Fairy Tale Trails The forest at dusk is really a storybook kind of place. You almost feel like Little Red Ridinghood skipping through the asters on the way to Grandma’s house. The orange light of the ‘magic hour’ sun comes in low over the fields and brightens and lightens the way. This is exactly how the scene appeared. I was going to crop the image, but decided to keep the one above original size. I filled the frame with light and darkness, where the focus is on the trees and asters that lead you into the forest depths. The pretty, delicate asters really draw you in. The sunset lighting bouncing off the tree trunks is another factor pulling at the viewer, making your mind wander, with your body to follow. The image selected for GGW is seen below, keep going deeper into the darkness. A back lit aster catches the glowing afternoon rays of the sun. A look from within on a sunny day, looking out into the light shining on the meadow. Morning has a much different feel to the space. Now you feel like a little woodland sprite hiding in the protective underbrush of the drifts of asters, frolicking with the bees and butterflies. It really is a magical place. Here are a few more views from the field that is at the forest edge. The first two, where the forest is dense and the next two, where the forest ends to join the meadows. The tips of the grasses are still catching rays. But in morning light…. Just below the grasses, the show of asters is what you see. The tawney grasses are there, just not as easily noticed. The asters in the woods give way to the fields of blue. Since we are ‘filling the frame’, I guess it is only fitting to show an isolated close-up of one and a small group of asters that grace the meadows. They are the temptress that make the meadows and forest floor so special at this time of year. It is also the time of year it rains, rains, rains. The post is called Into the Woods, so we should get back in there. But let’s move over to the next forest. This area is storybook as well, but closer to Sleeping Beauty’s abode. It is darker and the trees a little gnarled. A few clearings and streams of light allow the forest floor to bloom and the bluebird to fly. The trees in the forest are the show when you visit in the morning hours. The canopies are starting to rival any garden filled with flowers. The maples, poplars, oaks and sumac are the stars. Even the fallen are worth a look. There are trails to follow, but what fun is that? It is so much more mysterious and pretty to follow your instinct and explore. We go deeper into the dark. You just might find a lone aster hiding in the shadows, but perfectly positioned to get the sun it needs. With all the pretty images of the woods with morning light shining through, I decided to fill the woods and the frame with this deep rich sunset at 6:30 PM. The asters fade in the evening light and assume the golden tones of the forest right before total darkness overtakes the scene. Come with me, I have a tale to spin…I hope it draws you in. Linking the image above to Gardening Gone Wild, Picture This Contest, judged by Saxon Holt. It is always a pleasure to see the beautiful work submitted by bloggers from around the world. And, it is a great and welcomed help when the judges provide feedback on submissions.