Of Sunny Days and Beautiful Views…

Aren’t you the lucky reader?

Okay, so I found a few minutes to sit down and see some of the photos I wanted to share from my camera cards.  I thought I wouldn’t want to make one blog post from all the photos, so I have posted two entries this evening!

I know I *try* to entice my readers by showing why I think I live in one of the most beautiful places on Planet Earth….but you do have to admit, the views are pretty wonderful here!

from the end of our driveway.small

scene along the high road 1.small

scene along the high road 2.small

Now, that wasn’t too painful, was it?

Of Snowy Days and Clouds Upon the Water….

 Ah, we have been so busy the past few days.  If we aren’t running the kids around, or having their friends over,  we are working on this, that, or the other thing!  Argh!  I am ready to settle down for a long winter’s nap methinks!

I took several more photos the other day when we had our first snowfall and I thought I would post them. 

I had this *brilliant* idea to photograph the little birds who frequent our feeder as they sat perched on leafy, but snowy branches.  After all,  this was a pretty unique situation! 

I opened the second story bedroom window and leaned out to see what I could see….there on the ground far below me sat a big fat chipmunk.  This fellow could easily win a “world’s biggest chipmunk” contest.  It was huge!  And, just take a look at this glutton’s pouches in his cheeks!!!

 look at this fellow's cheeks.small

After several failed attempts to capture a chickadee on the branches,  I gave up!  Seems like my camera wanted to focus either on the snow,  or the leaves!  So, how about some snowy leaves?

snow on the leaves.small

Our snow that fell on Thursday morning melted away by late afternoon.  On Friday morning,  however, we awakened to another coating of snow.  This one wasn’t as heavy,  but it was pretty again! Michelle went in to work for Cindy in the morning,  and as I drove te Explorer down the hill,  the precipitation changed from wet snow to rain.  As a matter of fact,   we have our driveway for the house, and further down the hill on our lower property,  we have a small entrance into the woods.  At that lower “driveway”,  the rain was falling…..this is only about 300′ from the main driveway! The elevation, however,  falls rapidly as one progresses down the hill.

I stopped at the overlook where I took photos last week as I just had to capture the low-lying clouds!  They were so fascinating!

clouds on the water 1.small

really low clouds.small

I wanted to point out as well, that I very rarely “tinker” with colors in my photos!  When Mark saw the photos I posted from this vantage point last week,  he thought I had brightened them as they were almost literally screaming!  As you can see from these photos,  the colors are intense, even with the gloom of the day added in!

I Cannot Believe He Said That!

Last week,  Ben and Mark left early to pick Michelle up at school.  They had a little shopping to do and figured they would do some before  they picked her up.

They arrived home later…

After eating dinner,  Ben made a comment about his dad.  He said,  “When we came out of the store,  Dad said a ‘horse’s arse’  parked next to the truck!”  Ben then laughed hysterically!

Well, my dander got up as I told Ben he had better watch his mouth!

To which he laughed again.

And, my dander raised a notch.

Finally,  Ben grabbed Mark’s cell phone and fiddled with it for a bit.  “There….look for yourself.”

amish horse.small

amish buggy.small

Sorry about the quality.  Mark had taken the photos with his phone and I have no idea why the “pink” atmosphere!

I never even asked where this was located,  but as many times as I have driven to Canandaigua, I have never, ever seen a horse “parked” in a lot!   The sad fact is, since most folks “drive” in automated vehicles,  there is no allowance for tying up horses.  Thus, this horse was tied to a yellow pole that is in the handicapped spaces.  (Mark probably would never have noticed it, otherwise!)

Oh SNOW!

Yes, while it really isn’t *much*,  it certainly *is* early!

Last night, on our way home after shopping, Michelle and I  saw some snow in the air.  It was nothing to worry about, though, as it was harmlessly falling and melting.

Last night,  after taking the Scotties out, I had to run and grab my camera because the dusting of snow was so pretty!

snow on the bush 1.small

Well, perhaps the bush was pretty,  but my  Mums didn’t look quite as pretty.

snow covered pink mums 2.small

snow covered rust mums 3.small

Those Mums are so impressive this year!  I received the pink ones last year from my mother-in-law.  They came in a tiny four inch pot.  When I transplanted them into the ground,  I was doubtful they would grow,  but they are actually bigger around than a bushel basket!  The rust-colored ones grew astronomically as well!

This morning when I opened my eyes,  although it was dark out,  it seemed kind of “bright”.

trees outside the bedroom window 4.small

Let me assure you, snow in our neck of the woods in October is very unusual!  It does make for some interesting photos, though!

The bush continued to disappear this morning……

bush this morning 5.small

I went and got my little Panasonic camera because it has such a wide angle.  Here is our front “yard”…..

in front of house.small

I repeatedly bemoan our  annual autumnal “monsoons”  as the rain prematurely strips all color from the trees each year!  This year should be different!  Not sure if this snow will remove the leaves,  but it really makes for bizarre conditions!

leafy trees with snow.small

Explorer?  Where for art thou?

snow clad explorer.small

an unusual wintry scene.small

Looking out back is impressive….the tall trees look even taller in their snowy shroud!

backyard.small

I  understand the weather is much worse to our south.  It seems utility lines have gone down under the weight of the sloppy, wet snow!  

As I came back into the house from outside,  I heard a little Chickadee call out to me.  Instead of the cheerful little “chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee”  I typically hear from these sweet little birds,  I am positive it call “feed me-me-me-me”!  I did so….immediately!

Now, to curl up with a hot cup of tea and listen to the radio…..

Self-Imposed Segregation

Today, the winds were bitingly cold.  No, not really “chilly”.  But cold!

I picked Michelle up late this afternoon and she was famished.  I made a quick stop at the grocery store and then we went to Wendy’s so she could get a quick bite to eat.  Since Wendy’s is located so close to the lake, we decided to eat (in the Explorer) on the pier.

As we sat in the warmth of the car,   I suddenly saw what looked like a “swarm” of  ducks (?) floating in the water.  The sky was already beginning to darken,  and the wind blowing caused the birds to bob up and down, seemingly uncontrollaby.  But to my surprise,  the birds in question turned out to be Coots!

coots all in the water.small

Interesting…..the gulls were all lined up on the rocks,  almost looking like they were huddled to gain some warmth!

gulls on the rocks.small

The birds both kept their distance from each other.  I did see a gull “dive bomb” a Coot, who immediately reached up as though to snap at the offender!

again, coots in water.small

and gulls on the rocks.small

Michelle and I smiled at one another as we discussed how these birds were obviously biased towards their “own kind”!

The Earth Ablaze in Color

I know I have featured some of the beautiful scenery near our home in the past,  but these are a few of the photos I shot today….some this morning (rather dark shots!) and some this afternoon.  All of these photos were taken within five miles or so from our house.

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I wouldn’t say we are “lucky” to live where we do,  but rather “privileged” to do so!

Somehow I Missed the Weekend!

Sorry to have disappeared for a time, but I feel like I am standing on the “railroad tracks of life” and the train keeps running me over and over!!!  Perhaps not the best analogy,  but close to how I percieve life lately!

The kids had a party here on Saturday night.  One of the main reasons was because their friend,  Jonathan,  was home from college.  The kids love any reason to “congregate” and of course,  we were all anxious to see Jono!  The kids also decided to do a “Capture the Flag” game in the dark!  Ugh!

The few photos I did mangae to take didn’t come out very well,  but here they are…

jono and the apple entertain.small

jono in a eureka moment.small

erin with camo painted face.small

Before venturing forth into the woods (in total DARKNESS!)  I made the kids a meal of  Chicken Flambe and Twice Baked Potatoes.  Yes, the “flambe” is supposed to have the little doodad over the “e”, but….. And no, “Chicken Flambe” was not entirely planned! 

You see, I generally make chicken on the grill for our (smallish) family of four.  That might mean only eight pieces of chicken on the grill at a time.  Well,  if one puts, say,  twenty pieces of thigh meat *with* skin…..well….let’s just say I am quite grateful to still be “wearing” my eyebrows and bangs!!!  When I opened that grill cover,  I could not believe the seemingly attacking flames lapping up at me!

Fortunately,  I moved quickly and all of the pieces of chicken were saved!  I had made up a batch of my homemade barbeque sauce and nearly killed Carly by having her taste the spicy, savoury mix!  Carly did not acquire my liking or perhaps ability to tolerate hot or spicy food!

The kids finished their meals and went out into the woods,  most everyone dressed in camo.  It was so fun as Mark, Carly, and I watched from th back deck.  We could see the glowing “flags” shining in the darkness and every now and then,  we would hear voices.

Carly looked at me and asked if perhaps we ought to add an element of “confusion” by wandering up into the woods ourselves.  Sounded like fun to me,  but I have to admit,  I havn’t giggled so hard in a long time.  Carly had to “shh” me a few times.  I always fancied myself as being fairly graceful in the woods….but not in pitch black!  Egads!

Carly and I visited one fort, then the other.  As we sneaked up on the second fort,  one of the guards spotted us and shined a headlight on us.  I was giggling uncontrollably by this time and was nearly swept away by a zealous young man who called out “Gottcha”!  The look on his face when he actually discovered “who” he had captured was priceless! I stood to walk toward the fort,  but my long skirt I was wearing tangled in a small sapling and I fell nearly flat on my face.   I giggled even more,  covering the fact I had hit a rock on my left eye as I fell.  It wasn’t serious, but the giggles covered the total embarrassment!

After the game,  the kids were chilled to the bone and all wanted to hop into the hot tub!  Egads….at one point, there was a grand total of nine bodies submerged!  And Alex brought along his lighted frisbee to add a little drama! (That would be the red lights…the blue is from the lights in the hot tub. )

in the hot tub with alex's frisbee.small

Our guests left about 11:30 pm, and I felt dead-on-my-feet,  as I had been on them the enire day!

Sunday, the kids worked around the garage preparing to bring in loads of firewood. (HOW does a garage get so full of clutter and STUFF?)  Then,  we drove over near Penn Yan to deliver the kids to a birthday party.  We had to pick them up again at nine, so we just drove around and “hung out” for a few hours. 

So, today (Monday) should have been a day off? No way!  Today, as Mark and Michelle gathered firewood from the woods, Ben and I cut even more firewood!  We worked until about three, then I made lunches.  Shortly afterward,  I felt terrible and rested.  I am still feeling kind of “ugly”….not too sure, but thinking the cold (it was quite chilly the entire day) and fumes from cutting with the chainsaw got to me!

I cannot wait to see all of the firewood neatly stacked and waiting in the woodshed for the winter ahead.  The weatherman is suggesting a cold and snowy winter this year….time will tell!

A Grape Day!

This morning,  after bounding out of bed and doing my daily chores,  I decided to use some of the grapes I picked up yesterday.  Concord Grapes are one of my favorites!

delicious concord grapes.small

I love the purply-blue skins on the Concords.  I also have a lot of fantastic memories of going to Lake Erie vineyards and orchards as a youngster….My parents would take us to pick bunches of the sugary treats fresh from the vines.  If I close my eyes and breathe in deeply,  I can smell the luscious seasonal bunches!  We usually picked a bushel or two of Cortland Apples first, then we would head to the vineyards.  We were handed sharp clippers to make short work of snipping bunches into our waiting baskets.  We would fill the baskets as full as possible, then set them on a huge scale to be weighed….Oh, what memories!

So, in honor of my childhood memories,  I created four quart-sized jars of grape pie filling…..

fours jars of grape pie filling.small

And baked a fresh crumb-topped grape pie.  I cannot wait to taste the pie as I added a few litle “extras” into both the pie as well as the topping.

crumb-topped grape pie I made.small

Memories….the stuff we are made of… Memories are so fabulous so long as they don’t trip us up!

A Day Well Spent

Well,  I am not sure this would have been everyone’s idea of a day well spent,  but Ben, Mark, and I thoroughly enjoyed this day!

I needed to make a trip to Penn Yan for a few baking supplies and we wound up taking a couple of detours.  Rather than boring you,  however,  I shall allow the photos to speak for me. However, if you have any questions,  I will answer in the comments!

So, pour yourself a cup of tea and sit back….relax, and enjoy a gorgeous New York autumn afternoon…..

Do remember that if you click on the photo, a larger image will be shown….click again to see the photo even larger! Also, in hovering over the photo, a brief “title” will appear)

angus the smilin' scot.small

extreme goodness wrapped in plastic wrap.small

vineyards.small

if only you could smell these.small

wind generator amongst vineyard.small

busload of visitors from ohio.small

interesting visitors at the winery.small

bench overlooking countryside.small

view from bench overlooking countryside.small

grapes and barn.small

just an awesome autumn scene.small

marks dad once owned this land.small

barn set in the woods.small

awesome gazebo.small

Okay….did you click on the photo above?  If so, did you happen to notice the weathervane?

three geese in a front yard.small