Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friends and Fun - The Perfect Fall Day

     Following our unending summer of gray, who knew that fall could be so glorious? Autumn sunshine, steeped in hues of gold and bronze, brings along soft breezes with just a hint of chill in the air. The fragrance of damp bark and moss blends with a wiff of wood smoke now and again, and the crunch of leaves underfoot encourages us to linger a little longer, savoring each moment to make it last as long as possible.
     On Wednesday four of us set off for Bloedel Reserve, a garden treasure hiding discreetly down a winding lane on Bainbridge Island. Bloedel is the sort of place that can be visited any time of year, in any weather condition, because it allows us to experience  a blend of northwest natural landscape at it's finest, and the changing of the seasons in the cultivated areas of this beautiful estate.

Leaves just beginning to turn in mid-October
       The grounds on Bloedel encompass about 2 miles of easily walked trails, and we leisurely strolled along, completing the loop in about 2 1/2 hours.  As groups of four women are bound to do, we chatted about special plants that captured our attention and relied on one another to help with identification of unknown species. We paired off back and forth as one or two would slow to examine a certain plant more closely, or gaze in wonderment (new word for me) at yet another one of mother nature's magnificent offerings.

Fallen log draped magnificently with fern

A glint of sunlight on a sapphire-blue lace cap hydragea

     The warmth and camraderie that abounds from sharing a beautiful day in the company of kindred spirits is a gift we must remember to give ourselves as we all go about our busy lives. Making time to enjoy the company of others helps us understand ourselves more fully. My companions on Wednesday are new friends I'm just getting to know, and learning, through our myriad differences, we share much in common.

A beautiful trestle bridge ove a small canyon provided the perfect perch for a picture of my friends.

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