Autumn Hillsides

I generally don’t like taking “scenic” photos.  I would like to hone in on a subject rather than try to capture a massive expanse.  Today, however, I did spend some time wandering around the hills surrounding our area. The views were exhilarating, at times leaving me feeling as though intoxicated!

hillside-autumn-views-1small.jpg

While driving home from the Bible study last night,  the kids and I discovered that the flashing red lights on the wind generators to the south of us can be seen from the top of our hill at night.  Perhaps that is why I was (subconsciously) drawn to explore the hills that house the wind farm today.

hillside-autumn-views-2small.jpg

hillside-autumn-views-3small.jpg

hillside-autumn-views-4small.jpg

hillside-autumn-views-5small.jpg

hillside-autumn-views-6small.jpg

 The leaves on the trees are just so colorful and breathtaking!  It is an unusually beautiful year.  As each day comes to a close and the darkness creeps in around the edges, I feel so sad, as I cannot remain outside, enjoying the goodness that surrounds me.

I Win!

Ever since the day my father cracked open a hickory nut and gave me a section, I was sold on them! They have the sweetest, most tender meat in them….I read on the internet they are closely related to the pecan.

Every year, I search around on the ground for the succulent little nuts, and every year, I am *sure* I hear the squirrels dangling on branches above my head, laughing at my futile efforts.  You see, they already harvested them!

Well!  This year, I was bound and determined that I was going to get a good harvest from the big hickory tree on the edge of our yard.  That tree is close enough to the house that I should be able to glean the nuts without too much competition.  So, one day when I noticed that several of the nuts had fallen to the ground, I sent Michelle into the garage to grab the long-handled skimmer net for the pool.  She set to work, sending those nuts sailing onto the ground, and boy did we get lots of hickory nuts!

A few days ago, the changeable weather meant windy conditions, so the kids and I went out a few times that day, picking up more of the tasty little nuts.  I am  so pleased with the amount of nuts we were able to get this year….

hickory-nuts1small.jpg

I only wish I could pass these through the computer so you could taste them!  Mark says they taste like a pecan, but sweet….almost a maple-flavor.

hickory-nuts2small.jpg

I kid you not; one afternoon as I was picking nuts off the ground, there was a squirrel chattering above me in another tree.  I supposed that little dickens was squawking about how his harvest was being messed with by my diligence!  Too bad….there are plenty of acorns all over the place!  Squirrely Nutkin can have ALL the acorns he wants.  And as an aside, do you know how “lumpy” all those buried acorns feel under my feet as I mow the lawn?

While I am on the subject of gathering, I really must show you what one of the Scotties brought in on his skirts…..

tiny-perfectly-formed-oak-leafsmall.jpg

I haven’t seen such a tiny little oak leaf before.  It is so perfectly formed and pretty!

I grabbed a quarter someone left on the kitchen counter to show just how little the leaf is.  I took a look at the quarter and smiled. Of all the quarters around, this happened to be one of the state ones. Can you guess what state it is?  Well, it represents the BIG state of Texas.  Here in the states, the joke is that *everything* is BIGGER in Texas.

just-how-tiny-this-leaf-issmall.jpg 

Come to think of it, I wonder how the Texans allowed the US mint to make such a SMALL coin to represent their state?  I figure their coin should have been at least the size of a silver dollar….just to differentiate!