In the second section of the photo shoot along the Truckee River path, I was able to capture some brilliant colors and moods of the area along the river. This section does not allow for much close interaction with the water of the river unlike the previous flat wide area in the park area, but it does show what the landscape is like in the low areas around the river. This area is more secluded and hidden and there is a great deal of evidence of humans existing amongst these hidden areas. Some perhaps high school age youth stealing away to have forbidden alcohol and others on a more desperate journey seeking shelter from the world in general. Once again my husband and I were cautious and mindful about how we approached these secluded areas. Not only can some of the homeless be violent, but I often find myself wanting to respect their privacy since the open world is their home. They don’t have the option of closing a door in an area and saying, “This is my private space.” This has to be an incredibly frustrating and wearisome experience. At least during this time of the year, the temperatures are pleasant. Not too hot and not too cold.
I think one of my favorite images captures on this part of the path was the tree with the brilliant orange colored leaves. So many of the trees were in transition between green summer foliage starting the yellow with Fall, and very few were dressed in the full colors of Autumn. Many of the trees along the river are cotton woods which tend to grow in this area along specifically along water ways, so if one needed to find water in this valley, all one would have to do is look for the large cotton wood trees. They grow fairly large but have a reputation of developing branches that fall as they age, and can be quite dangerous in windy weather. My husband hates them because he is allergic to the signature white cotton wood fluff that floats about to distribute cotton wood seeds. At least I think that’s what they are doing.
Generally during this time of the year the trees and plants give off a unique odor, which for those of us that grow up in the area strongly reminds of childhood days of returning to school and the change of weather. Strangely enough, I did not notice this smell that much. Perhaps it is still early for the plants to fully start their winterizing and dying processes.
Perhaps I will take another walk in the area for more visual signs of Fall before it turns to the bleak state of Winter. I have often been told there is nothing to be appreciated here, but I think that assessment has more to do with the Humans in the valley than the actual natural beauty of the location. This “meadowed” valley used to be a lot greener than it is today, and I think that is caused by a combination of years of drought along with the Human invasion upon the landscape. This valley greatly changed when the large casino structure that I first show in this photo shoot was erected. Back then it was the MGM Grand and with its construction the kind of people in the area changed along with the rapid disappearance of the local ranches. Perhaps this contributed to the drought climate. Who knows. It was just a very different place before the MGM was built.
G. Winkler ©2013