Although the weather has turned cooler the past few days, the month of October has been a series of one lovely fall day after another here in Minnesota. The temperatures were above normal, the sun was almost always shining, and the fall colors seemed more vibrant than usual. Like many, the weather drew me outdoors and I often found myself reaching for my phone to capture some of the beauty just outside my front door. All the photos below were taken with my iPhone 5s and edited in Instagram.
This first photo was taken in the evening and features a small border garden along our granary with Sedum and ornamental grasses. All of the red hues captured my eye.
Outside in the garden one morning, I stopped to take a picture after noticing the rays of sunshine highlighting the yellow maple, contrasted with the still-blooming shrub roses and Russian sage in my garden. The barn in the background was the perfect backdrop.
The lovely morning sunlight caught my eye once again a week or so later, as it lit up the Autumn Blaze Maple outside my bedroom window.
And finally, this picture is from the woods that surround our home, spilling down the hillside to the river and to our field. In the evening, as the sun would start to set, the warm light would shine through the yellow canopy of leaves and the scene felt so magical. For about a week, I made sure to step outside each evening to take in the spectacle of light.
Wherever you might live, I hope your fall has been equally as splendid. While the leaves have all fallen off the trees now, perhaps we will still be blessed with a few more days of warm temperatures and abundant sunshine. Once can always hope! 🙂
The thing that I like least about blogging is the writing part. Sometimes I just do not have anything particularly interesting to say.
The thing that I love about blogging is the pictures. I love to take pictures. I love to see other people’s pictures. And I love to share my pictures.
So, that’s exactly what I am going to do in this post – just share a few of my pictures. As I looked at the latest collection of my shots, I noticed a lot featuring various shades of red. Below are just a few.
Our prairie-fire crabapple tree outside the kitchen window is full of red fruit and reddish leaves.
A closer-up view of the fruit. And notice the red granary is in the background.
My Autumn Joy Sedum plants have turned a very dark pinkish-red. Even after several hard frosts, they are still looking good.
Some leaves from one of our many Autumn Blaze Maple trees around here. While many other trees have shed their leaves, these are hanging on to theirs for now.
While walking through the woods behind the house to mark small maple trees for transplanting next spring, I came across this red fence post. It is a remnant from the previous owners who once had cattle in the woods around the house.
Our singular Amur Maple tree is showing off some nice shades of red.
And one of my favorite sites around here…our red barn.
A view of two of the brilliant-colored Autumn Blaze Maples.
And last, but not least, here come the guys across the field on our Razor – Jesse on the left and our youngest behind the wheel. Ok, this picture does not really fit into my “red” theme, but I like it anyhow. And there are some red trees in the background. 🙂
We have spent today starting our preparations for winter. Jesse started his first round of the leaf battle and I stayed inside to remove screens and wash the windows. I want to make sure I have clear and unobstructed views when the snow starts to fall. 😦
We left town last Friday morning for a long weekend out at West Point to visit our two cadets and to attend the Homecoming football game. As we were heading out the door on our way to the airport, the sun was coming up and it was just one of those sunrises…the pink, orange and yellow kind.
Jesse encouraged me to snap a few pictures with my iPhone. The barn against the sky was just too pretty to go undocumented. I did a quick edit in Instagram to lighten it up.
The weekend went by in a flash and we are back at home again on the farm. Our cadets are coming home this upcoming weekend for a visit over a long weekend for them. It will be nice to have everyone at home, even if it is only briefly.
Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
On my way back from a walk last week, I noticed some amazing clouds in the sky. Never without a camera thanks to my iPhone, I took a picture.
Harvest time is upon us and in the distance to the left you can see the remaining stand of corn in our neighbor’s field. In the forefront is the soybean crop he has planted in our field.
I took this photo on my iPhone 4s and did a quick edit in Instagram. Technology today makes photography so easy and accessible. I absolutely love it!
All of those apple blossoms this past spring have turned into a whole lot of apples!
Today I made my first pan of apple crisp for the season. We made homemade ice cream to go with it. Yum!! What is better than warm apple crisp with creamy homemade ice cream?
I am not sure what I will do with all these apples besides doing a lot of baking in the next few weeks. My motivation to preserve them by making applesauce or something else is very low. Our last attempt was a failure – the sauce was too mushy and we do not eat much applesauce anyhow. It does not make sense to me to go through all that work if you don’t really love the end product.
So, instead of peeling, coring, boiling, and canning for hours on end…I will be eating a lot of fresh and tart apples in the next few weeks, along with baking some up in tasty apple desserts, and hopefully giving some away. The chickens will get their fair share too. 🙂
Our four apple trees are in full bloom. We don’t know a lot about apple trees and honestly have not had that great of luck with apples through the years. Back in 2000, when we first purchased the property, we planted about six apple trees out in the meadow before we even started building the house. Neither of us remembers the variety and we did not keep any tags. The trees failed to thrive in the hard-packed clay and we eventually lost all but two of them, which we moved over behind the chicken coop where the soil is better.
They have grown quite a bit over the years and a few years back we added two more small apple trees on the other side of the garden. The trees seem to have heavy blooms every other year…and this is an ON year with and abundance of blossoms. The sweet smell catches your attention as you walk past.
Surely the bees are enjoying these lovely white blossoms during the day. It was later in the evening when I took these photos and there were no bees in sight. They return to the hive in the early evening and hunker down for the night so it was no surprise that I didn’t see any.
We have never used any pesticides to spray our apple trees and when we do get fruit it often has issues – it is mis-shaped, has worm holes, etc. One year we had enough to make some applesauce and apple butter, so I guess it has not always been a total failure. Maybe one of these years we will put some effort into consistently growing good fruit.
In the meantime, we will enjoy the blossoms and the few pans of fresh apple crisp that we make each fall.
I have been a gardening maniac for the last few weeks. With the late spring, it feels like things are moving along quickly and there is SO much work to do just to get the gardens set for the season. When I need a break from the physical labor of gardening I will sometimes grab my camera and stroll around the grounds to take some photos.
My bleeding hearts are in full bloom behind the house. Such magnificent flowers!
Volunteer Violets are blooming in the garden too. My Grandma called them “Johnny Jump-ups” and they will always remind me of her. As a small girl, when I would go to visit she would always send me home with a bouquet of these flowers for my mom. They were prolific at her house, almost like weeds. She would wet a paper towel, wrap them gently around the stems, and finish it off with tinfoil to hold in the moisture. I was always so proud to bring these little gems home to my mom, who would put them in a very small crystal vase and place them in the windowsill. It is these memories that make my heart happy each spring when these lovely flowers appear in my garden.
And then there are the tulips. One can never have enough tulips. I do not have enough tulips.
I need to remember that this fall. I really do need to plant more tulips. They are such a beautiful way to welcome spring.
I planted these a few years ago when I put in my new Magnolia tree. I don’t even know the variety, but I really do love them. The bright color stands out boldly from all the green spring foliage and makes a real statement.
These purple tulips are pretty too, but their color is more muted and seems to get lost a little in the sea of spring green. I’m not complaining though. They are beautiful too.I have a lot more pictures of spring blossoms and flowers to share. Things are really blooming around here!
Hope you are enjoying spring blooms in your part of the world!
The planning of summer projects is in full swing around here. Jesse has sketched out ideas for the pergola that we plan to add to our new patio and fire-pit area that we put in last year. By drawing it out to scale on grid paper, we can better judge the proportions of the structure and how it relates to the rest of that space.
Planning for our spring projects helps to ease the misery of this long Minnesota winter. Spring must be around the corner, right???
It was -4F outside this morning, with wind chills around -25F. Even colder temperatures are forecasted for this evening and into tomorrow morning. Brrrrrrr!!!!
Our robin continues to visit the crabapple tree every day for a snack and to just hang out. Poor fellow must be cold, don’t you think?
Wherever you are today, I hope you can stay warm!
The Prairie Fire crabapple tree right outside my kitchen window is in full bloom . It is quite a sight and smells delightful.
Apparently, we are not the only ones that are enjoying the tree. After two days of rain, snow and freezing temperatures, we were outside Sunday enjoying the sunshine when we noticed a distinct humming sound coming from the tree. A closer examination revealed that the tree was loaded with honeybees and a few random bumblebees. Continue reading