Posted in Freedom Friday, Photo Opportunities

Autumn Photography

Every autumn I go on safari. Not really. I treat it as a safari, though. I pack my camera in my satchel, slip on a warm jacket, and head for the woods. What am I hunting, you may ask? Trees, leaves, nature—anything really to depict this glorious season we call fall. And that’s my Freedom Friday introduction to fall photo gathering.

A path to the foot of the woods
A path to the foot of the woods

The adventure typically begins at the foot of the woods a couple of minutes from my home. You see, I live in farm country, near where all the folks from Toronto get their corn, strawberries, and other assorted goods. How close do I live to the woods? I’ve seen foxes chase rabbits from the brush across the street into the neighbor’s backyard at 5:30 in the morning. This happened ten feet from my walk. I’ve seen multiple raccoons frenzying on garbage cans as if bitten by zombies. And I’ve smelled. Yes, smelled—skunks near where I trod. I’ve seen them, too. Tail sticking up. Those are the animals I fear most spilling from the woods. Oh, did I mention the coyotes? We have them, and they’re the dreadful parasites of our town’s existence.

As I was saying, the adventure begins at the foot of the woods. During this time of year when the forests give up their leaves, I’m there capturing it all. I suppose it has to do with the color the season exhibits. Boy, can anyone deny autumn is colorful? I think not. And here I am, in the middle of the woods, the threat of coyotes at every turn, snapping photos of anything that may inspire me to share with others.

Beautiful morning majesty
Beautiful morning majesty
The woods
The woods
Leaves that have yet to change color
Leaves that have yet to change color

The time I get the absolute best photos is either early in the morning, as the sun makes its appearance in the horizon or in the evening just when the light turns all sorts of golden hues along the edge of the tree line. I’ve taken shots in the middle of the woods just as dusk approached. Reminiscent of Dorothy’s travels through The Wizard of Oz’s Dark Forest, the day fades, the wind howls, and it does get creepy. But it doesn’t stop teenagers hitting the woods at night to have their secret rendezvous. On occasion, I’ve come across the remnant of empty bottles near a felled tree, a spot I suppose popular with the young crowd.

The log where teens hang out
The log where teens hang out
I think I know where I'm going
I think I know where I’m going
Enjoying the crunching leaves
Enjoying the crunching leaves
Inside the woods
Inside the woods

The woods have paths I can walk yet there are times the leaves cover the paths making it difficult to find my way back. I’ve gotten lost several times only to find my way back after having remembered what the trees looked like from mental notes of my journey. Believe me when I say it’s not fun not knowing where you are in the grand scheme of things.

I have to say this: whenever I’m out there with my camera taking those eye-popping photos of the foliage, sometimes my breath catches. It’s as if I’m seeing things for the very first time, enjoying every moment. The colors are vivid and beautiful, the air crisp, and the area is so much at peace without human interference. I’m glad I have the woods as my fortress of solitude. Everyone needs a place of refuge. The woods are mine.


Do you take photos of the foliage every year? Do you have a fortress of solitude?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

23 thoughts on “Autumn Photography

  1. Those are beautiful photos. Our leaves are just hitting their full stride (those that are left). If the sun ever decides to come out, I’ll have to get the camera out and snap a few shots! There are several trees and spots on my walk that are perfect picture ops.

  2. Wonderful photos. Fall is my favorite season as well, but we don’t have nearly as many deciduous trees in the Pacific Northwest. Once again, you increase my desire to head east for a bit.

  3. Once again, I am living vicariously through you. The part of Texas where I live only has two seasons according to the foliage: 1- 3 months of green and 9 – 11 months of brown. Thanks for another mini-mental vacation!

  4. Living in Taiwan, I miss autumns in Michigan. Thanks for the wonderful photos! Not the same as being there, but it gives me a nice fix! Also, I love the Wizard of Oz, the reference was great. When I was a teenager, my family camped in Ontario, and I liked to take my journal and go into the forest. Truly a great place of refuge! Thanks for sharing!

  5. wow – gorgeous colours! we are big on hiking – the fall time is quite short but we look forward to hiking during that time of the year the most. i have noticed that this fall seemed a little bit longer here in toronto. soon snow will be on the ground – it will look different but there’s something very peaceful about snow shoeing in the woods during our winter months, too.

  6. Beautiful pictures – here in northeast Indiana, our colors didn’t really come out this year – and then yesterday we had enough wind and rain that most of the leaves are now off the trees. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous pictures

  7. yessssssssssssss I miss doing that. Autumn is my favorite season with all of the harvest rainbows. Kind of makes me wish there were maple trees by the sea (my place of refuge) Can you imagine the beauty?

    Ps Thank you for the gorgeous photos. At least I got to see some beauty this year.

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