Fall Color, Finally

Fall Color, Finally
(clicking any photo will open a larger image in a new tab)

In late October or early November, I make a point of going to Ha Ha Tonka State Park, sixty miles south of my home in mid-Missouri. I’m seldom disappointed by the fall colors the landscape has to offer. I made the trip on Monday, with temperatures in the sixties and partially cloudy (wispy) skies.

Fall Color, Finally_1

The patches of red that are visible are dogwood.

Fall Color, Finally_2Fall Color, Finally_3

There may be few maples in our area, but they draw my camera like a magnet.

Fall Color, Finally_4

This view is one that I never fail to photograph. It’s the outflow from a natural spring found at the base of one of the bluffs. The water (56,000,000 gallons, daily) can have an amazing blue hue on a cloudless day.

Fall Color, Finally_5

I spent several hours walking 4.5 miles of trails within the park, with an elevation change of a couple hundred feet, from the Castle down to the water, and then up again along the bluffs.

Fall Color, Finally_6Fall Color, Finally_7

This tree, now bare, sits on the ledge visible in the photo above it.

Fall Color, Finally_8

The area has numerous karst formations, including this natural bridge.

Fall Color, Finally_9

Designed to be a home, later a hotel, The Castle at Ha Ha Tonka is bare stone walls, the result of a devastating fire in 1942.

Fall Color, Finally_10Fall Color, Finally_11

A great photo of The Castle in its prime can be seen here.
Meanwhile, within five miles of my home, this bluff always offers a spectacular autumn view.

Fall Color, Finally_12

And in my back yard, this hickory.

Fall Color, Finally_13

Sadly, the colors don’t stay forever. This is the same tree, three days later, after rain and a couple of cool nights. I’m sure the other trees are soon to follow. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Fall Color, Finally_14

Ha Ha Tonka fall photos from the last two years can be found here and here.

Ken G

30 thoughts on “Fall Color, Finally

    • Until last year, you could walk right up to the walls and look in from all sides. It’s open right to the cellar floor – with internal support walls, but overgrown with tall grass. Falling stones last year resulted in one side being fenced off. Now all of it is fenced off so that the closest you can get is ten feet away. It still makes for some impressive photos against a blue sky.
      Bug spray is essential if you decide to take any trail, or even go off the paved path for photos. I know someone who thought a shortcut across 100 feet of tall grass was a good idea (despite warnings to the contrary). She found out why Missouri is spelled T-I-C-K !!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s