Friday, October 29, 2010

Wemple's Pumpkin Patch - Take Two


Jeff and I went to the pumpkin patch on October 1, the first day they were opened. That day the corn maze was still green, the grass was still green, many of the pumpkins were still green. The temperature was in the 90's. It was fun, but just didn't feel like proper pumpkin patch weather. Wednesday we went back to the pumpkin patch with Lisa and the kids and the crops were ready and the sky was sunny and autumn cool. In other words, just right.


This was as close as Joli wanted to get the turkeys as they were "stinky". She and Papa agreed they preferred turkey on the table.


Every year I make it through the corn maze, although sometimes it takes hours. This was the first year Joli was old enough to want to give it a try and I knew from the start there was no way to solve it with Joli in the lead. We had fun going in circles though.


We played zombies and scared Mommy and Papa.


Joli was very concerned about the trolls that lived under the three bridges in the maze. Joli and I crept quietly across so we wouldn't wake the trolls up. Lisa, on the other hand, stomped over the bridges as loudly as she could in her big boots. She likes to live on the edge of danger.


Jeff actually brought Markus into the maze in a giant stroller - huffing and puffing and commenting every three minutes that we were lost and destined to starve to death, our bones found in the spring.


After we finally found our way out of the corn maze (we ended up having to cut straight through the corn to the edge and do NOT ask me how Jeff managed that in a stroller as I was off playing Marco Polo with Joli so she wouldn't truly get lost, Joli found this straw bale maze a little more manageable.


We pretended to be scary pumpkins sitting atop the bale.


Jeff and Markus were happy to sit this maze out.


Then it was time for the pumpkin fields. We finally had heavy frost the night before that had damaged a lot of the pumpkins so the pickings were rather slim this year.


Joli thought this was the cutest little baby pumpkin ever.


Markus has two favorite toys - spoons and pumpkins.


Eventually we all found the perfect pumpkin.


She's really outstanding in her field. (hehehehe)


But mostly she's running.


And running.


Finally the chilly weather (and all the running) exhausted us all and it was time to head someplace warmer.


Chinese Restaurant


Hot soup!


And spoons.

Thursday, October 28, 2010



Autumn Aspens


A local Aspen grove on the way to Redding.


Shining gold against the rain grey clouds.



Small trunks bent from the seasons of snow.


Fairy coins litter the forest floor.


(We see only leaves.)





A gnarled old guardian stands above the younger trees.


"Look! I found a sonic screwdriver."


"Or, you found an old motorcycle kick stand."


So much gilded treasure.


The gold has even seeped inside the fallen trunk.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sunflower Forest

The new photo options here on Blogger are besting me, I can't figure out how to separate the photos and add regular prose instead of captions.  It's making me very grumpy and discouraging me from posting at all - GRRRRR.  But I'll try to make it through this instead of giving up, I don't have time to figure it out right now.

I'm also grumpy because I was certain - CERTAIN - I had more photos of my little flocks of birds and of my towering sunflower forest this year.  Can't find them in my photos, can't find them in my cameras.  The holiday gremlins must be out in force already.

So, take my word for it.  I have, had, towering massive sunflower forests this year where I'd originally planned a very low height faery meadow.  Nature sometimes doesn't always agree with us on land use.  I have to say her plan was lovely.  It's past it's prime now,  some of the stalks I had to whack my way through or cut out as they were falling over and we couldn't get from one side of the yard to the other.  But the birds still love them and are still visiting and feeding and they're so much prettier to look at then the neighbor's ugly fence, that I've kept as many up as possible, tying them up with twine when necessary, making a sort of sunflower waddle fence.

These pics were all snapped through smudgy windows (yeah, talk to my hubby who leaves water marks on them) or screens, so forgive the quality.  I can't take photos of them from outside because the minute I open my door they all flutter away in a bit bouncy scatter.

Every year I let the sunflowers have their way with the gardens (every year I swear I won't) and the reward is every autumn the yellow finches appear in flocks and delight me with their antics.  This year I actually had some in the garden all summer. 

This autumn the finch were joined by these rosy birds.  Amongst the lost photos were ones that showed the two different birds together so you can see that these birds are twice the size of the tiny yellow finch.  I don't know what they are.  I think of them as sparrows but perhaps they're finch as well.

Upside down? Sure, no problem!

I like the whimsical focus on this pic, flowers to the foreground.

He blends in nicely with the fence.

It's hard to find them hiding in there. It's actually easier to look for the bouncing flower heads then to look for the birds themselves.

And that, my friends, is as much as I can fight with this new blog program without using bad language.  So, off I go.  I'm thinking of decorating what's left of the forest with some Halloween decorations and lights so we can look out the window and enjoy it for a few weeks more.   Whaddya think?  A giant spiderweb?  Spiders bigger than the birds?  a few dangling skeletons????

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October Garden

It's sort of spooky how the garden is still trying to flower and fruit, long after we usually have our first hard freeze.  We had such late hard frosts in the spring, perhaps Mother Nature is trying to make up for it by postponing the end of the season.  I would have taken better care of the garden if I'd known there was so much time left for her. 


The best crop of marigolds I think I've ever had.  Many grew from seed this year.  I'll certainly have flowers for our Dia de Los Muertos altar this year.


Cherry tomatoes.  There's still a few green ones out there, hopefully they'll turn red in time for the granddaughter's visit.  We haven't had a lot this year, just enough to pop a few in my mouth each time I went out to the garden.  But I wanted to gather these in just in case that frost shows up unexpectedly.  Also a bit of swiss chard I don't even remember planting.  The bugs had a go at it but they left me some to toss in a stir fry.  And just look at those awesome carrots!

I forgot I planted them too.  Well, I knew I'd tossed some carrot seed out there, but didn't realize I'd planted a carnival of colors!  There's more where this came from and they'll be just fine in the garden through a few frosts so I just picked enough for dinner tonight.

I know I've been absent from the blogging world for most of the summer.  I'm hoping to jump back into regular posting.  Knock on wood.  I hope there are a few folk out there that still wander by and notice I've actually put up a post!  Knock on wood again.