I’ve heard complaints. I complained a bit myself at the beginning. As you probably noticed, autumn came late this year. Some say it was more subdued overall. But I found a more complicated story that included some pretty spectacular displays of color, as you will see from the photographs. The cycle of the seasons is ceaseless, and yet, due to constant meteorological and other variations, no season is identical to those that preceded it in previous years. In 2019, you may recall, the entire autumn season fit neatly into the month of October. Not so this year. Though late in coming, brilliant splashes of autumn color lingered well into November when we might reasonably have expected the usual descent into wintry gloom.
Some individual species—oaks in particular—were generally lusterless, turning quickly brown without much of an intervening reddening or yellowing. But other species—especially the exuberant maples—made up for that in spades! And, as of this writing, well past the middle of November, the weeping willows that stand tall around the Washington Park lagoon remained green, with nary a hint of autumn yellow. And so, in this season of Thanksgiving, I’m giving thanks for the resilience as well as the beauty of nature.
And thanks, as always, for the wealth of nature that we have all around us in the metropolitan region of Southeast Wisconsin. In this latest installment of what has become an annual odyssey and tribute to all things autumnal in our area, I have made a special effort to find and explore parks and preserves that are new to me so that I can share them in hopes they will be new to you as well. You will find some of the tried, true, and well-loved parks in the mix, but it is ever my goal to bring you surprises and new places to explore. The links in the captions will take you to our Park Page for more information about individual parks.
In order to cover as much ground as possible, I am limiting this post to a single image per park. In some cases this is a huge limitation, for a few were truly spectacular and deserve greater representation. Kletzsch Park in Milwaukee, for instance, which gets the prize this year for most amazing display of autumn splendor. It’s one photo is featured at the top. Never fear, however! I have also created a Flickr album that includes many more images should you want to explore them further. The images presented here and on Flickr appear chronologically in order to illustrate the variability of the season.
But wait! There’s more…. The season actually continues as of this writing on November 22 and I’ve continued to add photos to the Flickr album, should you wish to see more.