Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Her advance posters, displayed brilliantly up here on the ridge, were full of promise. The golds and oranges of her oak, maple, and sourwood vestments were adorned with dogwood red and holly green accents. Her wardrobe, exotic. And with the forecast calling for cloudless skies, it seemed the perfect time to wander down the hill to the river, to the big top, to gawk like a schoolboy as the beauty passed through.

There's one born every minute.

Along the river, Old Man Winter and his carnies had already started sweeping the debris of Autumn into the dust bin. Her costume, so full of paint on the ridge, stood threadbare in the river's basin, a pallet of tarnished gild. And the forecasted clear sky, that promise of stunning blue backdrops, was obscured by the pungent haze of wildfire smoke, carried the hundreds of miles from the western Carolinas and east Tennessee to settle into the cool trough of riverbed. I was late to the carnival.

But my disappointment quickly vanished as I opened my eyes to the awkward, tired beauty of it all. The closing stage of Autumn's striptease, that sideshow moment just before it all comes off. That final tired, smokey pause before all is revealed, the dingy curtain drops, and the crowd disperses into the night.

Fall's circus, as quickly as it had arrived, was on its way out of town once again.


Len Harris said...

very nice

Guy Franzen said...

Good stuff!

CathyB said...

Very nice, Mike -- and great pictures too. :) Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Ben said...

Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks Cathy! Hope your holidays are moving along pleasantly as well!

Appreciate the hello, Ben!

Unknown said...

Amazing stream
On the third one it looks like a a kind of stone village is put on the water....very strange
JP (:

Mike Sepelak said...

I agree with you, JP. Something ancient. Glad I'm not the only one struck by that. Cheers!