Prime time

Anyone who talks to photographers will discover there are two magical times of the day for photoshoots.  This would be sunrise and sunset, and especially so this time of the year!

Yesterday morning, I was able to actually be in Canandaigua before sunrise.  I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to walk around a bit and get some photos. You will note that I am not the least bit shy about shooting into the sun.  This makes for some interesting pictures!

I love the “sepia” quality of this photo. No, I didn’t touch the photo to alter it….this is how it turned out….shooting into the sun!

As you can see in this photo, the sky was a lively golden/orange color. It was amazing! I liked how these coots were just hanging out on the stone breakwall.

Oh yeah…how could I not photograph the boathouses?  They were so pretty in the sunlight and glasslike lake!

I wandered over to Kershaw Park for a bit and loved how pretty it was there, as well! With all the leaves falling to the ground, it was incredible to see the Weeping Willows still green and full!

The clock was ticking and I had obligations….

I was rather amused to see this…

Somehow, I couldn’t be quite so brave as to take a horse and buggy on a 40 mile per hour road!  Particularly busy 5&20!

Cannot get enough autumn….

It seems like so many people I talk to tell me that their favorite season is autumn.  Interesting.  As I await cooler temperatures (primarily) and, of course, the beautiful colors, these people advise they just love all the pretty colors and all the fresh produce from the gardens.  They are never the least bit reluctant to add that they shudder about the season to follow.  I chuckle when I think of the number of people who have told me they would like it to snow on December 24 and have all the snow gone on December 26!

There are so many things to be grateful for as the weather chills down…..things like warm turtlenecks, wooly sweaters, a season of pretty scarves, warm mittens or gloves, a cozy fire in the stove, and dazzling leaves as well as leaves crunching underfoot as one briskly walks in the chilly air! And speaking of air, it no longer seems to linger and hover above, full of humidity; instead, it now appears crisp and clear, full of luscious oxygen. I also love candlelight as the days shorten in length. Autumn also calls for baking goodies and a house filled with the scents of cookies, pies, cakes, and more!

Last week, Mark and I went for a little ride with Murphy and we really enjoyed the bold colors displayed in the sky.  Even contrails seem somehow beautiful when etched across a crystal blue sky with a setting golden sun!

I have made several batches of applesauce this year.  We are told it was a banner year for the apple and grape growers. As we drive through the back roads, we have noticed so many wild apple trees with aged branches weighed down like little old men, buckling under the weight of an abundance of fruit.  The deer can often be seen gathered around apple trees, gleaning the fruit fallen to the ground.

I found a little recipe book that went along with a Scottie cookie mold I bought years ago….the recipe called for applesauce, cinnamon, and glue. I decided to test the recipe.

I really like the look of this and am thinking I need to make some more!

We had some windy conditions yesterday and the day before, but now it is rather calm. We have a freeze warning for tonight, and I imagine we might awaken to frost tomorrow morning.  Many of the trees are now naked, while others are half-undressed.  Still others look as though they might hang on as long as they can. It is still pretty and looking up, there still can be flaming color against blue skies. It really would be fantastic if autumn could linger on for a few months instead of weeks!

And so, as the last few days of October close in, I leave you with Murphy, once again!

This time, the little laddie was scolding me….telling me to carry him downstairs this morning!

Second post tonight!

One thing is for sure and for certain; fall offers the most fantastic array of colors!  No other season has such a wide range of natural colors. And no other season can rival the golden rays of sunshine that stream down! I have not taken nearly as many photos as I have desired, but that seems always to be the case.  Laundry, cooking, cleaning, and (seemingly endless) dishes beckon to be dealt with.  And so I offer some more of my fall photos that warm my heart as the colder weather has begun its nip!

Slowly fading….

Ah yes, the colors that were so vibrant only a couple of weeks ago are getting more muddled and not nearly as pretty.  Of course, that is speaking of the leaves that are remaining on the trees.  Many have fallen to the ground and are now litter on the grass and walkways.

The weather has also changed, with the temperature dropping down to some chilly temperatures.  I noticed a weather alert on my cell phone this afternoon. It was regarding a freeze watch for tomorrow night. The gist of it is that the temperature will fall well below 32 and warns that plants left outside should be moved inside if a heavy frost might damage them.

With the colder weather, we have had some awesome skies! I have been looking upward and totally enjoying all the colors!  The intense blue contrasted with clouds ranging from bright white to threatening gray has been photo worthy and it is just downright fascinating to observe!

So, with no further ado, here are some recent photos.

And so, from Murphy and me, have a great week! I will post another photo entry soon!


Why we live where we live….

Ah yes!  Autumn…..fall….whichever you call it, this is such a beautiful time of the year! As I mentioned in the previous post, we have truly been spoiled rotten this year.  Instead of cold rain and brisk breezes, we have been enjoying warm days with bright sunny skies.  It is unusual, really, but in listening to the weather forecast yesterday, the beautiful weather might be displaced by more typical weather and temperatures in the coming days. That is fine….the woodshed is full and things are fairly well buttoned up and we are ready! (How did that happen?)

Speaking of firewood…we have not had a fire in the woodstove this autumn.  There have been a couple of days that were a little chilly, but not really cool enough to fire up the stove! With Ben now cutting our firewood, we have more than enough.  We not only have the woodshed filled, but we also have several neat piles of firewood stacked in the woods!  I love it!

On Saturday, it was so amazingly beautiful, Mark and I decided to take a ride through the woods on the atv’s.  Of course, I took a camera along….I would not want to miss one picture!  It was so, so beautiful after all!  So, come on along and you will discover why I always dreamed of living in the woods. (especially  this time of year!)

So many awesome, incredible, amazing colors! As the wind begins to blow and the rain moves in, these days are sure to come to an abrupt end.  Although the days like this are far too few, knowing they are short lived makes us only appreciate them all the more!

We’ve become so spoiled!

Our weather this past week (and more) has been incredibly nice, particularly for this time of the year!  It seems that usually by now, we have had severe “mood swings” in the weather.  This year, it has been very calm and quite nice.

Yesterday, rain moved in for the first time in a long time! And it has rained quite a lot. Our autumns are known for unpredictable rain that sometimes lasts for what seems like forever.  In looking at the weather forecast, we are due for rain today and tomorrow, with several days of sunny weather to follow. But enough of the weather!

I *love* asters! They are so beautiful!  Their awesome purple petals are so cheerful and appreciated with all the changing of colors in the fall.  I bought this plant last year and never figured out where to plant it! I kept it in the garage over the winter, watering it a bit now and then.  My mother-in-law told me she often keeps mums alive this way, so I thought I would take a chance with this plant.  I am so glad it survived! I finally planted it on a slope where Mark had the driveway expanded.  I am hoping to have a bit of a wildflower garden there and thought this would look great there… fact, I have two more Asters to plant there that I recently purchased!

I really cropped the photo above and even though I am not inclined to fiddle around much with photos, I did put a filter on this one called kaleidoscope. I love this!

Last Mother’s Day, Carly brought me a Gerbera Daisy.  The plant seemed to thrive in the bedroom window, but when I placed it outside, it just had lots of greenery! I moved it to a brighter spot on the porch and it seemed to pick up some.  I am wondering, too, if this plant likes cooler weather like I do!

Isn’t that beautiful?  The color is so autumnal and the flowers last for a very long time!  No wonder this is a favorite with people!

How about this? I photographed the pumpkin and Aster as the late afternoon sun created shadows from the porch balusters.  I just cannot get enough of the colors of autumn! And speaking of color….while I was walking around with the camera, photographing this and that, I decided to take a picture of a Queen Anne’s Lace.  As I was about to snap the shutter button, a teeny tiny, itsy bitsy spider crept up on the flower!

And how could I not photograph the Bumblebee working so diligently in the Fleabane?

All of the photos above were taken just before yesterday’s rainy day appeared.  Because we have had no rain for so long, our well has been a tad temperamental! We got a load of water on Friday and yesterday, one more. We live on the hillside and must travel in the valley to get water.  The scenery was awesome!

The clouds were so low!!! Bristol Mountain’s ski runs seemed to disappear!!!

After getting a load of water, I got down to business! I had planned a somewhat work-intensive meal that really began Friday morning.  I had bought a beef brisket. Using a recipe from my crockpot cookbook, I created a rub for it and wrapped it in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Early yesterday morning,  I removed it and began cooking it on the stovetop instead of my (tiny) crockpot.  As the day progressed, the house was filled with quite an awesome aroma! I threw some potatoes in the oven late afternoon and began working on dessert.

While visiting our friends Carolyn and Bill for Shabbat one Friday eve, Bill served a blackberry steamed pudding.  I was in love!  I searched around online for something similar, but couldn’t find anything quite like it.  But I did find a recipe that sounded awesome. It was a Martha Stewart recipe for Caramel Apple Steamed Pudding.  Yes!

The first (of a few) steps was to caramelize sugar.  At first, I couldn’t figure this out.  Then I thought to turn up the heat just a tad, and voila!! This was so incredible and I was awestruck. Perhaps that was how I managed to accidentally get some of the boiling hot liquid on my forefinger and thumb. Without thinking, I tried to peel the burning syrup off with my teeth.  In the process, I burned the inside of my lower lip and the tip of my tongue. Thankfully, these were very minor. But my finger!

I kept putting ice cubes on the finger and after about eight, the pain finally subsided.  I did keep working on the dessert and was so excited when I unmolded it!

The rainy weather today lasted through the morning. Later in the day, the sun came out here and there and all I can say is, we really are so spoiled by the beautiful weather we have been enjoying!  Oh, and the forecast for the next few days?

Did I mention we are spoiled?  Rotten!!!

There have been Octobers in the past when we virtually worked in freezing cold rain, winterizing the camper, closing the pool, getting firewood and just doing all the pre-winter tasks.  Our woodshed is filled to the brim and the pool is all set to button up. We put that off as we worked on firewood and cleaning up a new trail in the woods that messed some of our other trails.  The camper will be next and we will still be enjoying warm weather!

So I went for a ride in the country. Hope you enjoy!

Every year around this time, two things happen.  The first is that I want to totally run away from home.  The second is that I feel like I can never take enough photos of the colors to carry me through until they appear again next year.

I had to make a run to BJ’s in Geneva yesterday, so since I left the house long before they would open, I decided to take the “long backroads way”.  The sky. Ha! It was awesome!

And as I progressed, I spotted a sundog!

I didn’t process that photo at all. The colors really were that outstanding! As I made my way along, I rolled the window down, even though the air had a chill to it.  Since I was only wearing a summer sweater, I do admit, I turned the heat on just a bit! As soon as the window was down, I could hear that all too familiar call of migrating Canada Geese above!

I arrived in Canandaigua, then headed onward toward Geneva. I love taking the backroads and was thrilled, as I would be passing through the Mennonite area. I love doing this, as the farms are so beautiful. Not only is everything picture perfect, but most every house is decked out with colorful flowers all around.  The gardens are scenic with their prolific offerings! I passed by one greenhouse that is always so pretty and the sprinklers were up and operating!  Shooting into the sun made for some cool photo ops!

I wonder if the folks inside the house saw me and if they did, if they thought it crazy to photograph sprinklers! It didn’t matter, as no one bothered me, and it was so peaceful just watching the water splashing onto the greenery below. I made my way on down the road and was impressed by the lovely sign at a crossroads.  All of the businesses listed on the big sign are indeed Mennonite.  I am sure the little sign is also a Mennonite sign as well.

And of course the colors in the foliage offered a splendid showing all their own!

The cornfields also offered some surprisingly beautiful colors as well, believe it or not!  The sunlight was so golden and I think everything was glowing! It was interesting seeing the corn in various stages.

Look at those tassels in the sunlight!

I rode on past the Mennonite church.

and thought I would photograph the empty horse stalls. These buildings are huge!  They can hold so many horses and buggies!

This particular Mennonite community would be considered “Old Order” in that they use horses and buggies and bicycles to get around. The more progressive communities do allow dark-colored “not too fancy” automobiles to be driven. I drove on past a Mennonite schoolhouse.

I drove past fields of soybeans covered heavily in dew. (although they look like they are coated in frost!)

I drove on an entered the little town of Gorham where I encountered a couple in a horse and buggy. Luckily for me, there was traffic coming in the opposing lane, so it wasn’t awkward for me to stop momentarily to snap a quick photo.

As I passed this couple, I noticed the woman on the left held a little pink bundle on her lap! It is interesting to note that buggies are driven on the right side….that is, the person guiding the horse is on the right.

I also passed the church in Gorham that was offering a most excellent display of color!!

And as you can see, the sky was also putting on a show of its own!

I kept driving along until I came upon a most wonderful stop! At an intersection, there were large wooden crates filled with pumpkins and squash and the like.  A cart offered Indian corn and pumpkins were also lined in rows. This is where my wildest cravings for autumnal colors were satisfied!

And for one of my most favorite things about autumn!  I love Indian Corn!! It is so pretty.  It reminds me of multi-colored beads. Or the beads remind me of the corn.

So now you have had your fill of Indian Corn?  Not me. Not ever. I love all those awesome colors on each and every ear! And as I turned to go, I noticed this photo op….

Not too shabby, huh? Time was passing and I really needed to get my shopping done.

It is always hard for me to end my little excursions, particularly when I am so enjoying my time out.  I did my shopping and returned home where Mark was playing around with a new amplifier he had purchased for a  friend.  He wanted to make sure it sounded good and was working well before passing it along.  He was having so much fun playing, then he called Michelle and I downstairs….

As he was playing, he said he noticed leaves and sticks moving up a tree in the distance! As he looked more closely, he saw a little squirrel carrying the loads! I walked down to the tree where he saw the squirrel… my dismay, it is very near *my* Shagbark Hickory where I found all those nuts! I hid behind a tree and was able to get this…

Yup. That little hole is just the right size for a tiny squirrel to wander in and out!

Loving the harvest!

Yesterday, Mark and I worked on processing some firewood. I am not sure, but I think we split and I stacked at least five facecords of firewood. There is little wood left to process and the woodshed is going to be a bit more full than usual.  This is such a good feeling!

After working with firewood for a few hours, I was so famished!!! I hurried into the house and made a pizza crust.  I worked a little longer and put the pizza together and in the oven. After eating,  I felt like I could barely move!  It was not from overeating, but my whole body felt like the Tin Man on the Wizard of Oz!  I was so stiff. And sore! I rested for awhile as I also had a terrible headache.  After getting up, I felt better, so I took my ATV for a ride in the woods. The kids have been working on clearing one of the new trails and it is awesome!

When I came back, I drove down near a Hickory tree and was so thrilled to find nuts all over the ground. I picked for several minutes, then took my goodies in the house.  Just before dark, I went out once again, and found many more nuts had fallen in the brisk winds! I hurriedly picked up the nuts as a chipmunk sat nearby, scolding me all the while!

I love the woods. And I love getting all those lovely nuts! (Yes, the nut didn’t fall too far from the tree!!!)