Search Results for 'fall'


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.

As you can see by the big grin on my face in the photo below our weather in central Texas has finally felt a bit more like fall in recent weeks. And that means that I can cycle at something other than the crack of dawn (or at least pretty early in the morning) to avoid the oppressive Texas heat.

While this particular bike ride in the photo was out in the Texas hill country earlier in October we’ve generally had some pretty good weekends for cycling throughout October. While I’ve backdated this post I’m actually writing this toward the end of October on the 29th. This weekend and particularly today, the 29th, was superb for getting outdoors and cycling. I did a city ride of around 24 miles today and it was a perfect day to be out. As I write this the day finishes with mid 70s and abundant sun. You gotta love fall weather in Texas.

Out Cycling Between Burnet and Bertram, Texas

I hadn’t been out to the Salt Lick in a long time. But, it’s the kind of place that doesn’t change that much over the years. With it being the Thanksgiving Day weekend it wasn’t like I was in need of a lot more food. I’ve been more than well fed in recent days. But with some out-of-towners saying they really wanted to go to the Salt Lick it seemed like a good day to go check it out again.

With weather wet and in the 40’s I would have figured there wasn’t a lot of folks that were interested in getting out and driving down to the Driftwood area to have a big meal of BBQ. But then of course I’d be wrong. Now as crowds go, they can be a lot larger at the Salt Lick. You can wait for hours. But arriving mid afternoon on a holiday weekend Sunday, we got in right away.

I got the baby back ribs but had the luxury of sampling some of the brisket as well as the sausage. The ribs and the brisket were very enjoyable. Wasn’t as much of a fan of the sausage. BBQ aficionados from here in central Texas can sometimes pooh-pooh the Salt Lick. It’s touristy and this or that and doesn’t measure up to some other vaunted BBQ place somewhere in TX. But they’re popular and have been for ages for a reason. It tastes good. And the service is good especially considering the throng of people they deal with routinely.

These days, they also have a wine tasting place right on the other side of the dining room where you can find Texas wines that just happen to go quite well with a plate of BBQ. We opted for a bottle of Fall Creek Tempranillo sourced from the Salt Lick vineyard. Can’t get more local than that, and it worked well with the barbecue.

Sides were potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, jalapeƱos, pickles, onions and mounds of bread. I passed on the onions and bread but tried the rest. All fine if not exactly piping hot. I’m not as much of a fan of the sauces but that’s just personal taste.

All in all, can’t beat a trip out to the start of the hill country and some tasty BBQ. A nice finish to the Thanksgiving Day weekend.

In my last post, I mentioned visiting the VinoRama. It reminded me a lot of some of my recent visits to regional enotecha in Piedmont. In this case, the VinoRama represented many wines from the Lavaux region.

If you’re just inclined to try wines of the region or are headed to Lausanne or Montreux it’s pretty easy to get to the VinoRama, you don’t even need a car. You can take the train from Geneva (or whereever) to Lausanne and then from there, grab a more regional train to Rivaz. From the train station there, it’s walkable.

There were hundreds of regional wines on display and available for purchase at the VinoRama, which I must say is a pretty great name for a wine showcase. You can also taste a set of wines as well. There are several choices on the tastings. I chose an option that included some bread and snacks with it. The tasting I got included 3 whites (Chasselas) and I think 3 reds as well. Though the guy helping me, Louis, may have sensed I was interested in something else and he brought out the Z Collection you see here. It was my favorite and this was the only one I bought. I wish I could tell you what is in it but my notes are sketchy and I couldn’t find too much of a description of it at the web site I dug up for it.

The VinoRama is set back into the hillside next to a pretty little waterfall. Once you get in, it’s really dark. I guess they’re going for a kind of ‘cave’ like setting. In addition to the wines, there is also a little movie theater that does a show about growing wine in the area. It’s done in a different language depending on what you want to see. I think they do it by request.

My tasting started with a set of 3 of Chasselas wines. I don’t know much about Chasselas wines. In fact, this recent visit to Switzerland may have been the first time I can recall them. Who knows, years ago I was in Switzerland and maybe had some, I don’t remember. These three were good but my memory is that the 2nd one in the photo here was more to my liking. The wines are definitely minearly but more round in texture. I’d try them again if I can find them back home.

I’ve been fairly surprised by how few people seem to be in some of the places I’ve visited here in Piedmont. There’s no doubt that high season is later in the fall when the big truffle celebration goes on for weeks but I expected to see more people and have to deal with some waits. The weather hasn’t been great and I think that’s a factor. Anyway, it allowed me to have a completely private and personal tasting session at Borgogno in the heart of Barolo.

These wineries may have storied names, but they’re all new to me. But I’ll have to say I’ll be looking these up again. Here I tried a set of reds. From a simple Barbera D’Alba to the beefiest Barolos.

Not knowing much better, I let my tasting guide, Andrea, make some suggestions for me. He’s pictured in the upper right photo pouring one of the wines. The final 3 wines (on the left) were the most interesting wines to me. First, the “No Name”. He had to tell me some of the story there. Apparently it’s a ‘protest’ wine. It can’t be called “Barolo” because of some technicality in the Italian laws so they went out of their way with the name (or rather, no name) to make a point. I didn’t bother to get into the details of the local laws but suffice to say it apparently irritates some of the winemakers.

The No Name was decidedly lighter and fruiter in character than the other two true Barolos I tried. Of those two, my clear favorite was the 2009 Liste. Liste is the name of the vineyard. This one was 4 years on oak, one in bottle. By contrast the 2007 Riserva was said to have been aged 6 years on oak, one in bottle. The Liste seemed ready to drink now, while the other was quite a bit more tannic for my taste.

Really enjoyed the tasting here and Andrea was really helpful. Andrea also let me take the clear glass elevator up to the top terrace roof deck. Very nice birds eye view. I took some photos there of the countryside before heading on to snag lunch.