In photos: an afternoon in Duluth's Hartley Park

On a Sunday afternoon in early October, I spent what felt like 10 minutes -- it was actually two hours -- exploring Hartley Park on Duluth's east side. I brought a camera. IMG_4976

Some trees in Duluth's Hartley Park -- like these, glistening in the sun near the head of a quiet trail -- already have changed into brilliant golds and yellows. Others still cling to the deep greens of summer.


Further down the same trail, leaves and pine needles are strewn across the path leading toward a small field, where sun spills onto the knee-high grass.


Hartley Park crests at scenic Rock Knob, where a bird's-eye view reveals early fall colors setting in along the Lake Superior shoreline.


From above, a peek at Duluth's Woodland neighborhood, as seen through the trees being whipped atop the park's windy summit.


On the climb down from Rock Knob, one small tree appears caught between the seasons.


Leaves crunch with each step, trees create a natural archway and sunlight illuminates the path back down the hill.


Pine needles serve as a prickly coat for this mossy log, resting in the shade from the trees still standing.


Like flecks of gold, changed leaves stick out among their still-green brothers and sisters.


From the branches of some trees hang clumps of reddish fruit, the occasional piece -- resembling a miniature apple -- losing its grip and falling to the ground.


Only travelers on foot are welcome beyond these wooden planks, which begin a sinuous path toward Tischer Creek.


Sun bakes the south side of this tree as early evening arrives in the forest.


High-reaching trees frame a bridge that carries travelers between sunlight and shadows.


Tischer Creek wraps its way around the Woodland neighborhood, cuts through Hartley Pond and funnels finally into Lake Superior.


Downstream, a piece of driftwood joins a cluster of rocks to create a natural mini-dam, stirring up a small pool of foam.


Two hours after I entered, one last look at the trees that stand guard near the outskirts of the park.


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