If This Doesn’t Make You Smile….

what will?

I thought this pair of pumpkins had been artfully carved, but after photographing them, I realized they are not the genuine article after all! Aw well, they are cute anyway!

In yesterday’s entry, I alluded to the fact that the skies were changing even as I was out on my litle photo-taking adventure.  I will show the last of the photos from that trip.

Bill had commented on the descriptive Lake to Lake Road from yesterday’s post.  Yes, this really is a road that runs east and west between Canandaigua Lake and Seneca Lake.  I love traveling down that road as it is so pretty and offers some spectacular views.  I was heading west back to Canandaigua on it and decided to travel all the way to Canandaigua Lake. 

I passed by a small swimming area and noticed a large flock of Canada Geese rising and falling up and down like a fisherman’s bobber!  Of course I had to stop. The lake was an awesome shade of blue, reflecting the sky,  but as a weather front was moving in,  the wind was so strong, it was all I could do to hold the camera somewhat steady!

I hopped on over to the Dollar Tree to grab a few little articles we needed.  I’m not sure how long I was in the store, but the skies transformed in a short time from crystal blue to dark gray!  I happened to catch the weather front in my rear view mirror.

That almost looks fake, doesn’t it?

Well, as I stated yesterday, like all good things, my fabulous little journey had to come to an end.  Responsibilities do call.  My last photo is located just a short distance from our house…..Suffice it to say this one is simply a vineyard clothed in its autumn attire!

Country Roads and Barns

As Michelle and I were traveling toward Canandaigua,  I just had to pull over off the road to take a quick photo of this particular barn.  Everything was so perfect, after all. The lighting.  The colors of the trees.  I love this falling down barn. It is along Route 21 and this road is so narrow, there is little allowance for stopping.  Since it is a major road leading to Canandaigua from the south,  it is heavily traveled and vehicles rarely go slowly.  Thus, I was thrilled we were early enough in the morning that I was able to stop even momentarily.

After dropping Michelle off at school, I decided to take a drive east.  Oh my, to say the sun was brilliant is a major understatement!

Uh, that shot was made entirely with the camera propped on the dashboard!  I merely snapped! In order to get to the farming communities, I needed to travel along some interesting roads!

Of course, all along the roads I journeyed on,  there were orange orbs of all sizes and shapes! There were also signs selling said decorations. I really like this next photo, as the sun was playing so brilliantly on the leaves on the trees.

As I drove by, it seems many barns were the new lower variety instead of the two-story gambrel style. I thought this barn was incredible.  Do you think the animals seriously enjoy the view?

Well, perhaps the farmer does as well, since the barn seems to be missing generous portions of its sides! (Nice gate, though!)

At one point,  I saw a large truck coming out of a field;  it was a truck that carries large quantities of product and apparently, it was loaded with corn.  The corn that fell off was lying in a thick line across the road.

I was enjoying this little excursion so much.  It is rare that I take the time to wander off by myself with no agenda.  I saw all kinds of farm machinery and cattle and views so awesome, there is no adjective colorful enough to descibe them.

I did begin to wander back home since Ben had an early afternoon music class at the college.   This barn isn’t too far from home…

And although this is not a barn, I have often pondered  where I might find the story behind it.

What a cool trip out this was.   The autumn rays from Mr. Sun were just perfect for shooting colorful photos.  As I drove home, however, the skies changed from bright and sunny to foreboding!  By the time I got home,  there were raindrops scattered over the windshield!

So We’ve All Heard

Everyone under the sun has heard the expression that we must stop and smell the roses.  May I venture to say that perhaps we should take it one step further and stop to observe the milkweed?

I never really paid much attention at all to milkweed in the past, but a couple of years ago, a friend advised me that the beautiful Monarch Butterfly only lays its eggs in milkweed plants.  Since I really love those gorgeous little winged creatures of black and orange, I gained a great deal of respect for that otherwise less than comely weed!

I dropped Michelle off at college this morning and then decided that since it was an extraordinary morning,  I would go for a little ride in the country.  I was thoroughly prepared for such an outing,  complete with my companion, the Nikon camera.  Although there was a stiff breeze,  the air was mild enough not to cause undue chilling and the skies above were glorious.

As always, I opted to travel on roads I’ve not taken previously.  As I drove along the country roads,  I noticed many little milkweed plants nodding in the sunny breezes.  The autumn sun illuminated the silky heads bursting from their protective pods and the tiny strands glistened and danced about, grasping my attention and then absolutely fascinating my imagination as I spent time observing and photographing them….

This was the original plant that so captivated my wandering eye.  I parked the Explorer off to the side of the road, then hopped out to hopefully get a good shot at it.  Unfortunately, as I walked toward the plant,  I became aware that as I advanced toward the little weed,  I was trudging downward and (fortunately for me!)  I stopped abruptly just short of trouncing into a drainage ditch.

Was I discouraged?  No. Was I frustrated?  No.  I figured that further down the road, there would be yet another plant in a more convenient location, rending itself a bit more friendly to the camera and me.  I was happy I was feeling so optimistic as I didn’t have to go too far before I found a few more plants clustered together at the edge of the road.

These photos would best be viewed if one were to click on them to enlarge them. 

I took many more photos on my little morning jaunt and I will publish them over another day or two. In the meantime, I would like to encourage you, Dear Reader, to go beyond the roses…or even the beautiful mums that are providing splashes of color all about this time of the year,  and look into the more everyday and even less than beautiful to see God’s hand!

From Beautiful to Blustery!

Yesterday morning,  I dropped Michelle off at college, then decided to grab a little snack before doing some serious grocery shopping.

Um…yeah…I was going to showmy readers my tasty pumpkin donut, but unfortunately, it was calling my name and I actually ate it as I was driving!  Oops!  Thus, the bag in the back was empty.  There was little so tasty as that donut and a piping hot cup of hot chocolate.

As I sat in the Lowe’s parking lot, the sun was just making its appearance over the eastern horizon.  It was so amazing!

I enjoyed my little time to myself,  then got down to the business of shopping.  I was so proud of  my shopping adventure.  First stop was WalMart for a few things.  Then I headed to Aldi, but didn’t realize they don’t open until 9 am.  That didn’t stop me! 

I hopped on over to Wegman’s where I could while away some time recycling my two big bags of bottles and cans.  I gingerly waltzed my two bags to the recycling area and was so happy to see there was no one else around.  I was a bit surprised to walk through the doors and be slapped with the “brewery factor” so early in the morning.  Phew….stale beer before 9am stinks!

I balanced one of my large bags on top of the other and began to place them into the machine.  I had many, many lightweight water bottles to recycle and for some reason, the first machine was giving me a really hard time with them.  I quickly moved on to the next machine.  Argh!  Was there a conspiracy against me returning my recyclables? This machine kept putting up the error code Do not throw containers!  I certainly was not throwing them in!

I have never had any problems with the machines in the past, but I was beginning to feel terribly inept!  I merely sacheted on to the next machine.  Not only was I accused of throwing containers at the machine,  but it also told me that my containers Not accepted  and Insert only one container at a time. 

Wow!  I spent so much time with those machines,  I thought I was going to scream!  The icing on the cake was when the conveyer in the machine ripped the label off a two liter bottle of Mountain Dew!  I felt like I was tasting recycling “hell”! I did manage to get most of the bottles into the machine for proper credit,  but I did have to take in four water bottles that I was advised were Too damaged even though they were in perfect condition!  Oh the joys of recycling!

I shopped at Wegman’s for a few specific items like fresh produce and some chicken breasts.  Thankfully, the girl that checked me out was in a good mood.  I think if anyone would have given me trouble,  I might have gone off the deep end!

I finished withWegman’s then moseyed on over to Aldi.  I picked up a few things there including a marzipan candy at the checkout.  Oh my!  I love almonds and when I bit into this delectable treat,  it tasted so much like chocolate covered cherries! 

After finishing at Aldi,  I went on to Big Lots where I found a pretty tablecloth in shades of gold and pale orange.  It is woven and has realistic looking pumpkins on it.  Very nice!  I also found some cute Thanksgiving placemats.  One of the coolest things, though, was a poultry seasoning grinder (like a pepper mill) by Paula Deen.  When I opened the mill and ground out some spice,  I was impressed by the flavor.  It is kind of unique and very tasty!

After all of my shopping,   I headed on home as Ben needed to go to his class in the afternoon.  As I was driving home, I noticed the wind was increasing in its intensity.  By the time I got home,  it was really very windy but the temperature was so mild.

We didn’t get any of the wild weather that was being experienced by a large bit of our nation.  Later in the evening, it was not only windy, but also rainy.  We had lots of small branches littering the lawn and most all of th leaves are now on the ground.  It is incredible to think that one good windy, stormy evening can remove nearly all the beautiful fall foliage!

Moody Moon!

When we were driving home the other night,  Mark and Ben were making comments on how cool the moon looked in the sky with clouds passing by it.  I was thrilled tonight when I wandered outside and saw a similar sight.  My little Panasonic camera does a pretty decent job with such shots….

The moon is so bright, one doesn’t need much lighting at all to see!  We are also experiencing some warm temps which are pretty nice as we still have to winterize the camper.   It really isn’t a hard job, just one of those things we hate to do as it means no more camping for awhile!

Mister Moon

Let me tell one small story!  As I was looking through my photos on the SD card this morning,  I was surprised I missed the shot I took last evening of the moon, so I thought I would just add it on this morning.  What to title the photo?  Why, Mister Moon, of course!

Mister Moon…suddenly my mind flashed back to my hometown to, of all things, Mr. Moon!  Mr. Moon was a real person who was said to have been “loaded”.  Mr. Moon lived in a very modest little house and (of all things!) rode a bicycle around town.  I have no idea if he ever even owned a car!

So, I guess in honor of Mr. Moon, here is a photo of Mister Moon, taken from my (and Mr. Moon’s) hometown!

I also am tagging on a photo of little Murphy.  (Carol, this one is for you! Thank you for your comment!)  Our Scotties love, adore, cherish car trips!  If I didn’t know better, I would think these little boys were *born* in a car!! Angus rides up front and Murphy takes the back.

Yesterday, Ben rode up front with Mark and the two menfolk chatted on about snowmobiles.

Michelle, Murphy, and I were squished into the back seat.  Mark had his computer bag,  Michelle brought her large backpack with books so she could do some homework,  and I had my netbook, two camera bags, and a purse.  Well, even though we drive a pickup truck, space really is limited!

And so, wee Murphy just finds a comfortable spot and makes himself at home….

hehehe….here he is just resting his head on my camera bag!

Let the Snow Fly!

Today, we basically ran all over creation…this part, at least!

Mark had called a fellow who had listed a small snowmobile on Craig’s List.  Mark, out of the blue,  asked said fellow if he might just happen to have any other sleds available for sale.  It just so happened this guy had a “two-up” sled…this is one that holds both a driver and passenger. 

Mark got pretty excited when the man described it as being in really nice shape.  It is a 2006 machine that his wife drove and it only had 581 miles on it.  Mark decided this one was worth seeing, so Ben hitched up the trailer this morning and off we went.

We drove on small roads as Mark wasn’t thrilled about towing an empty trailer at high speeds along te thruway.  We saw so many absolutely beautiful scenes as we meandered through small towns and villages over toward Fredonia, near Lake Erie. There were golden leaves,  peaceful cows grazing along bright green pastures,  fields being harvested for corn for the granary, and even windfarms we had no idea existed!  That awesome autumn sunshine made its appearance and just made the atmosphere so exhilarating!  Even though the drive was rather long, the scenery along the way made it seem far shorter!

We arrived early afternoon at our destination and after spending some time giving the sled a good looking over,  Mark settled on a price and we loaded it up to haul it back home.  I noted the time and asked Mark if I should call my parents about meeting for dinner.  He said yes, so I called my mom and surprised her! 

We met for dinner at the Rod and Gun Club and as always, went away feeling so satisfied! 

I could have taken so many photos today, but time just was not on my side.  I always feel a tad cheated as such, but also realize if I stopped for each and every photo op I see,  little else would get done! Following are from today.

The rod and gun club where we had dinner with my parents and Randy.  As you can see, the late afternoon sun was doing its magic,  magnifying all the colors and just making everything look so great.

The new-to-us sled on the trailer.

If you live near water, you can see in this photo the lake was far from calm!  Mark called out for me to see the sailboat, but when I went to take the photo,  I could see this wasn’t just a sailboat, but a yacht.  The weather was windy like crazy and accompanying the wind was some chilly weather!  I was shocked to see this vessel on the lake….it seemed too cold!

Since I didn’t post yesterday, I have decided to share a few photos that weren’t taken today, but are still on the SD card.

Our weather has been changeable as can be!  Yesterday when we took Ben to college,  there was a low lying rainbow in the sky north of Canandaigua. 

And not only was the sundog cool, but look at the sky….those clouds were incredible!

My one last photo is a closeup of my holly bush.  I just love the waxy green leaves and red berries!  They remind me of my very favorite time of the year!

So….the holly bush has lots and lots of little red berries this year.  Do you suppose that means we might have a harder than usual winter this year?

Going Non-Electric!

Well, for the afternoon, anyway!

No, we didn’t lose our electric…I was off to visit with my Amish friend, Eunice.

I couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful day to travel down to visit my friend.  The sky was blue, the sun was shining, it was pretty warm, and a stiff breeze was causing the sparkling hues of Autumn to tumble downward like falling rain.

And I did stop at the South Bristol Overlook to take an obligatory Autumn-on-Canandaigua-Lake shot.

Even with all the beautiful surroundings,  my mind was on my visit.  I was going to write to Eunice and ask if it was okay to visit on such and such a day,  but I figured with a wee small baby as well as a two-year-old,  her hands were full and it might be hard for her to write back.  So, I took a chance!

Eunice’s house was not always Old Order Amish.  It actually was “Englisch” before they bought it last year.  It still has some modern ammenities such as a satellite dish on the roof and electric wiring,  but of course, these things are now non-working.

Eunice’s little boy was always very shy around me, but when I met him previously, he was surrounded by relatives and he had no need for the likes of me!  Today, however, was quite different as the little fellow warmed up to me and as I helped Eunice put up some chicken and broth for chicken noodle soup,  he hugged my leg several times!  I guess looking at books together was a great way to break the ice!  He has brown eyes and the most awesome golden riglets!

Little Baby Susanna is now over four pounds and I could see she has grown since the last time I saw her.  She is so sweet and loves being cuddled by her mom. 

Being Old Order Amish means that my friends cannot be photographed.  Such a shame as I saw so many fantastic ops for some beautiful mother-daughter shots.  That’s okay, though, as I think many of the things I saw today will remain etched in my mind’s eye. 

I did take one shot as I was leaving today…of buggies in the barn.

I thoroughly enjoyed this visit and cannot wait for another!  Eunice said to come by again and little Chris (her son) mimicked the invitation.  I am sure I will visit again!