Fall is Calling.

The time has come for my annual trek north.

North(ish), anyway.

It took longer than usual this year, but Alabama is finally experiencing some crisp temperatures. Which I know is a completely relative term, what is considered crisp and all, but for us, the temperatures have finally dipped into the 50’s – maybe with a few 40’s mixed in.

But this year, instead of begging Chris to take me to a relaxing bed and breakfast in the north Alabama mountains, the kids are old enough for me to take them on my grand adventure and turn it into a school week. We’re leaving Chris at home to work and taking my Mom along for her company and voluminous nature knowledge that will surely make this count as an educational field trip.

(For some reason I never learned much from my mother’s vast stores of nature knowledge, but Ali has soaked it up. So much so that when Gramamma isn’t around, Ali educates me.)

(“If you have any questions about trees or plants, Mom, just ask me.”)

(I may or may not be fit as a homeschool mom.)

But anyway. Our field trip. We have decided to do a north Alabama tour of our beautiful Alabama State Parks.

151106.jpgLake Lurleen State Park – Chris and I took a quick pre-road-trip hike on their beautiful trails Friday.

With the children’s love of hiking and my love of nature photography and hiking, we have become increasingly passionate about our state park system over the last few years. Our state is blessed with a particularly beautiful and diverse park system, and there are far too many parks that I haven’t visited yet. I may have missed the peak of fall colors (I originally planned this trip last week but delayed it because of my wreck injuries, which are actually worse than they were last week, but I cannot ignore the call of the north(ish) even if my neck would rather stay home), but I am positive we will find adventure with or without fall colors.

151103j-Mirrors-in-the-Mountain.jpgOak Mountain State Park – the one that is largely responsible for giving me fall fever.

Our plan is to visit six out of 17 state parks in the next three days: Joe Wheeler, Monte Sano, Cathedral Caverns, Guntersville, DeSoto, and Cheaha State Parks. If you would like to follow along in our adventures, I hope to blog while we’re out, but I will definitely be sharing real-time on Instagram and Twitter, I’ll put a couple on Facebook and Facebook, and we will possibly live stream on Periscope.

I certainly hope to create a special collection of photos for Picture Birmingham from this road trip and the other state parks we’ve visited, and should have a special edition note card set just in time for Christmas presents.

So if you enjoy fall colors,

151106i-Leaves-Hanging-On.jpg

sunsets,

151106m-The-Best-Seat-in-the-House.jpg

And every lake reflection I can find,

151103k-Rays-Both-Ways.jpg

Then follow along! And who knows – I may even let Ali educate you a little.