Sea Blue Lens

Soul Food


Like everyone else I know, I’ve been grieving the results of Tuesday’s election. This post will have nothing to say about that, because I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been expressed by others…many others. This post is about what I did yesterday afternoon to distract and soothe myself.

I picked up my camera and I went for a walk.

fallen leafFallen Leaf

I followed the Saco Riverwalk, which begins just a few blocks from my apartment. To get there, I had to pass the covered bridge to the little park next door, where I paused to take the photo above.

fernNext I found this delicate fern growing out of a crack in the wall of a railroad overpass.

pathWhen I got to the river walk, the path was so leaf-strewn that it was barely visible. It’s narrow and slopes steeply down to the river’s edge, so I kept my eyes on where I was placing my feet.

daisy-boulderI came across a few wildflowers still blooming. This large, round boulder is a puzzle — it looks completely out of place atop the angular granite riverbank. I wondered how it got here.

rose hipsRosa Multiflora is a terribly invasive plant, and there’s a lot of it in this area. But it is beautiful! It’s covered in tiny white flowers in the summer and masses of small red hips in the fall and winter. I’ve read that they are edible, but I’ve never tried it.

twigsMany trees have already shed their leaves. You’d think those ones at the very tips of the branches would have been the first to go, but they are hanging on tenaciously.

benchA favorite resting place. I love this view to the neighboring town across the river.

birchesThis clump of birches is one of my favorite places to take selfies. Yes, I did get my phone out of my pocket and snapped a few. Not very successfully, though – it’s a windy spot, and I couldn’t keep my hair out of my face!

bare birchesAnd here are the tops of those birches. This makes me think of spatter painting.

oak leavesThere’s not much red left, so I was especially pleased to spot these oak leaves.

dsc_0989The river widens into a little bay here and the path curves left to follow it around.

bittersweetWith apologies to my friends who have to pay florists exorbitant prices for a bit of bittersweet — this stuff is everywhere.

wall of goldAnd here the trail swings back to the right…

power easement…to follow this power line easement.

chickadeeI don’t know what those tall, auburn-colored plants alongside the trail are, but they were filled with the rustling and twittering of small birds. I saw many chickadees, busy doing whatever chickadees do in the fall, calling out their cheery little “chickadee-dee-dee.” (This image is greatly cropped, since I didn’t have my tele lens with me.)

leaf carpetAt the top of the hill, more trees and so many leaves! I sat down in the middle of these for a while, just inhaling their delicious spicy scent. The river walk has turned away from the river now, and is circling back toward town.

yellow leavesFrom here, there’s just a glimpse of the water. The tide was out so the water level was very low. (The Saco River rises and falls with the ocean tides all the way to the center of town.)

red leafOne more surprise: a single scarlet leaf on a bright golden maple tree.

trail's endAnd that brings us to the trail’s end. Those steps on the left lead up to a small parking area, where I begin my zigzag path along the neighborhood streets and sidewalks toward home.

On the way home, I looked up and saw this:

crisscross cloudsCrisscross Clouds

And an hour or so later, the day’s final gift:

sunset viewFrom My Window

I needed that, so very much. I hope it has lifted you up a little bit, too.

34 thoughts on “Soul Food

  1. Well done. I love your chickadee. No one can be upset listening to a chickadee’s cheerful chatter. Thanks for the uplift.

  2. Lovely shots, and great job not falling down the hill! That is a skill I hope to master myself one day. 😉

  3. Love the first one with the leaf. I also got a great shot of the wonderful sunset last night.

  4. What trail are you on?

  5. Your walk does look very lovely and peaceful. I should find the Saco river from this end…I’ts such a big river and we used to go when we camped in North Conway…You still have some lovely foliage left, as do we, but it has been windy here all day so I’m sure it took some of the leaves out of the tree…I enjoyed this little “reprieve” with you…lovely colors and compositons,,,
    Each day will get a bit better. I have found that no tv is working for me..I’m getting back into my books…

  6. Another lovely walk through the woods with you. You artist, you!

  7. Such lovely fall color.

  8. So soothing. This did my heart good.

  9. Such a great idea to go for a walk like this during this tumultuous week. Your gorgeous fall images of nature definitely lifted my spirits. Some of them are particular favourites but they are all great!

  10. These are all so beautiful…the bittersweet, the chickadees …the colors, the bolder. I feel like I too went on a walk.!

  11. These are such gorgeous pictures. Truly soul nourishing after a shattering few days. I love that silver fern peaking through the rocks, what a persistent and cheeky little thing. Autumn is my favourite time of year, and all those leaves are stunning. I find trees so nurturing and protective. They give me strength. They also remind me of one of my favourite quotes…. ‘Storms make oaks take deeper root,’ by George Herbert. We are in a storm indeed.

  12. There are stunning images. And just looking at them and “walking” with you…I feel more peaceful. Thanks. I really needed this.

  13. Thank you for this lovely walk. Your images are breathtaking, as always! Not only do I appreciate the peace and beauty, but I’m enjoying the color. It doesn’t look like there’ll be much color here. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had rain. The leavers are pretty much turning brown and falling off. I’m have to look for color in mums and pumpkins! I also went for a walk yesterday though a beautiful garden. A post will come, but probably next week. Have a lovely weekend!

  14. Well done – a very healing, strengthening view of the world. Thank you.

  15. These are all so gorgeous and definitely worth the walk while the sense of autumn still holds on. We as the American people will hold on to and come out better in the end for it. I LOVED that Rosa Multiflora photo and the tree branches would make great paintings. So much goodness right outside your door.

  16. Indeed it has (lifted my spirits), my friend.
    It’s been a tough week for many.
    Thank you, dear Lee.

  17. Thank you Lee for this beautiful experience. I feel refreshed and my senses like to repeat the impressions you described.

  18. What a beautiful walk Lee such beauty in that part of the country. On your second image of the fern picking out of the rocks I have almost an identical one from my walk when I was in OR. Wish I could have been there to experience this walk with you.

  19. This was a beautiful walk! I love that you looked all around you, up and down… I love the rosa multiflora photo – and what a beautiful sky end your walk with!

  20. Beautiful and heartwarming

  21. Just amazing photos, love them, love the feel of them.

  22. Beautiful fall shots and a very good plan to try to get over the disappointment ( is that the word) of the election. So glad to have photography and blogging as wonderful distractions

  23. Gorgeous photos of autumn. You have captured beautiful colours and light.

  24. A beautiful way to clear your head & distract yourself from political commentary everywhere. Such a gorgeous part of the world!

  25. I think you spent that day in one of the best ways I can imagine. Nature is such a soothing healer.
    You live in a lovely area. The river is gorgeous, and how beautiful is all the fall color! You have captured autumn in its essence. The last picture is a feast in colors. Exquisite.

  26. What great therapy for these trying times! Your images are so lovely, with the beautiful fall colors and woodsy feel. You live in a special place. Thank you for taking us along. Happy Thanksgiving!

  27. Revisiting this post. I need a bit of this therapy. “It” still feels unreal to me. I have to stay away from social media because all the horrible posts are making me sick.

  28. Dear me … I feel so sad … I thought I had commented on this… I know I read it a while ago. Anyway, here I am revisiting this beautiful post. I could feel your pain, but the absolute beauty of your area is so soothing. Thank you for taking us along on your walk. I loved every image, but for some reason the rose hips and the bittersweet were calling my name 🙂 good thing I’m not around there with my snippers! Take heart my friend. xo

  29. All of this soothed me. Wonderful, thoughtful, expressive, simple, beautiful. Thank you for sharing your gift Léon.

  30. I love your wonderful photos!

  31. I really like your blog! Your fall photos are lovely. The essence of Maine!

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