A freight train was about to make its way onto a bridge over the Big Muddy River north of metropolitan Wolf Lake last Friday afternoon.A hawk looked to have been somewhat puzzled by the number of vehicles which were making their way along the levee road along the Union County side of the Big Muddy River on a bright and sunny November afternoon.Hmmmm...I wondered if this vulture in a field next to the Big Muddy River levee road might have been waiting for a motorist to make a mistake...just in time for dinner...or a snack.Trees appeared to create an archway over the LaRue Road when this picture was taken during a visit late last week.

Please read this...Traffic on a levee road...and other musings...

During a period of about 72 hours last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I once again came to appreciate why Union County, and Southern Illinois, are such a nice place to call home, especially during autumn.

Autumn is pretty much my favorite season. It seems to have taken a little big longer than usual this year, but the temperatures have started to get a little bit cooler. 

The foliage seems to be trying to change from the greens of summer to the oranges and yellows and reds of autumn. This year, however, the colors appear to be a little subdued. 

Those subdued colors were quite visible during my journeys through Union County on the aforementioned Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Last Friday, yours truly motored to the metropolitan Wolf Lake area in western Union County. I had an event to cover at Shawnee High School that involved the 2016 political campaign, which, I sincerely hope, mercifully came to an end on Tuesday.

While I was in that part of the world, I decided to head out to LaRue-Pine Hills to check out the autumn colors, and, hopefully, to take some pictures for one of the many publications which we created at The Paragraph Factory.

As noted earlier, the colors were somewhat subdued. But the sun was shining in a bright blue sky, and some photographic possibilities still managed to surface.

I motored along the LaRue Road and then headed to the road on the levee next to the Big Muddy River, along the border between Union and Jackson counties. And, much to my surprise, there was a fair amount of traffic on both roads. 

Maybe folks were enjoying the weather. Maybe they just wanted to get out and enjoy the last Friday before Daylight Saving Time came to an end. Who knows.

Lots of folks were out Saturday and Sunday, too. Saturday's travels took me to metropolitan Alto Pass, and to the suburbs of Water Valley and Lick Creek for various photo opportunities. I can tell you that three of Union County wineries were busy places last Saturday afternoon. 

On Sunday afternoon, The Other Half and yours truly went on what amounts to a date. We motored to the Trail of Tears State Forest, trekked through a creek bed or two, listened to the bluejays and crows, and just enjoyed another bright, sunny and unseasonably warm afternoon in November.

While heading back home after our visit to the state forest, it occurred to me, again, how much I enjoy living in this little part of the world. Even with the occasional traffic jam on a levee road.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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