely so I think I caught this one just in time.

You can get a sense of the time of day as well as the kind of filtered solstice winter light at the end the afternoon in the last of the three pics. I think this is called Maiden Grass (it’s not full enough to be Pampas Grass). I have some at my home as well. It’s one of the ornamental grasses we have planted all over this part of the world. Looks good year round. It’ll get cut back and then reappear in the spring.

With temps hovering in the low 40’s and everything looking wet and gray it wasn’t exactly an inviting day for my usual weekend pursuit of cycling so it was time to hit the trail. And since I’m routinely in search of fall color around here at this time of year it was a good opportunity to look for some colorful foliage.

Rusty Yellow

Many of the leaves this year have a kind of rusty appearance. Like the color just couldn’t quite take hold. I wonder if it’s because it’s been very wet – for Austin – this fall?

We don’t seem to get those big hillsides full of colorful trees around here so you have to get close to take in the color. Real close!

I spotted this little group of leaves shortly after getting on the trail. When I see three leaves together like this my first thought is always poison ivy but I don’t think that’s what this is. But who knows?

Wet Leaves

A bit further down the trail, I happened upon a section that was mostly leaves underfoot. The tree above was practically bare already. I really liked the colors though. This spot just off the trail hadn’t been trampled.

Red Leaves

This pretty tree was next to where the trail was covered by leaves. Loved the color. Here again though some of that rusty kind of color.

Can’t Quite Decide

The reds and greens together on these oak leaves were beautiful. But it’s like the tree couldn’t quite decide it was time to get colorful or not. Both brilliant green and brilliant red at the same time.

I think I have gotten my fall color fix in at this point but I may yet spot some more this year.

Just when I think our fall color for the year is gone I run across a bit more while out and about today. As my earlier note suggested, we can see spurts of color emerge from Oct to Christmas around here. It’s just rarely a whole lot at once. When I spot it, I admire it and if I’m lucky enough to have a camera handy I’ll snag a shot. Today was one of those days. I noticed this at the intersection of Hwy 2222 and Hwy 360 earlier this afternoon. I don’t know what kind of tree it is, but it’s one of the few species this year with brightly colored leaves. Can anyone tell me?

Fall Color

Our fall color this year in the Austin and central Texas area hasn’t been spectacular. I still hold out some hope we’ll see some bright trees between now and Christmas. The season change happens very slowly here and you might see some bit of color change as early Oct but more often now, around Thanksgiving, and up till Christmas.

It’s been pretty wet and cloudy on a regular basis here this fall. Great for filling up the lakes and creeks but doesn’t seem to do much for bright colors.

I happened by this little cluster of leaves last weekend out on the trail in my neighborhood. You take what you can get. You can find a few other pics of recent color if you paw through the Instagram photos in the righthand sidebar.

These were all taken at or near my place last weekend. The weather last weekend was quite nice in comparison to today – a week later. It was like 80+ last weekend and this weekend 40 degrees and raining. What a switch.

These were all taken with a 45mm macro lens on an Olympus OM-D EM-1. Not that tells you a lot if you’d just rather look at the photos.

PB170005

fall-butterfly

anole lizard

This one of some leaves was actually taken just yesterday. It’s surprisingly bright considering there was little to no sun out yesterday. It was a cloudy and cold (high 30’s) day. Fall color this year seems to be pretty muted and you have to go looking for it.

fall color 2013

Because we get so little of it, I make a point of capturing a shot of fall color here in Austin most every year. I looked through this blog and discovered I hadn’t posted a photo last year. Looks like it was all the way back to 2010 for the last installment. Our weather late this fall has been warm and dry. Too warm and too dry by many people’s accounts. It has, however, allowed for some decent leaf color to develop. The following photo was taken here, in Sun Tree Park in River Place, over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Austin fall color

If there’s one season I miss living here in Austin, it’s Fall. We do see some fall color, but you have to go looking for it and it doesn’t usually last long. I took these pictures just before Thanksgiving out on a trail near my place. Unlike yesterday, when we were pushing 80 degrees, today it feels like Fall again so it seemed appropriate to finally get around to posting these. It’s become something of an annual thing to post similar finds.

Austin leaves

leaves1
leaves2

Well can you believe it’s Thanksgiving already?! I blinked and November’s passed me by. By this time of year it finally starts to look and feel a little bit like fall here in Austin. Time once again for my annual search for something approaching fall color. Last weekend I got out on a hike on the Pather Hollow trail near here. It’s a short but peaceful trail that wanders along a creek. Though it’s tucked in amongst a heavily populated area of homes, you’d never know it.

While not quite as spectacular as the change of seasons I remember from ‘back home’, I managed to find some interesting displays of color. My favorite picture of the bunch is the one below of the leaves floating on the water. A real mosaic of colors.

Happy Thanksgiving!

leaves and water

Fall Color in Austin TX
Fall Color in Austin TX
Fall Color in Austin TX

The last couple weekends I’ve managed to get out for a some bike rides, and last weekend I brought the camera with me. We finally managed to get a little bit of fall color around here. They took their sweet time about it, and there’s not a lot of it, but some of the trees really put on quite a show.

Of the three pictures here, two are of a type of pear tree that traditionally has some great fall color around Austin at this time of year. The other is of course an oak of some kind.

As I rode by the same trees this weekend, the wind this past week had already taken most of the leaves off the pear tree. I guess I caught the photo at the peak time.

Chas at HCC
Chas at HCC 2

It’s Fall! Time once again for the round of fall rides in Texas. Last weekend was first one of the season for me and Kem.

The Hill Country Challenge ride was last weekend in Burnet. Finally getting around to some notes on it. We chose to do the 64 miler. I’ve ridden out in that area before, but as it turned out, a fair bit of the 64 mile route (actually 65 by my count) was on roads I’d never done before. Nice change of pace. And I really liked the route. Way off the beaten path and for a good part of it at the start, practically zero traffic. Some places I’m likely to return to ride again.

You put up with a lot of cattle guards, rough roads and low water crossings in these remote areas though. Not a big deal, but you really have to be careful. In this case, many of the cattle guards had a gap right up the middle. Don’t see that too often. Very easy for the wheel of even a mountain bike to get snagged in there. Even though someone had gone out in advance and spray painted such obstacles orange, someone took a header on one of the cattle guards. Apparently she was ok, but the helmet she was wearing is no more. I don’t know for sure, but might have been a case of some folks in a pace line. I don’t really think these kind of rides/roads are all that suited to the pace line crowd but you always find them anyway. The problem is, a rider in back doesn’t see that the cattle guard has a gaping crack right down the center – even if someone shouts it out.

They chose the weekend of the Austin City Limits music festival to do the ride, so I’m not sure they got the turnout they were expecting. Still though, there was a decent number of people that attended considering that for most folks participating means driving an hour or more out to Burnet. The food after was good. Salad, pasta and some chicken. And for a change, I actually liked the t-shirt they were giving out. Overall, great ride.

The pink bike in the second picture is undoubtedly Kem’s wonderful Tommasini.

I mentioned the Bluebonnets in the last post so I’d be remiss if I didn’t post an obligatory shot of the Bluebonnets this year. We’ve gotten rain at the right times throughout the fall and through the winter and early spring and this year we’re seeing a bumper crop of Bluebonnets and other wildflowers.

I took this one just in the last hour or so on a walk at the end of the day. As you can see by the bit of light hitting the trees in the background it was before sunset but not by much.

I liked how this shot turned out. I captured one main Bluebonnet up front and in focus while you still get some perspective of how prolific the flowers have been this spring. There wasn’t much light left but – enough.