Colors of Late October

This afternoon I was taking a break out on the deck, reading yesterday’s paper. Travvy thought it was suppertime. From the slant of the light, I thought he might be right.

Nope: it was barely 3:30. He eats at 4:30. The days are getting shorter. It feels later earlier. I wake up with the light, and these days I’m not getting out of bed till 7 or so. I’ll be glad when “fall back” makes the sun rise earlier, but pitch-dark at 5 is always a shock.

The photos I posted in “Early Fall Color” were taken at the very beginning of the month. Since then the woods have been turning ever more russet. There’s still plenty of green out there, but late October light catches the brown and turns it brandy golden.

Trav and I have several different routes, but our morning walks cover pretty much the same ground. Here’s what it looked like earlier this week.

Heading out down Pine Hill

The mid-fall reds are really spectacular, thanks in large part to the winged sumac. Here’s what it looks like close up. Oh for a pair of boots in just this color!

Along Old County Road

Gray and white and red all over

Across Old County from the West Tisbury School


These black-eyed susans are what prompted me to start packing my camera again. When your name is Susanna and you have brown eyes, people think black-eyed susans must be your totem flower. Their real name is brown-eyed susannas, but the field guides don’t know it yet.



Field path with fuzzy butt

Here we’re almost home. The color doesn’t let up. That’s my neighbors’ house, with the burning bush in the foreground.

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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2 Responses to Colors of Late October

  1. Sharon Stewart says:

    Such beautiful colours! And the path through the field looks positively manicured: you could walk without attracting burrs, I bet.


    • It was very recently mowed, so we can mostly avoid the burrs. Trav, of course, has to wander deep into the scrub to do his business, so he does get some. And ticks. Plenty of deer ticks around this month — that’s one reason that public paths are often pretty well tended: to help control ticks. When the grass gets too long, you can sometimes see the ticks queuing up to jump on you. 🙂

      That field is owned and managed by a local conservation group. The field itself is used for forage (it’s too coarse and weedy for hay) by two small farms.


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