The summer lasted so long, once the cooler weather finally arrived, the leaves started really changing fast. I really wanted to get to the state park we went to about a month earlier to soak in all the wonderful colors before they were gone.

The day was very dark and cloudy, but it made the colors stand out that much more. We started out at the neat lookout. It was still infested with ladybugs. Here's Anna and Dada with a small friend.

Lee with Anna at the lookout

The view from the lookout was breathtaking!

Arial view of autumn trees

From there we accidentally found a really neat trail. It started out as mostly prairie grasses. Even those grasses were a colorful feast for the eyes, with an occasional flower thrown in.

prairie grass

Soon the trail came to the edge of a forest. The trees, grasses, and flowers put on quite a show here!

A golden tree with purple flowers and multi-colored grasses

The kids found many vines hanging from the trees, so some Tarzan reenacting soon commenced.

Nora on a vine

Rosa didn't want to swing. Her vine was a horse!

Rosa riding a vine

Soon everything was a horse!

Rosa, Corbin, and Nora riding a fallen tree like a horse

It really started getting dark deep in the forest. The tree trunks seemed like black shadows against the color.

Shadow trees

We stopped at a area with lots of fallen trees to let the kids climb around nature's jungle gym.

Corbin and Anna

We thought we were approaching the end of the trail. The trees thinned out a bit. The kids were also wanting to get to the lake. Rosa and Nora comforted each other along the way.

Nora and Rosa hugging

We soon realized we were not on the trail we wanted, and stopped by a trail map to come up with a plan. The kids patiently waited while the adults discussed.

The kids on a log

It was decided taking the road would be the shortest. Off we went!

View of the trees along the road

This ended up being where perhaps the most vibrant colored trees were!

red leaves golden leaves

red berry bush close up of a red and yellow leaf

Anna loved walking down the road. Much easier than the bumpy trails!

Anna walking down the road

Soon we were at the lake. It was very calm and still dark. It seemed as if it would rain at any moment. The gang did some rock and critter hunting, then we headed for home.

The beach The kids exploring the shoreline

Several weeks later, our huge maple on our boulevard finally shed it's leaves. Our front lawn was covered under about 2 feet of leaves! The kids enjoyed one last chance to get some leaf pile jumping in before winter.

Rosa in the leaves

Nora in the leaves

Corbin in the leaves

Winter? I hope we're ready...

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