A-Mulching I Will Go!

Yesterday was a quiet day.  The weather was chilly in the morning, but as the afternoon progressed, the sun came out and warmed everything up.

I wanted to share a photo I took yesterday of tree that I have considered to be one of the prettiest I have seen this fall. It is located across the road from the church with the burned-out bell tower.  I pass it each time I go to Naples, and have thought I needed to photograph it many times. Yesterday, I finally pulled off the road and took the little walk to get it!

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I really *seriously* had to mulch the lawn yesterday.  The leaves were still wet from out snowy little bout of weather a couple  of days ago, but I felt an urgency to get them done. The lawn was completely covered in pretty leaves with no hint of green showing.  And the “carpet” seemed to be increasing in depth.  I had no idea if the wet leaves would jam the mower or mulch.  Fortunately for me, the latter was the case! I worked for over an hour just doing the lawn area.  I will do the upper area where the swing set is later!

In the afternoon,  as the bright sunlight filled the bedroom with its golden glow, I pulled a chair up and opened the window, allowing a slightly chilly breeze to blow into the room. It was such a fresh wind coming in and it felt totally harmless and extravagant.

Looking out the window, there are several maple trees in the side yard.  One stood out. For one thing, it still is clad in many leaves; most other trees are over half “naked”!  Another curious element to this tree is that it seems it cannot make up its mind….its bottom leaves are mostly green, while its upper leaves are beautiful gold!

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Looking down from my perch, I could see the line between the mulched and non-mulched leaves. (there was NO difference  before I went out with the trusty little mulching mower!)

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I sat, gazing out the window for over half an hour.  It was therapy, I suppose. I watched as little birds flitted from the feeder to branches…I smiled as I saw a tiny chipmunk chase a squirrel that looked at least twice his size across the yard! Then the little chipper seemed to enjoy the newly-mulched lawn.

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Looking up into the woods, it was so inviting!

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You can see that most of the leaves are now lying on the floor of the woods.

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We will greatly enjoy these waning days of Autumn. I know the calendar calls for more weeks of the season, but we know (especially after hearing the upcoming weather forecast) warm days and sunshine are at a premium right now and will soon become history!

Another Confession from the Woodcutter

Last week, while sitting and watching a Buffalo Sabres Hockey game, Mark saw my ankle and squawked! 

Almost three weeks ago, we cut down a rather tall ash tree that was dead.  I was thrilled to get the nicely-seasoned-on-the-stump firewood.  Mark was nervous about taking it down, as it had lots of potentially dangerous branches high in the air.  I cut a notch in it, then made a small back cut.  We hooked a very long rope and tow strap onto the hitch of the ATV and pulled the tree down. It really came down nicely.

Mark has a cant hook that he used a lot when he used to cut firewood. I am a bit more reluctant to use it; my choice is to use pieces of firewood or nearby stumps to lift the wood from the ground for cutting.

I had sectioned the tree and Mark told the kids to cant up one piece that was probably about 1o or 12 feet long.  It was near the base of the tree, so it was a good-sized piece.  They got it up in the air,  but they were going to have to hold the handle down to keep it from springing back and dropping the log.

I turned to grab my saw just as BOTH of the kids let go of the handle! Egads, that log hopped off the cant hook and slid right down my leg,  just below my shin.  For a moment, I think I was seeing stars, but when I saw Mark getting very upset, I pooh-poohed the thing, telling him I was fine.  However, when I looked down shortly thereafter and saw my poor ankle swelling up, I decided we better call it quits for the day!

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I must say that I do bruise very easily, so I was shocked the bruise was so localized! In all honesty, this injury never really hurt.  The swelling did, but by propping it up, the swelling left quite quickly!

I am thrilled to say that there was no damage done other than looking gross for a bit! There is no longer a bruise there and it feels fine!  I am, however, convinced that my bones must be quite tough. To have a log ride down my ankle like that surprised me that nothing was broken! (I have never broken a bone, as a matter of fact)

And no, this did not, nor will it,  cause me to stop cutting! I will keep a closer eye on those kids of mine, though!

Some Scenes from Today

I was thoroughly enjoying our little dusting of snow this morning! It was so pretty, and the chill in the air really didn’t bother me in the least!  When it snows such a heavy, wet snow,  it does something to the atmosphere and accoustics outside. The woods seems even more quiet than usual.

As I was enjoying the scenery out my bedroom window, I spotted a couple of deer walking along one of our paths on the side of the house. The photo looks kind of “funny” as the snow was falling as I snapped it.

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I had to run to the bank this morning and as soon as I descended down our road,  it was clear that our snow was totally a “higher elevation” thing! While I was at the bank, a woman was there explaining to the teller about her “amazing” ride down. She went on and on about how there were definitive lines on the hills, distinctly separating the higher elevations!  She said it was also cool the way the clouds were lingering just above the snow at the top of the hills.

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As I turned onto our road,  I could see what the customer at the bank was describing! 

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When I walked out of the bank,  I mindlessly swiped the back window of the Explorer,  sending snow onto the ground.  Behind me, I heard a man’s voice call out to me….

“Get used to it!”

I turned back to him and laughed out loud. I explained to him that I LOVE the winter. Cold, snow, shoveling, I love it all! He looked at me as though I was crazy. He told me he loved it  when he used to ski, but not any more. Then he told me that life changes as we age.

I certainly hope not!

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Mark was feeling a little out of sorts today. Yesterday, he had a sore throat. It was much better today,  and although  he had wanted to go out this afternoon,  he sent me out to do some errands while he stayed home in the warm house.

The forecast calls for more cool weather tomorrow, then it is supposed to heat up a bit.  We still have some little outdoor tasks to complete.  Even though the woodshed is probably filled with enough wood for the winter,  I would like to get a little more.  The last time we cut, Ben, Mark, and I went for a ride through our woods on the ATV’s and I was overwhelmed by the amount of wood lying on the ground, just waiting for me and the chainsaw! Even though this isn’t one of my favorite jobs to do, it sure is one that takes little time and effort and nets BIG results and VALUE!

One Very Long Day!

I went to bed at about 11:30 last night and was awakened at 4:00 this morning by a husband with a rumbling stomach.  After tending to him, I began cleaning here and there around the house.  It is now almost 11:00 pm, and I am still awake! (miserably tired, but so wound up after watching the Sabres win a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat game this evening!)

Our weather was quite the talk today, with snow flurries blowing throughtout the entire day!  I fiddled around with the Nikon for a bit, playing with some of the various editing capabilities.

I have thought about “collecting” photos of old barns and churches for some time,  and I played with one of the barn photos I really like.

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After trying cyan, sepia, and black and white, I settled on the sepia in a dark tone, as it just felt the best! I guess the stripe going up the center of the road and the “curve” sign are a bit contradictory to the “old-fashioned” feeling being portrayed. I could just tell everyone it is a study in contrasts!

Because of the bitter, blustery winds with driven rain and snow showers,  the birds were feeeding continuously at the feeder all day.  I have no idea what the speed was of the wind, but when I opened the door to step outside, the sound was similar to a freight train moving down the tracks!

I caught this tiny woodpecker clinging to the tree…no, my vision hasn’t gone bad, the bird was moving much faster than my camera could keep up!

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The weather forecast calls for a slight accumulation of snow by tomorrow morning.  We shall see!

An Ordinary Day!

Gads, today was such a boring day! I helped Ben with some math this morning. When it came time for lunch, I resembled Old Mother Hubbard!  No matter where I looked, it seemed there was a missing ingredient to make an entire meal!  I thought about it and realized it was two weeks since last I went grocery shopping. Oops!

Michelle helped Cindy today, so I planned to go shopping after picking her up.  When I got her, it was so funny. She was covered in flour and looking quite like an emaciated Pillsbury Doughboy!  She was in good spirits, though, so we made our way up the other side of the lake to Canandaigua.

As we drove northward, we passed a beach area where a young woman had a camera set up on a tripod and was taking photos. My heart turned green with envy.  I looked at the sky and remarked how glorious it was! Of course, when another beach came up, I parked the Explorer, hopped out, and took some photos!

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It really is sad that I miss all of the spectacular sunsets because of the trees!

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Michelle sat in the car while I raced about in the grocery store. Murphy was with her….seems the little lad has taken the habit of plopping himself in front of the door as I hurry to get ready to go out lately. Today, he sat there, looking so sullen, there was just no way I could leave without him.  He was greatly appreciative.

After the shopping expedition, Mark called and said to just pick up a pizza for dinner. Good thing, cause I was tired by this time! Since we had some time to waste, I parked out on the city pier and we listened to the radio.

As I pulled out of my parking space to proceed towards the city, I saw the colorful lights of a bar reflecting on the calm waters of the lake. I just had to stop and take a photo. At this point, I need to remark that if you click on my photos, they will expand, but will expand even further with a second click! In this photo, if you expand it all the way,  you can vaguely make out the yacht in the foreground, to the right of the lights.

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We picked up the pizza and then began our journey homeward. I took the back road up the hill towards home.  As we came to the top of the hill, I smiled as I could see the flashing red lights on the wind generators. I got to thinking about all of the changes we have seen on our road in the sixteen years we have lived here.

When we first moved in, our road was a dirt road! It was dusty and miserable in the summer when it hadn’t rained for some time.  In the winter, it was narrowly plowed, making it scary in the event one met another vehicle coming in the opposite direction!

There are also a few new and very expensive homes that have been built on our road. It has gone from a seasonal use road to a paved roadway, servicing many homes.  My how time changes things!

Confessions from a Woodcutter

Yesterday, we spent the’ better part of the day working on firewood. I cut up some wood and we gathered up lots and lots of wood I had cut a couple of weeks ago,  After gathering the wood, we split it and stacked it neatly in the woodshed  We are *nearly* done. Just a little bit more firewood, and we shall be fine for the winter! Hurrah!

Now, for my confession…..

As we were getting ready to go outside, I disappeared upstairs.  As the family awaited on me, I was madly dashing about the bedroom, grabbing up my leather knapsack and stashing the “essentials” into it.  In went my Panasonic camera,  my cell phone,  keys for the ATV’s, and a few other things.

No one noticed the big black leather bag; that is, until we got into the woods! Mark gave me the strangest look.  Then came the questions, inquiring what, pray tell, was in the bag! My lips were sealed…

Well, I took a few photos with the Panasonic camera, but I really wanted to test out the camera on my cell phone! Here are two photos taken with the camera….(this phone’s camera surely leaves some to be desired!)

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While everyone was off taking a load of firewood back to the house,  I found a grassy little patch of turf and leaned back.  This is the canopy above me!

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And, hey, how could I not photograph my faithful little saw?

So, now you know.  Even while I am cutting firewood,  my mind is still off  thinking about photography!

Rainbows in the Clouds?

While wandering about the other day amongst the wind generators atop the hills, I saw such a cool thing!

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Of course, first I attributed it to my sunglasses. I removed them and it was still there! So, it must be that dark blue strip at the top of the windshield, right? Nope. I stepped out of the Explorer and it was still there!

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Can someone explain this? (I am supposing it must have something to do with moisture and sun?)

Brrr…Brrr…Brrr!!!!

Ah, yes…as I padded down the stairs this morning and glanced out at the thermometer, it was reading *very chilly*! We were hovering right near 32 degrees fahrenheit, which means about 0 degrees celsius. 

Michelle scurried about, as Cindy had asked her to come in this morning to help with pies. She was supposing this weekend was going to bring many leaf-peepers, as the leaves are quickly falling to the ground.  This means many folks will be stopping by, ready to grab a tasty grape pie to take home with them!

I took Michelle down to Naples, and when we reached the bottom of our hill, look what we saw!

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I smiled, as the photo looks as though I edited it. It looks almost cyan on the bottom, and color on the top. But, that is just the way it looked this morning at 8!

We drove down the upper road to Naples. As I headed south, I looked at the lake….it looked as though it was doing a pretty good imitation of an Alaskan lake!!! Well, either that, or it looked like a huge evaporator!

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I stepped out of the Explorer to capture that shot. Look at the side of the road! The frost was really thick, but see the contrast between where the sun had hit on the grass!

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 The skies are really bright blue this morning, and I do believe we are in for another one of those atmospherically intoxicating days!

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As I returned home after dropping Michelle off,  I took the lower road. Of course, I had to stop in Woodville! Wow, what a shock…..there were many, many vehicles parked there with boat trailers. Apparently, this weather is good for fishing! As a boat was about to launch, I looked to see what these hale and hardy fishermen were wearing! Answer: winter coats!

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Canandaigua Lake, looking northward this chilly morning! As I was taking the photos at Woodville, I could hear the unmistakable sound of the Eagle calling out.  It was so surreal…

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The following are photos I took around our house….

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