Recently The Mr. and I took a drive to Nolte State Park.
This small lake is where I spent nearly every summer day when my children were young.
In the summer it is crowded with picnickers, swimmers and walkers, but on this day it was deserted.
We were hoping to see some Autumn color, but we were a little too late. A few trees still had some leaves where they were protected from the relentless wind.
This small lake is 115 ft. deep and is appropriately called 'Deep Lake'.
There is a 1.5 mile walking loop around the lake, but we chose not to take it as it was getting late in the day and there have been cougar sightings here.
There are lovely picnic grounds with covered areas for large groups.
We had many celebrations here in years gone by.
Picnics, birthdays, Memorial and Labor Days.
Echos of happy times whisper through the trees.
And more happy times to come.....
I stand beside one tree to show you perspective of how incredible they are.
This Douglas Fir has stood watch over the lake for over 300 years.
The stories it could tell!
I am bundled up in a thick sweater under my vintage Levi's jacket and can still feel the chill of the wind blowing off the lake.
This tree hosts many guests.
If only we could peek inside!
Tiny flowers still bloom at the base.
A mushroom tries to break through the moss, already serving as a meal to some unseen forest creatures.
We run through the thick leaves like a couple of kids.
A lonely Western Grebe floats at the far end of the lake.
These are usually gregarious water birds who rarely fly during the breeding season and nest in large colonies in lakes with tall vegetation.
They have legs positioned far back on the body, making it difficult to walk on the ground.
Why he was all alone is a mystery, but maybe he has a mate hiding somewhere - I hope.
With the sun sinking lower in the sky, we prepare to leave.
We would not want to spend the night in these lonely woods!
Can you see one of the covered picnic areas dwarfed by the forest?
As we say goodbye to this special place, the setting sun lights the trees on fire.
And fills our hearts with golden memories.
Youth is the gift of nature,
but age is a work of art.
- Garson Kanin -