Autumn Painting. (Original Work.)

What a spectacular day we had! I've been trying to take as many good-weather days off in October as possible, so that my husband and I can get out and watch the foliage show. This day was one we had picked to take off, and it turned out to be a real winner!

The day began with a hard freeze. It took a while to take the chill off, and even by late morning, there were frost pockets in the shadows on the lawn. Just as it started to get warmer, we packed up and left the house in search of colors.

Our day would involve three separate stops. The first was at Couch's Restaurant and Grocery in McAlevy's Fort, for a wonderful lunch of a hot turkey sandwich with french fries and gravy and a roll, accompanied by THREE - yes, THREE - sides of cole slaw, oh lucky me! My husband had the meatloaf, which is his favorite. Comfort foods to go along with the cooler weather.

The second was Whipple Dam, my favorite summer swimming hole. There we walked a bit of the trail around the lake and enjoyed the foliage reflections on the water. Though I started the hike wearing a fleece jacket, things warmed up quickly along the sunny lakeside, and soon, I had to take it off.

The third stop was the Mid-State Trail at Jo Hays Vista, along the top of Pine Grove mountain. It's on route 26 about 15 minutes south of State College. We used to hike there a lot in the early years, and my husband calls the trail "Boot Killer." The rocky trail is a challenge for boots and ankles, with rocks that slip out from under your step, rock back and forth, and are covered in slick leaves.

We parked at Jo Hays Vista, crossed the road, and made our way out along the top of the ridge, stopping to admire some of the views of the valley stretched out below. On top of the hill, it was quite breezy and chilly; I soon had a wind shell on and my face was chapped and pink from windburn. (Girly tip: never forget to moisturize before and after outdoor adventures.)

The foliage colors we saw were just fantastic! And so that's what I'm featuring (again) in today's shots. The photo above is a reflection shot I caught through a little old-fashioned cistern/spillway along the edge of Whipple Dam.

There were leaves trapped in the water of the cistern, and I realized I could frame the reflections on the main lake through the little structure. I then turned the image two clicks to the right and cropped it, for an end result that (I thought) looked something like a framed autumn painting.

The three (THREE!) extra photos are also of foliage reflections at Whipple Dam, and I hope you enjoy them. What a marvelous leaf-peeping show we had, and we didn't even have to drive very far to see it. And then we made our way safely home, where we finished off the leftovers from our hot lunch. Yum! Good hikes and good food make for a winning day.

In honor of the "painting" above, I wanted the song that accompanies this posting to be about painting. And so here is a song I've never used before on Blip. It was all the rage in the 70s and 80s, and was played at pretty much every single wedding I ever went to during those years. (Despite all of that, I still like it. Go figure.) David Gates, from the 70s group Bread, wrote it, and he sings it with the voice of an angel. The song is David Gates, with If.  If a picture paints a thousand words . . .

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