When I arrived at the Park, I was the first one there, and that surprised me since the wind was not huffing and puffing and there was no precipitation (for a change). The red-hued leaves have now disappeared, and, in their stead there are yellow leaves aplenty. The term “harvest gold” sure was the color of the day as golden leaves littered the Park and were drifting in the swift Creek current as well, in fact – it made the water look almost golden in some spots. As I walked my two complete loops around the Park I heard the brittle brown leaves hanging on for dear life and wiggling in the wind, their crispness sounding like mini chandeliers in the slight breeze. The Park’s formerly vibrant colors are now mostly mottled and muted now, and almost non-descript. Many of the trees are already bare and exposing huge, previously hidden squirrel’s nests way up high. Speaking of squirrels, I tucked an extra pack of peanuts into my pocket, intending to share one bag for each loop of the trail the first time around. However, on the second loop, there were not many takers, and, one particularly cute little guy, with a dark-colored nose, kept begging at my toes. I kept “gifting” him with more peanuts after I watched him run ahead of me, then double-back, then finally come right up to my feet to grab my attention. At one point, I wanted to hand him the Ziploc bag and say “take these peanuts and save ‘em for later in the season – you’ll need ‘em”. I took some pictures of him as he kept posing for peanuts and I’ll share them later in the week. I also clicked off some shots of the mallards that I now can see much better since the leaves are sparse on the bushes and trees. One of those pictures is above. It’s harder to take pictures now as I have to keep ditching the gloves to operate the camera, and sometimes a nice shot is missed in trying to finagle the gloves and camera quickly. The wind chill was 29 degrees and the temperature was right at the freezing mark when I departed for my walk. Well, brrrrrr … and it was breezier and colder than that in the open areas of the Park I’m sure. It was not a picture-perfect day at all; in fact, the clouds hung down dark and heavy and it almost looked like a snow sky. I came home with rosy cheeks, my nose running and eyes watering from the stinging cold, but with a sunny disposition because there are no gray days at the Park.