Because Tomorrow May Be Different

I’ve been wondering if it’s the changing seasons, summer to autumn to winter in North America, that has a lot of the writers I follow thinking about conquering procrastination. Maybe it’s the approaching sedentary days of winter that has people eager to go out and do things “now, while we can!” Maybe, at least for some of the folks I follow, it has something to do with our age. Not that we’re ready to be shelved, but some activities are certainly falling off the “I will” list, hopefully onto the “I did” or, sadly, the “I wish I had” list. I was going to avoid this topic. I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon of popular thought.

However, on that whole you-might-want-to-do-things-while-you-can deal, I have some recent experience that I want to share with you.

After I returned from Iowa last week, I remained on vacation. I love October, and I take a big chunk of my vacation time during this wonderful month. One of the things I wanted to do was to get some fall foliage photos. I also wanted to replace a kitchen faucet, clean my garage, transplant a bush and watch a few football games – a boy can dream. By mid-week, the forecast was calling for high winds and heavy rain, a.k.a. the end of fall foliage. I decided to get out ahead of the storm and get those photos.

No, this isn’t what I’m talking about in the title. Hang on.

Seven years ago, the sleepy little town we live in spent a relative boat-load of our money to buy a piece of land. It’s OK, there was a Town Meeting and most people were in favor of this plan. The following is from The Trust for Public Land’s website:

September 22, 2009 – The Town of Windsor Locks today completed its $2 million purchase of a conservation easement from Connecticut Water Company for the 198-acre South Center Street property in Windsor Locks, known as the “Water Works Brook” parcel. The town’s purchase, coordinated by The Trust for Public Land, permanently protects the largest remaining open space in Windsor Locks.”

Our First Selectman at the time added:

The purchase allows current and future generations of town residents to enjoy the property without having to be concerned about its future development.”

Don't tell mom, but I think it's safe.

Don’t tell mom, but I think it’s safe.

We couldn’t access the park until 2011. A path had to be cleared, a parking area established and warning signs had to be placed in appropriate locations. But on Father’s Day, 2011, our daughter and I went hiking in Water Works Brook Park.

The park was barely ready for prime time. It was also flooded. We managed to find a path around a swamp and up into the thick Oak forest. We looped around unblazed trails for about an hour and vowed to return once they could maybe put a boardwalk over the swamp.

In 2013, an F1 hurricane came through the adjacent corners of Windsor and Windsor Locks. The hurricane roared through the newly established park.

The park was closed for almost two years.

I went back last week, hoping to get some photos of leaves changing color. I was very happy with what I could see from the parking area. As I made my way up the path, the forest seemed brighter than I remember. “Must be that a lot of leaves are down” I thought. When I got to the edge of what had been a swamp 5 years ago, I found two surprises. The swamp had largely dried up during this summer’s drought and the tornado had done much more damage than I realized.

Below is a map showing the route the tornado took. Below that, keyed to the map are a few photos from the days following the tornado. Below that is a tornado-caused-photo more in keeping with Halloween and, lastly, below that are some photos of this year’s current autumn beauty in the park, and some showing the damage the tornado left behind.

The tobacco field on the left was destroyed. The one on the right of the road was repaired.

The tobacco field on the left was destroyed. The one on the right of the road was repaired.

S0, make sure you enjoy what you have today.

This wasn’t revealed until the leaves had fallen.

Woman

Do you see a lady? This is near the river, about 1.5 miles from the field.

These were taken late last week.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
This entry was posted in Connecticut, Perspective, Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Because Tomorrow May Be Different

  1. prior.. says:

    I do see the lady!
    And the ending canopy is majestic !
    Glad your town was able to secure this slice of land – – and funny because I was thinking so much of Matthew I think we forget there are so many storms (like the tornado) that areas endure and never make national news.
    🍂🍁🍂🍃✌🏼️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks, I’m glad you see that woman in the trees. Fortunately, no one was injured by this tornado. There was a fair amount of property damage. It could have been much worse. It passed less than 1/2 mile from our house, and there are probably 150-200 houses between us and the tornado’s path. Connecticut is the 3rd smallest state, and we live in one of the smallest towns, but this is the second tornado to hit us in the last 50 years.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. GP Cox says:

    We can never predict what good old Mother Nature has in store for us, but she will bring the park back to life. It’s a shame you were unable to access it for so long, but at least it is protected land.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Nature is in it for the long haul, it might even turn out nicer than it was. The problem for a small town, is that there are only so many resources and I’m sure this park got more attention than planned, during the clean-up. Time will tell, but it is still an interesting place, and you’re right, it’s protected. Developers are worse than nature, and they would have taken the high ground.

      Like

  3. Poor beleaguered park. You got some gorgeous pictures though, Dan. For me the one redeeming factor in where I live is that it seem to be somehow… topographically sheltered from tornadoes and that’s a huge blessing. That’s also why I love the desert southwest and want to get back — they’re rare there. Monday hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Teagan. Tornadoes are rare here too, but we’ve had two hit our little town and once fairly large one hit Springfield, MA, about 15 miles up the road from us. Once, when I was visiting my brother in Iowa, the warning siren went off. It was a drill (I was unaware) but it was really scary. I don’t think the hotel I was staying in would have offered much in the way of protection.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was way too close, far too many times while living in TN and GA… Heard the “freight train” sound… saw parts coming off tall buildings… Once a block away a flag pole was completely twisted (and they insisted there had been no tornado that time…). Many areas in the southeast get a lot more tornadic weather than people realize. All that to say — yes, I agree. They’re scary!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely colours, but what got my attention was the very first photo of the warning (which is only readable in the Reader, mind you – from the post it’s not possible to open it in order to read the text): “They are smart, fast and will take what they can get.” In another world, this could be a warning against humans. Tornadoes, on the other hand, are even faster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks, and thanks for the comment about that photo. I’m not sure what happened. I usually make them all open in a new window. I fixed this one.

      Yes, I think you could apply that warning to us. Except, we’re not always smart or fast ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. quiall says:

    Mother Nature is so beautiful and so violent! Great pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely park, but you can still see the devastation. It reminds me of a wonderful lake community we pass on the way to Concord, and it was hit and there is still very evident tree damage visible. On the topic of today not tomorrow, I think the thing I notice the most is that each year things take me a little longer or are more challenging. There is also that dreaded medical condition thing – whatever its name is in a person’s particular case. How will it morph next year? So, I’d better going and get busy, Dan. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Judy. We can’t ever tell what the future will bring. It’s hard to imagine a forest being destroyed, but it happened in less than a minute. The medical thing is an issue we pay more and more attention to each year. Good luck with your winterizing chores :)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. marianallen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your fall color. I’m still hoping for a touch of it, but so far we seem to be getting brown and bare rather than brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. loisajay says:

    The pictures are beautiful. And yes, I do see the lady! Wow. that must have been one scary find after the leaves fell. We spent all day Saturday cleaning up our yard; it is now ready for winter. New next door neighbors took down the two pine trees between our yards and husband did the happy dance: no more pine sap on his car or pine needles on our roof and driveway. He washed our cars, too. Productive weekend. Now we have the rest of the year to goof off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Lois. I remember the year we took down four large pine trees along the back fence. I was sooooo happy. We still have way too many leaves in the trees to even think about cleaning them up. Maybe next weekend. We don’t have a big yard, but that job gets harder every year. Then we have to get ready for winter – staking out the path for the snow blower – enjoy your time goofing off ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. tpolen says:

    Some beautiful pics with fall colors.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Dan, Mother has a way of coming back in the most incredible ways. And I see you managed to find color. Way to go! Your last image I absolutely LOVED. We had very cool wet weather here with high winds so yes a lot of leaves are down here too. But there are still trees with mostly green on them. This has been one very strange October … yet I have pictures from last October that the foliage looks almost the same. Happy Monday!!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Amy. I remembered this park at the last minute. I had forgotten about the tornado until I walked up the path. The entrance road was almost surreal. I got lucky with the angle of the sun. A lot of tee changed together this year, but we still have a lot that are green.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        Ditto here. I’ve stopped my running after color (for now) and just concentrating on publishing some of the shots I did get. It’s been a really confusing Fall this year. I’ve seen the damage a tornado can do and it is surreal. We had one hit the barn next door to us and when we came out from the basement we had lumber and steel all over our property. The barn was demolished. The miracle is that none of that debris hit our house. Angels? I know so! Surviving that tornado I will never forget. Truly terrifying.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. bikerchick57 says:

    Even though the tornado took some of trees down, it’s still a beautiful area. Thanks for sharing before and after and fall photos of the park and tobacco fields. You are correct, Dan, to take advantage of what you have today. It’s why every sunny, warm fall day is an opportunity to be outside, take a walk and explore…before the “S” word arrives. The fall weather here has been great, so I’m trying to get outside and walk as much as possible. I love the smell of the air right now – the leafy crispness of autumn, Hope you get another hike in before the really cold stuff shows up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, Mary. The day I took these, it was actually 82 degrees! A little warm for fall yard work as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been enjoying your posts from the walks and rides you seem to be cramming in before the “S” starts. I’m off again later this week, but I really do have to figure out how to get two cars in that 2-car garage :)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Don says:

    Dan, these little slices of land are so important to have and protect. I’m always amazed at the sheer power of Tornados. Have never experienced one, thank goodness, never even seen one, but they seem so frightening. Those autumn images are magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Don. I’ve seen tornadoes from a distance, and they are very scary. We didn’t even know this one had touched down until well after the damage was done.That’s kind of scary, since it came within a half mile of our neighborhood.

      I am glad that our town took the steps to preserve this. There is such little land like this around.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. joey says:

    Whoa!
    I don’t know why, exactly, but the western side of central Indiana has more tornadoes than the eastern. I’ve heard folks say it has to do with the Wabash Valley, but the other side of the state has a river, too…the Ohio…Not too sure about the why, but I can tell you that down trees are the least of it, but certainly noticeable when you’re out that way. Far more damage.
    Your pictures are beautiful, and are my favorite sort. :D Really lovely, I appreciate you sharing!
    I find as I get older, the weather sorta bosses me around. Like, here we are, nearing the end of October, and I’ve yet to get my bulbs in the ground! So, I have to hope we get more rain and softer ground before the freeze, and then I regret I hadn’t been more on my weather game.
    A lot of things can wait because the garden doesn’t care about the freeze, but the bulbs do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks. I know you guys get some serious tornadoes. I don’t even want to be near them. Why they go where they go, makes no sense. I think that adds to the fear factor.

      The only must do for me, is to get that garage ready to hold two cars for the winter. I don’t want to have to clean them and I don’t want to have to run the snow blower around them. Good luck with those bulbs :)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wendy Brydge says:

    Considering I live in the middle of the bush, a good quarter of a mile in from the road, I’m certainly familiar with the kind of damage high winds can do to a forested area. It’s always sad to see once-beautiful trees broken off, knocked down, or otherwise damaged.

    It was a beautiful fall this year, and like you, I got out there and snapped some photos before most of the leaves went to their final resting place on the cold ground. Up here, the window can be so small: Go to bed and the leaves are beautiful, perfect and loaded with colourful leaves; get up in the morning and those same trees are completely bare. The only disappointment this year is that we only got one frost (during leaf season) and it came late, meaning there were very few (if any) red maple leaves to be found, just orange and yellow. Though I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining about not enough frost — it’s been snowing the past few days and I’m in NO hurry for winter to set in! I’m still waiting on my dreamworld where the snow comes on December 20th and I wake up January 2nd to bare ground and 70 degrees…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I think that dream takes place in North Carolina, maybe southern Virginia. Certainly not Connecticut, or points north. We took down the trees here that were tall enough to hit a building if they fell. It didn’t leave us with much :(

      Liked by 1 person

  15. C.E.Robinson says:

    Yep, the lady is there! Love the autumn tree photos! That’s what I miss living in SoCal! Enjoy the season, it’s over too soon! 💛 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Can’t tell you how much I hate tornados. They are so destructive and as you point out in your photos, the damage takes forever to disappear. Fine post, Dan

    Liked by 1 person

  17. dweezer19 says:

    As my husband’s great nephew used to say when he was little,”bazactly”. Love the photos from last week. What gorgeous color!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Paul says:

    More good shots, Dan. I don’t see much in the way of fall colors these days, unfortunately (no vacations and holed up in my fluorescent-lit office all day, every day), so your photography is like a mini-vacation for me. I feel as if that “do you see a lady?” shot has surfaced before — true, or am I imagining it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      You have a good eye, Paul. The lady has been used before, but smaller and served up to a much smaller audience. So, thank you for your long-term support. I thought it was appropriate to recycle for the creepy season. Sorry about those overhead lights. I’m glad you enjoyed these colors.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Joanne Sisco says:

    Tornadoes terrify me, so I’m always deeply alarmed when I see the after effects of even a relatively small one.
    People like you who actually get out and experience the green spaces around them would notice that kind of damage. I was trying to imagine it with a full canopy undamaged by the storm. Your photos show a beautiful space – but when the canopy recovers one day, it will be stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Joanne. I think tornadoes are the most scary weather phenomenons, because they are so unpredictable and so very dangerous. I think it was losing steam as it neared the driveway into this park. About 1/4 mile north east of the park entrance is where it started dropping the shade cloth it had hoovered-up from the fields (which are over a mile south east from the park).

      The park will recover. It has an ample water supply and it is protected. It’s one of the last homes for the small animals that have hung around. I will visit it again next year.

      Like

  20. That’s a big lady, Dan!! At the place we go in Wyoming, several years ago where was what they called a microblast, an enormous wind that took down hundreds of trees, changing the landscape completely. Wind is quite a force, whether in a hurricane, tornado, or something smaller.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      She is large, Janet. Wind, in every form, can be so dangerous. A microblast sounds even less predictable than a tornado. And you’re right, it can changed the land for generations. Thanks for dropping by.

      Like

  21. Yes, I see the lady. The fall colors are so beautiful! I wish we had more reds and oranges in nature here. More folks are planting trees that have leaves that turn red, but I don’t believe they’re native to our area.
    I’m so glad you got out to enjoy the season’s colors before the storm does it’s work on the leaves!
    Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with the garage!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Deborah. The colors are crisp and vivid this year. It’s hard not to keep posting photos, but we’re focused now on getting ready for winter. We may see some sleet and freezing rain as early as this Thursday. The cars will have to deal with that, but maybe I’ll have them inside by Sunday. I think the trees need a nice jolt of cold air to get those colors changing. We had a cold week in early October, but last week, it was back in the 80s.

      Like

  22. The pictures are indeed spectacular with all those bright fall colors. I and Sarah would love to stroll through these parks admiring the nature around. You know there is this funny thought, quite paradoxical. At some point, I feel I look and feel so much younger. I mean in my group of friends, I am certainly the one who still has maintained the looks I had during my college days. And at some point, I feel that my life is almost half done and just a few more years or a decade before I take leave from this world. Why do I feel that way? Well, the tiny kids around me who were once in my arms are now graduating, as tall as me, I won’t say they are matured, but yes, they understand circumstances. I don’t mind them growing up, it’s just that they make me feel that time is drifting quickly and I need to work harder and faster to fulfill my dreams. I have already achieved an impossible dream of my life, but smaller ones still remain. :) Do you have any dreams that you still have in your To Do list

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Sharukh. You pose a very interesting question. I don’t really have a to-do list or a bucket list, as they call it. I just want to take advantage of the things that come my way and do some of the things that are possible. My wife and I are both relative homebodies, so no grand travel plans on the horizon. Still, if I do travel, I at least want to get out and explore a little bit.

      I wouldn’t worry about time drifting away from you. You are far from old, in age and even farther away in spirit.

      Like

      • I never make a to-do list because it doesn’t work for me, except when buying groceries and household shopping. I have no grand travel plans unless I become financially stable or a popular travel blogger, both possibilities are light years far right now. I’m not scared about being old, I’m scared about dying before I achieve this particular dream I want to accomplish. This dream completes my life journey. Everything else is just an accessory.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. I do see the lady and so enjoyed your fall color shots…..I miss being in that type of country during the fall…we went up to the high country here in Arizona this weekend just to get a little taste of fall colors….we weren’t disappointed, but still not the same as what you are showing in your pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wonderful that Windsor Locks set aside that land. The tornado did a number, but nature has a way of adjusting and making herself all beautiful again. Great fall colors!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Aunt Beulah says:

    I think your final line should be the motto for all of us who love October and who love our lives: “So make sure you enjoy what you have today.” Words to live by, Dan. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Peter Nena says:

    To enjoy what we have today.
    Good lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts. Start or join the discussion. Sadly, links require moderation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s