Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

It's October 31st, and you know what that means.......

Dead leaves, seaweed, rotten eggs too
Stir them in my wiches' brew

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo!

Spider web, moldy bread, mucky mud too
Stir them in my witches' brew

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo! Posted by Picasa

Boo! Posted by Picasa
(we sang this at school today)

Happy Halloween everyone! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Colors of Fall

After about 10 days of chilly temperatures, a few rainy days and some gloomy, gray skies, our 'extended summer' came back. How lucky can we get?
We've been enjoying some gloriously sunny fall days, and last Sunday was among the best, with temperatures in the mid 70's (about 25ºC), so my husband and I decided to take a drive after church to savour the beauty, and photograph the wonderful fall colors. I mentioned in the previous post that we hadn't seen a lot of color yet, but since then the leaves have finally turned, and are giving us a truly spectacular show after all.
I think last Friday was probably the peak in our area because we had rain and strong winds on Saturday, which caused quite a few of the leaves to fall. However, the countryside is still looking magnificent, and driving through it is pure delight.

This hay field is being 'green chopped'....a little is chopped each day and fed to the cows. I drive by this meadow on my way to and from work and love to see the changing view each day.

This is a field of soy beans ready to be harvested.
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There are some cows under the trees enjoying the gorgeous weather. You'll see them better if you click on the picture for a larger view.

A little village nestled in a valley....

.........surrounded by farms.

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We saw colors that were amazingly bright and beautiful!
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There are plenty of huge Maples around here and they give us some of the best color.

Until recent years cows could be seen in abundance, dotting the countryside, but these days they are scattered sparsely in our area, and many of the farms are not 'working farms' anymore.

Ah, there's a bossy enjoying the sunshine!

And here we are home again! There's our farm in the distance, and our neighbor in the foreground, borrowing the little John Deer to do some mowing. Posted by Picasa
Monday felt like a mid-summer day with the temperature reaching about 85º! I did some gardening, moving a few plants and generally tidying up. It's hard to believe we're so close to the end of October, with Halloween just around the corner!
I appreciate all who stop to say hello and hope you're all having a lovely week :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pumkins, Newts & Kittens

A week and a half has passed since Columbus weekend (Monday October 8th was Columbus Day, and a holiday for the US) when we were blessed with a visit from our son's family. Time sure flies when you're having fun :) Last week was a busy one and I didn't find time to post, so now I'm playing catch-up.

Soon after they arrived the boys headed for Grandpa's pumpkin patch to see what treasures they could find.

We took a few of the biggest pumpkins to them when we visited in September, but there are still plenty left. My husband planted several varieties of squash, pumpkins and gourds (123 hills to be exact...I think perhaps he got a little carried away :), and ended up with a very large harvest. Plenty to share!

If you click the photo to enlarge, you'll see the little one's expression here. I don't remember what made him giggle, but he was apparently tickled about something pretty funny.

A bit of pullin' and tuggin' was necessary to free this pumpkin.

Hmmm, I think this one is just right! Posted by Picasa

Here's one hiding under the grass!

I'd like this one please.

O.K., now what's next? Posted by Picasa

A trip to the woods is always fun, especially sitting on bales of hay in the back of the wagon pulled behind the little John Deer.

There's always plenty of interesting things to find, but the most exciting discovery was 3 little bright orange newts.

They look like tiny lizards, but are members of the same family as salamanders, which makes them ambhibians, like frogs and toads. They like the moist dampness of the woods. Posted by Picasa

There's not enough fall color in the trees to label this a spectacular fall foliage year, which is a bit disappointing, but the surrounding countryside is still very beautiful.
Coming out of the woods we have a wonderful view of our farm and the pretty valley we live in.
Fields of corn and oats Posted by Picasa
On Sunday afternoon this young man spied some previously undiscovered kittens hiding in a pile of cement blocks! Their mommy, or perhaps another mommy cat, had apparently just moved them there. We already had one batch of 4 in the barn, apparently belonging to Sheba (they all look like her and have extra toes on their front feet)......recently discovered in the hay mow.... that are approximately 5 weeks old.
Here's a cute little orange baby.
This latest batch appear to belong to Sophie, our long-haired gray calico mommy. She always hides them for at least the first 4 weeks and then may bring them into the barn if we're lucky.

This sweet little girl looks just like Sophie

You can well imagine the excitement of the boys...... Posted by Picasa

..........having all these kittens to play with!

Here are 3 of Sheba's.

But sweet Phoebe has taken over a good share of the mothering duties it seems.

You might think the story ends there, but not so. That night, after the kids had gone home, Ross and I found this little lady outside the back door when we arrived home from church....obviously the 4th of Sophie's litter. She's a very shy little kitten but we're working on changing that.

Along with Riley, Max and Ruby (the little long-haired calico), we now have 11 kittens, and a couple left from Sheba's spring litter. We have a few prospective homes, but will need to find more. Posted by Picasa

Today our weather is beautiful with temperatures around 70ºF (21ºC), but for the most part the past 2 weeks have been overcast, showery, and chilly, putting an end to our unusually warm fall, but giving us some much-needed rain.

We still have some flowers blooming in the gardens and containers, and tomatoes and squash being harvested in the veggie garden, but a frost is sure to hit before much longer. It's not often we go past the half-way mark in October without a frost. We've been very lucky to avoid one so long into the fall.....a blessing indeed, but sad to say, I know the cold must eventually come as the seasons change. Then I'll look forward to another spring!

Susan of Patchwork Reflections has very sweetly passed along another "Nice Matters" award to me. Thank you! Susan is the personification of nice and a wonderful writer. She never fails to make me smile. Speaking of which.....

I must also send a heartfelt thank you to dear Motherkitty for this "You Make Me Smile" award.

The feeling is mutual MK :)

What a pleasure it is to share daily life with these dear blog friends.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!