Autumnal Joy


Beautiful fall day
Colors dance upon the trees
Perfect time of year

Helpful neighbors have made the last couple of weeks extra special for us.  It started with the gal that gave Sylvia a bushel of the best apples ever–crisp, naturally sweet, but tart and very tasty.  We made enough apple sauce for 26 pints.  Also an apple pie and some apple dumplings.  Sylvia’s benefactor had never had apple dumplings, so Sylvia took her two of them–softball size.  We still have some for eating fresh, making pie and dumplings.

I had lined up some help for this week to cut up the fallen tree that the road commission had pushed out of the way.  Last Thursday we looked up from lunch to see our neighbor at the tree with chainsaw in hand.  We quickly finished lunch and hurried out to help.  The mess is gone.

Thanks neighbors.  You prove the maxim: “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”


I went out to check the flower gardens.  Yes, we have three of them.  The theme seemed to be the color purple.  So many beauties clad in royal purple.  It started with the cone flower.


This year, Sylvia decided to go with purple salvia instead of her usual red.  While not as bold, the purple has added a bit more elegance in my opinion.


The purple that is most apt to attract your attention as you approach our door is the petunias.  I’ve always had a fondness for these and this year even more so.


No pictures of the vegetable garden today.  It’s not very pretty but we’re still harvesting carrots, beets, jalapeños and a few green beans.

The forecast shows no frost for us in the near future.  First frost could come later that usual, which is okay by me.

Merry Gold

We still have plenty of color in the flower gardens.  Sylvia has kept things look good out there.


All that gold makes me feel rich beyond measure.  Wait.  It gets better.


You can pep it up a step.  Or even two.


The purslane adds such a nice touch of color that we’ve let it grow.  At least the ones we didn’t harvest earlier for our dinner table.  The succulent stems and leaves are good in a salad or steamed for greens.

This year, we’ve also added lamb’s quarters (yes, the weed) to our diet.  Thanks Sharkey for telling us about them.  The young tender shoots are best and can be added raw to a salad or steamed as greens.  In the later case a bit of balsamic vinegar adds a nice touch.  (Hint: they make good snacks when you are out in the garden or on a hike.)

Looking at You

I stepped out the back door and found myself looking at this guy.  He was looking back at me.


I got down on the driveway to get that shot and this one.


This is about the largest praying mantis that I have seen.  I’m always glad to see them, because they eat other bugs.

Tree Moved

Yesterday, I posted a pic of a tree that had fallen in our front yard.  It was partially blocking our road.  I also reported that the county work crew was starting to clean up the situation.


They did their part and left.  I still have a mess to deal with.


They were good enough to cut the tree trunk close to the ground.  I’ll still need a man with a chain saw.


I checked the rain gauge this morning and found one inch had fallen since yesterday morning.  Can someone say “wet?”

Today’s Adventure

It rained most of the day and we had strong winds out of the east.  Driving into the city to meet our son and daughter-in-law for lunch was not much fun for the heavy rain and traffic.  Coming home was different.  The rain had slackened and so we had much better visibility.

We had been in the house for a short while when I noticed a tree branch down beside the road.  It looked to be all on the lawn.  But a closer look revealed the rest of the story.  Just minutes after we had driven by, this happened.


A work crew from the county road commission is now clearing the mess out of the road.  Update to follow.

Big Boy

No, this not a restaurant review.  The big boy that I’m talking about is a spotted fawn.  He is very large for his age, and so I’m saying he’s a young buck.

Sylvia and I have been watching him and his mother this year.  We would see them regularly as the sun was starting to set.  They would come out from cover and graze on our lawn or in the small hay field beyond.  I posted pix of them on the eighth of this month.

For the last week, I’ve seen Big Boy wandering around here during the day.  He has been alone and looking lost.  We think he has been orphaned.

Friday afternoon, I stepped out the back door to go to the mailbox.  There he was standing by the propane tank looking at me.  I froze.  We just looked at each other.  A few minutes later, I spoke softly to him.  He did not reply.  I walked several steps down the driveway.  He took a couple of steps toward the barn.  I continued to walk down the drive.  He ignored me and walked on past the barn.  I thought he was gone for the day.

Later, I came into the office and looked out the window.  There he was napping next to the driveway.


It had been a chilly day and I think he wanted the shelter of the tank, the warmth of the asphalt and the softness of the grass.  He had a nice nap.


I really wanted to follow his example and have a comfy snooze myself.


I called Sylvia in to take a look at the sleepy fellow.  Then she called me to supper.  After clean up and doing the dishes, it was time to check on Big Boy again.  He was awake.


He watched us watching him, but did not react.  A later look revealed that he had moved on with his business.  Whatever that may be.

Busy As . . .

You know the expression . . .  As summer transitions into autumn, the bees are busy.  This time of year, you’ll find them on the seedum.


The are harvesting those last loads nectar before the season ends.


No time to play.  Must seize the day.  Carpe diem.

Meanwhile, out at the barn.  Another creature is looking for a different kind of meal.


This is the largest mantis that I have seen.  I frequently find these on the seedum, but not this day.