Rib lines

BeckyB: lines&squares

 

pumpkin lines

 

Pumpkins are everywhere this month…so I am including a few in BeckyB’s October lines & squares challenge. It seems appropriate.

Of course I could also include pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies and so on and so forth. But instead, I decided on the natural route. The “pumpkin/pumpkin spice” flavor popping up on store shelves has very little to do with an actual pumpkin anyway…and is more about cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. A delicious combination no matter what you call it.

As a retired dietitian, I must add…a pumpkin (technically a fruit, but masquerading as a vegetable) is quite nutritious – full of Vitamin A, fiber and other fun micronutrients.

Last but not least…

Let’s not forget: pumpkins are multi-purpose.

If not cooked into various yummy treats, there is always the carving-into-scary-faces route…

 

halloween pumpkin064
It is October after all.

Photo a Week: Changing Seasons

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Changing Seasons

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) THAT DEPICT SEASONS.

~~~

I live in the Northeast USA and signs of Autumn are everywhere.

My favorite indicator of the approaching fall season is what I like to call the “natural look.” The trees changing color on a daily basis.

It reminds me of the huge leaf piles I loved to jump in when I was a kid. I don’t recall having to rake them, but I probably did help. The sound of the crunch, the distinctive smell of…fall…drew me in one way or the other.

I clearly recall – one late fall afternoon in the backyard – lying face up on the damp grass amongst the fallen leaves. Watching the few clouds in an otherwise blue sky. The sun’s rays shifting. Leaves continuing to float down. I must have been 9 or 10. I will always remember this moment…I thought…staring hard…listening…trying to make sure the memory stuck.

There was also a dubious activity I took part in: hiding inside leaf piles at curbside. Dutifully raked by all the neighbors. Huge mountains of leaves…ready for the loud lumbering city trucks which came by to suck them all up every week. My game (along with my friend Kathleen): jumping out seconds before the trucks reached us. We shocked the heck out of those drivers.

Not smart, I know.

Remember, children were very unsupervised in the 60s. We played outside all day. One adventure after another.

We also got lucky. At least I did.

It was an exciting time.

natural fall

 

Other signs of summer changing into fall?

Walking downtown yesterday,  I noticed the local shops had updated their decor.

Orange is the new color-of-the-hour. As in pumpkins…and mums….

signs of fall

 

On the other hand…

During my afternoon trip to the local wholesale club, I was greeted by another type of decor marking the change of seasons.

Still orange, but not nearly as tasteful.

Definitely not the “natural look” I know and love…

commercial fall

 

[To my horror, this was also a few aisles away from a display of artificial 7 foot high Christmas Trees!! Yes, Christmas Trees on September 28th – WTH]

 

Focus

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Focus

 

Yesterday I went on a walk around a nearby neighborhood. Late afternoon when the light softens and begins filtering in from an angle. Some call it the “golden hour.” My favorite time of day to catch nature at its finest.

Trees lined the quiet streets, interrupted by flower gardens in varyious stages of late summer wilt. Very little breeze to interrupt my focusing attempts.

I took along my (relatively) new camera (thanks Frank, for the tips on venturing into the digital full frame mirrorless mode!) to have more fun with its macro lens. Good thing I don’t have to worry about wasting film.

My contributions for this challenge:

The first few leaves shifting to fall colors, even though it is still technically Summer…

red & green leaves
Leaves that jumped past Autumn…

brown leaves

 
And some caught right in the middle…

branch hairs

 

(Canon EOS RP, 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM)

Fall

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Prompt – Fall

 

Before we know it (here in the Northeast USA), the days will shorten, the air will cool…

And the leaves will fall again.

wet leaves

 

 

Unexpected

Inspired by Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Unexpected

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR THREE…) WITH SOMETHING UNEXPECTED IN THEM.

 

One cold March day…

The front lawn had emerged from under the melting snow…

Revealing the dregs of winter…

And an unexpected sign of Spring on its way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Outdoors

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo. The prompt: Outdoors

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Tree Farm 2008

 

Outdoors…

Where my family of 4 played, walked, explored, planted, vacationed and amassed countless memories.

We also discovered…it was the only place where you could carefully pick out a Christmas tree.

From many tree options.

And cut it down yourself.

For 28 years we piled into the car and drove the few miles to a local Christmas tree farm. Usually in early December. In later years, when the kids were in college, we went the weekend after Thanksgiving – so they could both participate.

It began with just my husband and me. Then with our daughter. Five years later our son completed the family group. His first visit, at age 4 weeks, was in a front pack I wore close to my chest.

Up and down the paths we’d search. The kids running ahead. Often in different directions (hence no photos from those years)…Here’s one! No, here’s one! Look I found it! What about THIS one?

We hunted for just the right tree. Tall, but not too tall. Wide, but not too wide. No big gaps (or gapes as they used to giggle) between the branches.  We also learned to avoid the blue spruces with their prickly needles. Sometimes it took a while for nature to cooperate with our requirements. And often there was snow to tromp through…adding to the adventure and challenge.

We’d agree – finally – on the perfect (or near perfect) choice. Cut it down. Carefully tie it to the roof of the station wagon. And bring it home.

If we weren’t buying it that day, we attached a tag with our name written on it to the top branch. Nearer to December 25th, we’d return – with our handsaw. And hopefully remember where our tagged tree was!

Once our children stopped coming home for Thanksgiving to participate in the weekend tree tagging, this tradition came to its natural end in 2009 – our last family trip to the tree farm.

 

2004 copy
2004
2003 tree027 copy
2003