Early morning on this mid-October day, there were still a few boats docked in the Paynetown State Recreation Area on the north side of Lake Monroe. Photo by J. Bruce Baumann


Is there anything more beautiful in nature than autumn leaves? And is there anyplace more beautiful in fall than our own Monroe County?

Well, certainly for pure unhindered forest vistas, our good neighbor Brown County gets the nod. But Monroe County has more than farms and forests; it has a stately courthouse, the Indiana University campus, monuments, public parks, and nearby lakes that in autumn are more eye-catching than ever, festooned in radiant foliage.

To capture all this beauty in a way that few of us ever see, Bloom turned to J. Bruce Baumann, former National Geographic photographer, 50-year veteran newsman, and a member of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame—a man experienced at taking pictures while hanging out the window of a helicopter.

And we got lucky. Heeding the advice of pilot Bob Burke, we chose Tuesday, October 16, to take to the air. It turned out to be the perfect day. The last, as it happened; the rest of the week turned rainy, windy, and glum. But on that Tuesday, an early morning mist rolled away to reveal plush trees at their colorful peak under a cloudless blue sky.

The beauty of that day took our breath away. So, too, do these photographs.
—the editor

Read the entire story here.

We had too many wonderful photos to fit in the pages of the magazine. View the outtakes below.