Autumn in the woods

Being in the woods in autumn can sometimes be a little overwhelming.  Mother Nature puts on such a grand show that it’s difficult to know where to look first.  There is color everywhere, from the tops of the trees that are still retaining their leaves to the forest floor carpeted with the multicolored leaves that have let go.

I love the sounds in the woods in autumn.  The rustling of the leaves underfoot.  The snap and crack of twigs and branches hiding under the carpet of leaves.  The trees swishing and creaking in the wind.  The occasional caw of the crow,the jeer of the blue jay, or the whistle of a red-shouldered hawk (which might in fact be a blue jay mimicking the red-shouldered hawk).

Bo in the woods

I took a variety of photographs yesterday while walking in the woods with Bo.  Sometimes I took photos of the same thing, over and over again, using different settings on my camera.

It’s always interesting to see what the camera can do in manual modes versus auto settings.

In manual mode, white balance set to open shade. f 8.0, 1/80s,

Auto setting: "Landscape"

Day 36/365.  A couple of days ago I started reading the book Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to do more than show up on the mat each day.  I want to use this year to learn more about the history, philosophy, and spirituality of yoga.

As with most things of this nature, I don’t know where it will take me, but I’m sure it will be an interesting journey.  If nothing else, I’ll at least learn more than the physical aspects of what I’m practicing.


Manual. (Not much difference, is there?)

This morning I decided to start keeping a daily yoga diary.  It may well replace the Morning Pages, something that went by the wayside during our trip east.  So far, I have used my yoga diary to take notes about things I’ve read (I retain information better if I write it down), to clear my mind prior to yoga practice, and to write down thoughts that emerged during or after my practice.  And if you were to flip through it, you would also find the occasional small collage, a playful practice I find to be meditative.

Today I read this:

To practice living in the truth, or satya, the second yama, we must have a mind that has let go of the habit of distraction and developed the habit of concentration.  ~Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison, Meditations from the Mat

What struck a chord with me as I read this was the phrase “the habit of distraction.”  There are so many ways we practice the habit of distraction.  It seems to me our society cultivates this habit (the internet, television, etc.).  On a personal level, I have my own ways of fostering this habit.  Procrastination comes to mind, the granddaddy of all habits of distraction.  It’s amazing where the mind can go when you’re putting off what you should be doing.

My intention for at least the next few days is to pay attention, to look at my own habits of distraction.  No analyzing.  No judgments.  Just observation.

Thanks for dropping by the Bogs today and joining me in my musings and meanderings.  Don’t worry about getting lost in the woods.  Just find a path (there are plenty to choose from). It will lead you somewhere.  🙂


47 Comments on “Autumn in the woods”

  1. Kel says:

    wow, those comparative photos have given another meaning to what a SOOC photo might mean

    interesting that you’ve touched on the topic of distraction, often our attempts at recreation are simply that ‘distraction’

    so much of what we term recreation actually has the opposite effect of it’s claim
    most of what we do as recreation is really escapism or distraction
    if we truly wish to re-create we must participate in things which help us create anew

    if its purely an escape and we don’t re-create in some way, then at the end of the movie, the end of the weekend, the end of the internet session, we return to being the same person, with the same hurts, the same struggles, all the same

    so your yoga journey is already paying dividends
    inviting mindful practice

  2. great pix. I can hear the woods from here.

  3. Love the way this post oepns up with that last sentence. I don’t see why the yoga notebook wouldn’t accomplish much that morning pages might. Lovely photos, once again.

  4. Team Oyeniyi says:

    I love all these shots, especially the seventh from the top.

  5. I love the imagery of walking through the woods–I love the musky scent too, don’t you? And the habit of distraction? I need to learn more about that and shall look it up on the ‘Net..

  6. Judith says:

    Thanks for sharing those great pics. I love what you clever photographers do. I am simply a point and shoot gal. 🙂

  7. Had to chuckle at the memory you triggered- I was walking my favorite “fall” trail, and craning my neck to spot the hawk I kept hearing, when I spotted the blue jay. I swear that bird laughed when I twigged to it being a hawk mimic!

  8. nigel says:

    Beautiful photographs

  9. Gilraen says:

    Wonderful pictures. Splendid colours

  10. ElizOF says:

    The woods can be a comforting or scary place to be… this looks comforting. 🙂

  11. Your woods are so lovely…serene…
    Although, with a Rowdy Dog along for the walk, it may not have felt that way when you were there!

  12. bearyweather says:

    Love your description of the sounds and smells of the Fall woods … you captured it perfectly. I am glad that I am not the only one that still experiments with their camera settings taking the same pictures. My students think that project is boring when I make them do it ,,, but, I learn something new every time I do it. I have had this camera for 3 years, now … and I am still learning things about it. Not sure I will ever master it before I get a new one …. I have my eye on one already. 😉

  13. Ronja says:

    Oh…so beautiful!

  14. ladyfi says:

    Oh – be still my heart! So much awesome beauty here! Gorgeous.

  15. I’m sure I sound like a broken record by now, but these are sooo beautiful! For some reason the second one from the bottom really jumped out at me… there’s just something about the tall trees and leaf-covered ground. Reminds me a little of home, and walking through the woods in the fall.

  16. Chloe says:

    the colours are so vivid, what a beautiful spot

  17. Marianne says:

    “The habit of distraction” is fairly evident in my life. I tend to get side-tracked easily. I think the good thing is that I’m less likely to get far away from where I want to go these days. So, improvement is happening.

    Robin, I love what you said in the last few sentences about not worrying about getting lost and just find a path it will lead somewhere. Great advice.

  18. Dana says:

    I have a feeling I’m going to LOVE reading your posts during this new year of yoga and diet resolutions. I learn something great every day already– thank you!

  19. Bo Mackison says:

    Autumn was lovely in your woods. It was in my woods, too. 🙂 I think it interesting that the times I am most successful at mindfulness practice is when I am out shooting, just me, no time commitments, no agenda. That is when I feel most alive and connected…

    • Robin says:

      Same here, Bo. I feel a sense of timelessness when that happens. Although later I do discover that time has not only passed, it did so very quickly. lol!

  20. A terrific post- the images are wonderful, as are the thoughts 🙂

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