Creek, Late October

The mystery of the early red leaves

Sometimes one leaf will grab you.

The shallows ripple with casual flair


The water twists rays from both canopy and sky overhead, while downed leaves float around and onward. There’s plenty of color because we still have major green out there although some leaves have started to turn. Green, red, yellow, and blue show up in the currents.

Tilting towards blue

Wild water on a mild afternoon

Once the rapids get going the water moves fast, like cats do.

Just another creek with brilliance

Every twist and turn

The shadow changes when you’re not looking

So now I’m fiddlin’ with settings on the camera like never before . . .  because time, fatigue, being busy, always kept me from deeper exploration. I got the color too jazzed this time! But I figured something out while shooting these and seeing them afterwards, and the next creek post’s pictures will be better, er, well, different. But meanwhile, this way too bright color might make ya dizzy but it’s fun . . .


Fall usually comes on slowly here and this year it’s at a crawl. Some leaves began to change while others persisted, content to stay green. What factors trigger each individual species I don’t know. After the first wave of turning that you see here, taken October 28th, we got a whale of a lot of rain. The Tulip Tree leaves were changing and some had fallen in the creek. The red leaves of a vine that usually speckle the canopy views of pine made an early, less prominent appearance this year, and then vanished.

Yeah, this is the place. Fall has arrived! LOL

Here’s the Tulip Tree!

The view upstream

Now in late November lots of leaves have been downed by the rains, but the Sweetgum yellows are going gangbusters.  In the last few days there’s been a new wave of color, oranges and yellows, only a few reds; but I still see lots of green outside, too. It’s not so peculiar because the sequences have differed slightly over the last several autumn seasons. I bet it’s possible to trace the causation and someone out there would know how to explain the interplay of elements: weather patterns, the off-beat rhythms some plants go into, the particular sort of tree mix in the particular surrounding forest. In the next post I’ll not only be doing something different with the camera, the forest and the creek will have moved along, too.

Ultraviolet, glorious and sweet

Still miss this catgirl Ultraviolet and the way we used to mull over the creek together.

Franklin settling in the first day

We do have a new sleek little cat guy.

Instant abstraction

Looking close and quick

Until next time

Trees galore!

The canopy soars

Hoping to post more pictures later!

This is the comment I left on the previous post about my hospital stay and still ongoing recovery:

Thanks y’all so much for all the kind and encouraging words! I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to answer your comments individually, but please know they have made a real difference and they mean a lot to me. Recovery has been gradual and I don’t think I’ll get back to being even as energetic as I was before. So with less “juice” to go around, I’ve been crazy busy, but I don’t accomplish much per day because I work in super slo-mo. I’ve enjoyed keeping up with everyone’s blogs and websites and I hope to get around more in the future.


About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in Cats, Creeks, Nature and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Creek, Late October

  1. Most often, the holidays take us through so fast, we forget the glimpses of nature’s beauty. Cheers!

  2. Candace says:

    I’m sorry I missed this post, Leah. So happy that you have another kitty in your life. Hard to have a house a home without a resident cat. He’s cute! Glad you’re recovering.

    • Catwoods says:

      No worries about missing posts, I miss stuff all the time, that’s just what happens to those who lead busy lives. Franklin and I thank you for the good wishes! Those times we did not have a cat or cats in the house have been few and short, fortunately, because the place did indeed feel empty without one!

  3. cat9984 says:

    Glad the recovery is continuing. Your pictures are gorgeous. Hopefully Franklin will turn into either a muse or editor for you like Bud and Ultraviolet

  4. I love your eye for combining colors with water shimmer. It’s a great place to experiment with the camera!

  5. terrepruitt says:

    Wow! So pretty. I am sorry about you having been in the hospital. I missed that info, I’ll go look for it. I hope you are doing better. The photos are fun! Franklin is a cutie. I’ve never stopped missing/mourning my Spot the Cat, but I do adore my new kitties. (“New” as in three years.)

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks, terrepruitt, I’m happy you like the pictures! Franklin is happy you think he’s cute! Sorry to hear about your loss of Spot the Cat, we are the same here, we love Franklin but still miss UV, and all the others of the past.

  6. Lavinia Ross says:

    Those are beautiful photos! I am glad to see little Franklin settling in. Yes, it always hurts to lose one, and you will miss Ultraviolet for a long time. I feel for your loss, and rejoice in your newest arrival.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Lavinia, I’m happy you like the photos! Thanks also for your kind words about Ultraviolet and little cutie pie Franklin. He is indeed a joy!

  7. So wonderful to see your magical photos! And congrats on the new cat guy family member! Missing Ultraviolet is okay–you go on missing her as long as you need to.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for your kind words, CatLadyintheCanyon and for sharing in our joy of having new kitty Franklin! I do feel I’ll be missing my UV girl a long time.

  8. RMW says:

    I’m sure you have great memories of Ultraviolet. Did you know the 2018 Pantone color of the year was Ultraviolet. So that seems appropriate. PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet to be exact!

    • Catwoods says:

      I am holding on and treasuring the memories of Ultraviolet, who was an especially sweet kitty, RMW. That’s interesting about the PANTONE color of the year being Ultraviolet! You know I think I may have seen something about that, and I’m glad you reminded me!

  9. arlingwoman says:

    I don’t know what you’re doing to settings, but the colors are great. Our fall has been slow as well. Some trees still have a lot of green, even after we’ve had frost. I’ve heard speculation that could be about all the rain we’ve had. Who knows? I hope your recovery continues at a steady pace.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for the kind words and encouragement, arlingwoman! We usually go to the creek when the sun is bright. The camera sees the colors in the water that the human eye doesn’t. There’s a setting for more vivid colors and I used that on high, and then there’s a setting for brighter light/darker light. I think I had that set too far towards the light end. I don’t know how it relates to the old f-stops because I never really learned those. I was a painter and mixed media artist before.

  10. The photos give a sense of calm- -hopefully a healing effect for your body and soul.

  11. catsworking says:

    So sorry to hear you’ve been ill. Can’t tell from your absolutely breathtaking photography. Whatever you’re doing with the camera is amazing. The leaves never really turned in Central Virginia. They were still green into late October. We had a big storm that started ripping them down, then they turned brown and started falling. Very little color anywhere. Drabbest fall I can remember.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks for you kind words, catsworking. That’s really interesting about the fall not being very colorful in Virginia. I’ve seen that happen here at times. Ours did slowly turn but as of the last few days they look dry.

  12. Have to say those leaves and the creek make lovely images and such vibrant colours too. Flowing water creates ever-changing patterns and moods if you have the right props and scenery.
    Purrs ERin

  13. niasunset says:

    Blessing and Happiness to you all, and this lovely Franklin too, loved so much. Thanks and Love, nia

  14. niasunset says:

    I am so glad to see your new post dear Leah and also your new photographs. They are so beautiful, you take a wonderful creek images, I loved the colours…. Thank you, Love, nia

    • Catwoods says:

      Nia, thank you so much, I’m happy you liked the photos! I enjoy yours so much every day! I like the bright colors myself but I’d like to learn how to make pictures that look more natural but still have all the right balances of dark, light, grays, and saturation of colors.

  15. DS Levy says:

    Leah, your photos are beautiful, and reading your words along with the photos is like experiencing a word/image poem. So lovely! And of course, we cat lovers appreciate your including pics of UV and Franklin — thank you! Hope you’re feeling better, stronger. The love of new little 4-legged is great medicine. 🙂 Deb

    • Catwoods says:

      Deb, I’m so glad you liked the pictures! And the one of Franklin, I did put in there because you said you’d like to see more … most of my Franklin pictures are in the camera and it’ll be a few days before I unload again. Franklin is a joy for sure!

  16. Cate says:

    Natural or enhanced, those colors are glorious! And your relationship with the creek and trees, so lovingly documented, is always a joy to observe. I appreciate the energy and time you take to share, Leah, when each is precious. Oh, and … I have a feeling Franklin will grow into an editing position as he settles in. 🙂

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Cate, I’m so happy you enjoyed the post! I do think Franklin will one day help edit. He’s helped the husband edit a little but LOL he mostly wants to run and play! We’ll enjoy his antics until he matures somewhat!

  17. Lauren says:

    Leah, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful colors and apperceptions. Your vibrant consciousness matches the beauty and vibrance of your natural world. It’s just wonderful, and it makes me so happy for you!

    • Catwoods says:

      Lauren thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I did discover I had left a vital factoid/connection out of a sentence when I first posted! I’ve fixed it now, sort of. I like the bright color myself but I’d really like learn to make photos that look natural with the right light/dark balances and ranges of gray.

  18. Lovely photos – and it is definitely fun to play

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Maureen, I’m happy you enjoyed the photos. I like the bright colors myself and they really are lots of fun, but I would like to be able to make pictures that look more natural, too.

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