The woods are lovely,
dark golden and deep.
Those words kept running through my head as I watched the leaves beginning to turn in the woods behind my house. Only last week they were at the peak of their colorful glory, and shortly before that it seemed that they had just begun to lose their green.
Why does this qualify as a post for the Adventures of an Expat Returned? How is this a specifically newly-returned-to-America topic? Well, let’s begin with the fact that, while abroad, I nearly always lived in big cities. This means that I had very little access to nature except on weekend excursions, which were few and far between (that’s what happens when you work weekends). It is therefore relevant to my experience of returning to America, which has meant returning to live in a semi-rural area for the first time since I was a kid.
Umbrella pines on the Palatine Hill
Rome’s beauties tend to be of the architectural as opposed to the naturalistic variety. Of course, they do have some lovely public parks in Rome, my favorite of which was the Villa Borghese park (where you can find the famous Pincio Belvedere that is featured in pretty much any movie filmed in the Eternal City).
Your faithful writer sits atop a fallen umbrella pine near the outdoor hippodrome in Villa Borghese park
The umbrella pine is one of the symbols of Rome. It’s everywhere (although, having been brought over from North Africa during the time of the Ancient Roman Empire, it’s not truly native), it’s beautiful and it’s a conifer.
The steep, cypress-lined road that climbs to the Church of Santa Margherita above the famous little hill town of Cortona
If you think about it, Italy is famous for its conifers. Just think of Tuscany and what comes to mind? An avenue leading to a villa in the hills above Florence, perhaps, and it is lined with… cypresses, another gorgeous tree and, again, not deciduous.
Cypresses rise from behind every garden wall in here in the hills above Florence
Olive groves and cypresses are an integral part of the Tuscan hills’ distinctive beauty – and neither tree changes its colors in autumn
Despite having had access to places world-renowned for their beauty for many years, it had been a very long time since I’d seen the brilliant reds and yellows of a North American fall, the bright fiery shades of autumn I remember from my childhood.
And this is just my back yard. Imagine what it’s like down in the woods…
Lucky for me, I have my faithful steed…
…and a long and winding, well-kept trail…
…and woods wild and golden enough to satisfy your average hobbit’s sense of adventure
Further on, the golds begin to give way to a little more red
See the deer behind me? That’s how close (and tame) they were
I get off my bike to take a picture of those red leaves, and what should I see, not so very far off the trail?
Can you see Mom in the background?
This is about as wild as it gets in the woods behind my house, but for someone who’s spent most of their life in the city, it qualifies as an adventure. And a little further along the trail…
A nice place to pause for awhile before our adventure continues
Thanks for coming along. Come back and visit soon for more rides through the autumn woods, as long as the leaves last.
And by the way, a big thank you to all of you who have followed and liked my blog lately. It’s great to have you here, and I hope you’ll keep on visiting!