rural countryside autumn

This week, in lieu of the already-written rant regarding sleazy sales-reps that I planned to post, I will share a few images to celebrate autumn color.
Since I don’t feel like offering sleaze and sales today. 🙂

If it weren’t so blasted cold during this time of year, autumn would easily be my favorite season. Spring is lovely, certainly, but I prefer the rich colors of fall:
golden yellow and burgandy, umber and evergreen.

autumn fall tree red green yellow

Last weekend, the weather was unusually warm for November, and my children recklessly ripped off their jackets (claiming to be overheated from exercise) ….
I protested as a sensible mother, but I couldn’t help but snap a few pictures of their play.
These autumn days are too few, and soon the snow will encroach upon our back porch and make outdoor fun more laborious (for the adults, anyway).

TaraFly's son and oldest daughter

Tuesday required a trip to the post office, thanks to a wonderful buyer who purchased my “Queen of Cats” painting. I decided to walk into town, taking a few photographs along the way to document my journey, as we parted ways and bid her safe travel to Chicago.

wet rainy sidewalk autumn leaves

Tuesday was a typical November day – it was bitingly cold and it rained the entire afternoon. Everyone thought I was nuts to walk in that weather, even though the post office is a mere 3 blocks away. Three looong blocks.

white house autumn tree side door

I didn’t want to waste the car’s gas, which was very low, but secretly I wanted to explore Funkstown a bit.
We moved to the outskirts of Hagerstown seven months ago, currently living right on the border of the two “towns”, but I’ve only seen these streets through a car window while running my errands.

rainy day wet sidewalk autumn fall leaves

Besides, I’ve wanted to take some nice nature shots of autumn trees and so forth, and these rainy days are the best conditions for capturing true colors.

So off I went… with my little slippers on, a bulky coat given to me by a former co-worker three years ago (because I owned none), no umbrella, armed only with my camera and a very carefully packaged painting wrapped in layers of plastic grocery bags.

yellow autumn fall leaves cement steps

I began with the intent on snapping images of trees, brightly colored leaves, and maybe an odd weathered fence or two, but I wound up being distracted by the architecture of the houses I passed.

19th century 1800s stone house barn door basement

Funkstown was built in the 1760’s (originally named Jerusalem) and was the setting for one of our American Civil War battles. Of course, everyone who lives in this area knows that battles were fought everywhere!
In the three states where I’ve resided, there are monuments and signposts littered along the highways and main streets, proclaiming this or that is a historic landmark.
With Fort Frederick 30 minutes down the road, I’m sure this entire area of land was crawling with dying soldiers, and is now crawling with ghosts.

creepy old house in funkstown maryland

One house in particular looked especially creepy… and I took a detour, after stopping at the P.O., in order to get a better look at it.

I snapped a few pictures, and then realized the house is still occupied. Hehe oops….
That is, unless the resident spirits like to leave their living room lights on. Hopefully nobody saw me poking around with a camera. In the rain.
You see why my family doesn’t let me run loose in town much? 😉

Closer look at creepy spooky old house

Doubling back, I wandered down both sides of the main street – Baltimore St. – taking pictures, and admiring the molding and trim work of the older homes. I also passed a couple antique shops – and stopped inside to warm up and look around.
Browsing over the belongings of people who’ve been dead for centuries is food for the imagination… old travel trunks, rocking chairs, a baby walker from the 1800’s, a loveseat, clothing irons (made from real iron) with detachable handles, and plenty of handwritten documents under glass.

antique store in funsktown maryland

If I had a fortune, I’d furnish my entire house in antiques… except for the upholstered items, because a 200-year-old loveseat wouldn’t last 20 minutes around my cats.

Guten Tag gift shop funkstown maryland

I also discovered a quaint little gift shop, named “Guten Tag”, which is owned and operated by a fellow artist/craftsperson.
She only conducts business Thursday-Saturday (small towns are like that), so I’m summoning the courage to return and introduce myself and my artwork next week…. and hopefully I won’t make my initial impression looking like a wet mangy dog. 😉

terra cotta pots outside roostervane gardens

I know the brightness of these photos look deceiving, but I assure you that it was dark and raining most of the way.
I had the camera settings adjust the exposure to let in more light, but the sky looked more like this…

yellow streetlight in storm rain dark sky

You can see more photos from this trip here on Flickr.
Simply click on a thumbnail to browse them all.

brick steps wet rain autumn leaves

I encourage everyone to take a walk downtown in the rain. Leave your umbrella at home, and bring a camera instead.
People WILL stare at you, and you might find yourself labelled as crazy… or at least find yourself catching a cold. But there is nothing quite so exciting as setting off on an adventure in your own neighborhood, taking a few undiscovered side streets, and like every good explorer – documenting what you find.

yellow peeling paint cobalt blue door house

The best part: Coming home to a warm house, kicking off your soggy sandals, sinking into the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and a dollop of Cool Whip… and sharing the beauty of where you are with friends.

rain water droplet on autumn leaves