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It's a cold, gray and wet day today, but a couple of days ago it was both warmer and sunnier. The same trip that found us looking at pelicans showed the Illinois/Missouri fall countryside in its best light, particularly in this photograph taken at the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, the reservation is largely closed at this time of year, so I was unable to get much further into it, but in a way that was a good thing too – there was hardly anyone around!

I particularly like the shadow of a dead tree on the rock face in this photograph, contrasting as it does with the autumnal colors.

I tend to underestimate just much beautiful countryside there is around St. Louis, not least because I live in a suburb just outside the city proper. A trip like this is a useful reminder.

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