I suppose you don’t believe that I really am back. Well, I had a little getaway, some of which I will share with you all. I also have this “problem” of the first world sort. I have too much vacation time built up. I am only allowed to carry over 200 hours of PTO (paid time off) and I am well above that. Otherwise I will forfeit it; at least that is the threat. So I took this week off and traveled a bit in order to visit some old friends and watch autumn all over again. I got down to the southeastern part of Iowa, Iowa City, where I lived for a couple of years back in the mid 1970s.
Before leaving I asked a friend who is from a small town in Iowa if she thought anything might have changed. She basically said, “It’s Iowa. Nothing ever changes.” While that may be true of the many small rural towns there, Iowa City is a dynamic university town with constant growth and change. The street names were recognizable to me, but they didn’t look at all like I remembered. The houses I had lived in were still there, but updated and the university hospital where I worked was unbelievably huge and complex. Several buildings had been added and the old ones added on to. I was lost wandering around the area, but as I said, the street names were the same so I was never that lost.
The Iowa River was high and nearly over the dam into the spillway and as much of the upper Midwest there was a bit too much water everywhere and the harvest has been delayed. Along with lower prices and less access to international markets (thank you Donald of Orange) the agricultural sector, the people who grow the food we eat, are hurting. This is never a good thing.
I opted to head over toward the Mississippi for part of the return trip for a look as I hadn’t been along there for quite a few years, either. It is still quite lovely and fascinating in so many ways. It is a major shipping route and bird migration route and just damned pretty, too.
I am afraid that all the leaves at home have dropped from the trees so the forest looks like a jumble of vertical sticks, but at least I got to have another week of colors for myself. Now we have to brace for the next phase. When I lived in the Middle Atlantic States it seemed as though autumn lasted a few months. Here we are lucky to get a whole month in before the inevitable change to winter. This may be an exaggeration as my memories and observations are subject to my own prejudices, but it sure seems like it’s not much of an exaggeration. Click the pics to embiggen.
It was worth it just to see all the colors again before coming home.