We leaped into the beginning of our autumn camping season by returning to our favorite mountain campground, William Heise County Park, noted for its oak, pine, and cedar forests, Mule deer, and Rio Grande turkeys. Our last autumn visit here was three years ago, so we really looked forward to experiencing the fall colors and the seasonal changes in the weather. Last spring we rediscovered the joys of this park and were delighted to learn that the park now allows dogs (on a leash) on its more than ten miles of beautiful trails.
We took advantage of the first two wonderfully sunny and mild days to get on the trails, especially our favorite Cedar Trail. We were impressed with the sight of bright red leaves of Toxicondendron diversilobum (Pacific poison oak*) climbing up as a vine on oak trees.
Before the mid-week rain and windstorm moved in, we enjoyed watching hawks, crows, and bats fly by while enjoying sunset dinners at our campsite picnic table. This summer our Oster long slot toaster burned out after only two years use. We hated to toss this appliance since it has the classic, iconic shape of Airstream trailers*, so Larry gutted and converted it into a plate-napkin-chopstick holder (the treaded wheels came from Rockler).
I took an early morning hike hoping to spot some turkeys (last spring we noticed that they were not as plentiful as we had remembered seeing here three years ago). As I walked up the campground road, I did spot a small rafter of turkeys* foraging on the hilltop meadow, but they ducked into the nearby woods as I approached with my camera. I trekked further north without seeing more turkeys and began my return. As I approached the same spot where I had earlier spotted turkeys, I was pleased to see a deer emerge from the woods, foraging…
followed by another…
Eventually a herd of five deer emerged and trotted across the meadow and leaped one by one over two rail fences and continued foraging!
They seemed to know that the safest place to cross is where there is a speed bump. The “Speed Limit 10″ sign is a nice reminder to slow down and make the moment last,* and enjoy the falling autumn leaves* and leaps!
*This is a link to a YouTube video.