A weekend of fuss-worthy weather

I wouldn’t blame the casual reader of this blog for concluding that Minnesotans talk about nothing but the weather.

But when you consider that our temperature range here is a whopping 174 degrees (and that it once dropped 71 degrees in a single day), perhaps you can understand all the fuss. And boy, was last weekend fuss-worthy!

A week ago Friday I visited the Quaking Bog, near Eloise Butler. This is one of my favorite fall hikes in the Twin Cities because it has such a mix of color — golden aspens, red maples, deep-brown oaks, evergreens.

Quaking bog leaves 1360138 BLOG

And although those colors were still patchy on Friday, they were brilliant in the late-afternoon sun.

Quaking bog 1360145 BLOG

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Quaking bog 1360133 BLOG

I was sad that several pines had been vandalized, though (because even with peace symbols, the paint is still toxic to the trees). People are so weird sometimes.

Quaking bog grafitti 1360159 BLOG

Saturday brought a stroll through the Como Conservatory in St. Paul. It does my soul good to visit these huge greenhouses where it’s always summer.

Como orchid 1360253 cBLOG

In the beautiful Japanese Garden, however, it was definitely fall. I loved how the yellow maple leaves highlighted the stone paths and … well, pretty much everything.

Como Japanese garden 1360195 BLOG

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And what about these Japanese maple leaves, dancing in the wind?

Como Japanese garden 1360215 BLOG

The Como Conservatory also has a vast and gorgeous bonsai collection, which by itself is worth a visit. I was especially smitten on Saturday with the tamarack grove — perhaps because it reminded me of my recent trip to the North Shore.

Como Japanese garden 1360249 BLOG

Maybe because I had bonsai on the brain I was drawn to a little ficus in the gift shop, looking unkempt and neglected. I forgot to take a “before” photo; but here’s how Gus looked after his first haircut.

Bonsai haircut 1360786 BLOG

On Sunday I had planned to drive north for one more shot at the fall color, but instead got distracted by the snow.

Woods dogwalk 1360465 BLOG

Gibbs Farm soddie 1360718 BLOG

Isn’t that crazy? I can’t remember the last time I saw snow pile up on flowers and still-green leaves.

Flowers in snow 1360636 BLOG

Woods in fallwinter 1360328 BLOG

Woods winterfall 1360396 BLOG

The photos really don’t do it justice.

Woods fallwinter 1360519 BLOG

Woods wintersnow 1360493 BLOG

But by that afternoon we were back in the 40s. That’s when I became inexplicably fascinated with water drops on oak leaves. (Let’s just all be glad that photography provides a harmless outlet when these things capture my attention.)

Oak leaf with water 1360549 CC BLOG

Oak leaf with water 1360572 BLOG

Oak leaves with water 1360605 BLOG

Perhaps I’ll entice Esteban out for one last peek at the fall colors this weekend. Or perhaps not. Either way, I promise to move on soon to other topics. Like Rouen. Mont Saint-Michel. And maybe a preview of our trip to Rome!

Thank you, as always, for stopping by.






    • In honor of your recent birthday, I will do my famous anti-snow dance and point it toward your corner of the world. 🙂

  1. Lovely pictures. We haven’t had snow yet in Montreal (though we might this weekend) and the fall colours haven’t been very good as it has been so windy lately that the leaves have fallen before fully turning colours. It is good to see the colours in your area. (Suzanne)

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Suzanne! What a pity that you didn’t get much color this year in Montréal … though you’ve certainly made up for it with your colorful travels, yes? 😉 It’s been incredibly windy here the past two days as well, so it’s time to officially kiss the colors (and the fall) goodbye. SIGH.

    • Vielen, vielen Dank! The Japanese garden really is beautiful — and it’s wonderful to see how it changes over the seasons. Thank you so much for stopping by; I appreciate your kind comment.

  2. Heidi,
    Great works of art! I love the fact that your blog is so colorful,and you take the time to enjoy your photographs! I’ll try to put some of my pictures up on a blog so you can see mine as well. Enjoy the weather,

  3. Wow! 😀…
    And we complain at the weather here in Britain, we can quite easily see all four seasons in one day here, but the changes aren’t so extreme.

    I haven’t been here in ages, for some reason when you leave a comment with me there’s been no link to come back, but I’ve found you again now, and poked about in the settings so hopefully I can come back more often. 😊

    • My husband and I do joke sometimes that we’re living in “Britain on steroids,” Sallyann. And in all fairness, it probably feels even worse in Britain than it does here because of all that damp.

      How strange that my comments don’t show up with a link, though. Don’t even know how to go about investigating THAT one — so an extra thank you for your persistence in finding a way to come visit. Thank you, thank you!

  4. Your weather is crazy! I can’t imagine that kind of temperature fluctuation, short of getting on a plane and flying to a different season. You seem to take it in stride. Your photos are lovely. They make me long for a good walk in the forest, something that I have to drive to do around here. I like the way you savor and enjoy each moment outdoors. As for water drops on leaves, they are infinitely appealing. I’m happy to hear that winter is just a dress rehearsal for now. Fall has barely gotten underway. xo

    • Don’t be fooled, lovely Alys: You should hear my howls of protest when the weather changes too abruptly! But most of my fellow Northerners are a stoic people (descendants of Vikings, dontcha know) and carry on with little outward complaint. You’re right about how lucky I am to live by a small patch of woods, though — a privilege I hope I never take for granted. Thank you so much for stopping by and for brightening my day with your lovely comment!

  5. what I like about autumn. And to say that this year I have not really had time to admire the pretty colors of nature.
    Nice to see them at your place.
    Tell me ; are the snow photos this year?
    ps: I really like that of the person who walks his dog (even if you know that I like cats)

    • C’est dommage que tu n’as pas eu le temps de profiter de la nature cet automne … but I’m very happy to share mine with you! And yes, the snow photos are from this year — two weeks ago already! Fortunately it has warmed up a bit since then, but it’s just a matter of time before everything is under a blanket of white here. Thank you also for your kind words about the photo of the woman and her dog. I’ve never seen anyone walk a cat in the woods, so it was the best I was able to do. 🙂 Greetings to you and EOS!

      • Mais l’automne n’est pas encore terminé. Cependant, pour admirer les couleurs de l’automne en forêt je ne devrais pas tarder (si je trouve le temps), car novembre arrive avec la pluie et … le vent 😀
        ps : you knox … EOS is an angel now, since 3 mounths

        • Oh no !!! Je suis vraiment désolée de lire ta triste nouvelle à propos de EOS. Elle a eu vraiment de la fortune de te trouver. My heart goes out to you … xx

          • Thank you. It’s been three months but I can not forget it.
            I have these ashes at home,.
            In addition I am in procedure against the veterinarian who practiced the euthanasia in conditions of cruelty (I hope that it will have to be explained before a judge). (you can go to the chapter EOS, you will go some information)

          • I’m so terribly sorry. I still have my dog’s ashes at home — it’s been 12 years for him now, but I also can not forget it. I will visit your blog soon to catch up on your sad news and do hope you will succeed in bringing your case before a judge. My heart goes out to you.

    • What wonderful feedback — it’s great to know you got that 3D effect from the photo. It really was a beautiful moment. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  6. I love all the talk of weather and seasonal changes, lol =) But there’s so much beauty and range in the photos of your area, as you mention, it’s hard not to be amazed by it. Your photos and descriptions are beautiful reminders to stay present in whatever season is upon us, while appreciating and noticing all aspects of it. Thank you!

    • I’m a bit late in replying to your comment, Björn … sorry about that. But tell me: Did it snow in your corner of the world over the weekend? 🙂

  7. Lovely photos, as always. I love the way you capture texture along with colour. In the picture of the lady in the hat with the little white dog, I can almost hear the leaves crunching quietly under their feet. And the whole photo has that magical feeling of ‘cold enough for snow, crisp enough to tempt you out for a walk’. Aren’t you lucky to live inside the Minnesota kaleidoscope. And aren’t we lucky that you share your photos so generously.

    • Your kind words absolutely make my day, dear E. Thank you! I am both privileged and grateful to count you among my blog friends.

    • What a wonderful bit of Pushkin you’ve shared, Victor — he really did have a magnificent way with words. And thank you also for the link to your post on Dubrovnik. Your photos are glorious, as usual. I’m very honored you stopped by.

  8. Based on your fine images, the Japanese garden in the Conservatory appears a delight, beautiful and wonderfully stewarded. We live only steps away from the Japanese garden that’s part of the arboretum in the valley below us and I spent a fair amount of time there in the old days. Sadly, I don’t visit as much as I used to since the population boom in Seattle of the past few years has rendered the place more a zoo of annoying vain Instagrammers (although autumn is always a peak time of year down there) than contemplative setting.

    Lovely pictures all, Heide (except for that graffiti, *grumble*). Good thing you got yourself that brand new jacket! But that’s the perfect amount of snow, for me. No sky bridges or engine heaters required…..

    • I’m so sorry that one of your favorite spots has also been overrun/ruined by selfie-snappers. But selfishly, I’m relieved it’s not just me who finds these vain posers objectionable as they clog up the walkways, bending like contortionists to make their butts look smaller and their lips look bigger — and all the while totally missing the point of being wherever it is they are. And then they wonder why their lives feel so empty! Aaaargh. *Ahem.* But yes indeed, dear T-Fir: Thank goodness I got that new rain jacket. It has gotten lots of “exercise” in the past few days, and is performing admirably. I will be thrilled if I can get another couple of weeks out of it before I have to switch to my Michelin Woman costume. 🙂 Thank you — as always — for your kind an thoughtful comment.

  9. you got some seriously amazing photography skills! i enjoyed going through your outstanding photos and would love to see more blogs like this. by the way, i am a 13 year old and i just started my blog, and i wrote a movie review on my blog. it would be of great help if you would visit my site and go through my blog and follow me. thankyou!

    • Thank you very much — I’m so pleased you like my photography! I’m sorry to say that the link to your blog doesn’t work, though. Best wishes to you just the same … and thank you for stopping by.

  10. Are you always on the move? Lucky us to be part of your adventures. I see by the date here, I’m arriving a bit tardy. We too had early snow on flowering garden baskets. I’m really surprised at how well things recovered (as we’re into November, not a thing is green now this far north).
    The Japanese Garden is quite something but I was a smitten kitten over the mini Tamarack Forest. Just yesterday, I bought a giant glass bowl to re-imagine a small garden in. I haven’t done one for a while since a number of my favourite garden characters where pinched off our front porch. Just silly things I’ve bought on holidays and some were gifts from Alys but I was really heartbroken. So, I’m thankful for this little inspiration, great timing 😀
    Loved all your long ‘pathways in the forest’ photo’s. It’s always nice to wander here too! xK

    • BOOOOO to whoever pinched your little treasures off the front porch, dear K. We can only hope that their karma was fast-acting. Very glad that the eye-candy in this post provided some inspiration, though. And if you want to e-mail me a good mailing address, I’ll be glad to send you a little something for your new, reimagined small garden! You are such a dear soul, and I would love to bring a smile. In the meantime, since you asked: No, ma’am, I am not always on the move. Though you won’t believe that when you see me posting from Italy in two weeks. (How’s THAT for a teaser?) 😉 Thank you as always for your lovely words. xoxo

      • Yah! Karma should kick them in the arse. Unless of course they’re a klepto under 10 and don’t realize the value of these things to someone like me. I wouldn’t want anything drastic to happen….maybe their parent’s can fall in love with Kale and Eggplant and make it every night. 😀 Apologies to anyone here that happens to love either of these (but really, why would you?)
        How sweet are you to offer to send along something for my pending mini garden !! I bought the plants today. I would be so honoured to include your gift and treasure it always. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, really! I’m touched ❤ ❤
        Italy now !!! You slay me 😀 I can't wait to see Italy, as it should be, in the lens of your camera xoxox K

        • I’m 100% behind your kale and eggplant karma plan! I hope the universe sees this conversation and makes it so, LOL. And the honor will be all mine to make a small contribution to your mini-garden! I see another comment here with some contact information so please expect and email from me this evening. xoxox

  11. A beautiful collection of photos showing the natural beauty of your neighbourhood. I’d love to walk those paths canopied by trees. I’d even enjoy some “light” snowfall. These are all print-worthy.

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