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Gold, golden, gilded, glowing – the autumn landscape at Capitol Reef park in Utah, USA, is a magical place, one that invites the traveler to wander slowly through its trees and listen to them whisper. In response, the slow moving Sulphur Creek murmurs back. And if the pedestrian bridge could talk, it would say, “Both sides of the bank are just as beautiful. Walk over to one, and then back to other – but don’t hurry! -- and see.”
But of course bridges can’t talk, right?
But in a place like this, a fine and private place where the trees brush their tops together to form a protective canopy over the grass and the leaves and the water, you feel as if all the impossible things could happen, and if you DID hear the bridge talk, it would be the wood faeries who are playing a little joke upon you, and you would smile at their merriness as you continued on your stroll.
Autumn Gold, the painting, celebrates the quiet, secret places that we now and then in our lives stumble upon, a discovery of something new, all to ourselves. Located in the Fruita Campground and surrounded by historic orchards, this enclave is actually not far from the 71 campsites that dot the grassy commons of the park.
But on this afternoon, though the campground is a popular one (“an oasis in the desert,” it is so described), no one else wandered through the trees, traversed the bridge, stood by the waters and watched the rippling current. It was as if you were miles away from national parks and campgrounds and picnic tables and RVs and tents and hikers and tourists and were safely tucked away in an autumn forest of bewitching, fairy-like beauty.
Just you . . . and the wood faeries.
January 8th, 2024
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