is springtime, when winter's "stick season" gives way to the lush greens of summer and the promise of a few months of outdoor weather.
My second-favorite time is autumn, shortly after deciduous trees cease pumping chlorophyll. The greens disappear, leaving leaves to display brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds. The window of opportunity is short: there's a week or so to appreciate the saturated bonanza of nature's wonderful world of color. With wind and rain, and a couple freezing nights, the abscission starts, and it's right back into stick season all over again.
So here we are, on October 23, 2023, along the Mississippi in Trempealeau, Wisconsin, as BNSF's hot Portland-Chicago intermodal train Z-PTLCHC7-21A busts through a canopy laced with color.