Sunday, October 19, 2014

Morris & I go looking...

We love looking and searching and hiking.  Yesterday it was time to return to the creek bottom and visit the last few breaths of fall.
[It was 28 degrees this morning!]

The leaves were coming down like rainfall.

The afternoon was a bit cool and breezy and it was getting late, but we decided to go for a hard and fast hike.

Though when we got to the creek, of...course we got side tracked.

Morris had to 'water' every log and stick he could find.
After all, it is his territory. Or so he thinks.

The hateful Japanese Barberry plant is quite beautiful in the fall and winter.  The berries and foliage are stunning in colors.
But they crowd out other plants.

The reflections of the trees on the hillside were incredible.

For a while I stopped and sat on a log in the water.
I was able to see a Tiger Trout.  The distinctive markings on the fins were bright.
They weren't large, but they did let me catch a glimpse of them before they disappeared under the banks and into to other dark places.

The creek is incredibly clear.  Can you see where the water surface is?  Hint the colored leaves are floating on top.

Winter will change the look of this area drastically.  But we've had a fairly dry fall so the creek is pretty low here.

Finally, with daylight fading, Morris and I headed back home. We had supper to cook and chores to help out with.

Although we were greeted by a beautiful scene provided by the donkeys not far from the feeder.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall is fading

Fall is fading but that is normal for this time of the year.

However, some of the colors hang on in the oaks and maples.
The other morning the fog was very thick in the valleys.

After living here for nearly 20 years, I know that the fog will generally rise to the ridge tops after the sun has risen.
Sometimes...not always!

So I took a gamble and went out to find what might be a good spot to watch over the valley.

However Mother Nature was not co-operating with me.  She insisted on bringing in the fog faster and thicker than I thought she should.

So I did what some photographers like to do...if the view in front isn't good, then turn around and see what is happening.

Riley road seemed to disappear off the edge of the earth!

I figured the morning would be a wash so I started home and the sun took that moment to break through layers of fog.

This is the same spot only looking back east.

Then I headed out the ridge further.

After I took this, the fog socked me in and I knew that I wouldn't get any more good shots.

So I headed home and imagine my surprise after the fog cleared about an hour later.

Stunning blue skies with pure white clouds.  I shot this looking up at the birch trees near the bottom of our driveway.

And the day turned out to be incredibly beautiful!

Today however I intend to take a trip to the valley and see what the creek has to offer and what colors and interesting things that Morris and I can find there.

Fall is fading and we are moving into the 'brown' season as I call it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The skies were dull grey but there was a hint of sun ... as if the light was trying to penetrate the dark heavy clouds, but I wasn't sure which would win.

I decided to ask Morris if he'd like to go look for 'things' in the woods.
Of course he never ever refuses.

Not even in the rain.
He will refuse to go out to his potty spot if it is raining hard...but not to go for a walk with me.

What an odd dog.

I chose the 50mm lens for a few reasons.  It is a fast lens ... meaning in low light you can still take hand held shots just like this without getting camera shake.

The colors on the forest floor were quite beautiful.

So many things to discover after 2 3/4 inches of rain for the previous few days.

One of the odd things we found was a huge 'jelly' fungi!

I think the rain really helped this one along!

The colors of the birches showed up nicely with the muted sky.

In a way I find this time of year very exciting.  It is a race to grab the beauty of fall as it quickly changes day to day.

Even as the peak fades, wonderful colors show up.

The bright green grass has not yet faded to brown and the forest in places is holding on desperately to its leaves.

By the way, the calf peeking around the corner is WhoDunnit, our only bull calf.

The grey mule walking in another pasture is Mica.  I couldn't get enough of the colors that bordered their pasture.

And a view from one pasture into another....

The colors are hanging on just barely.

This morning there is supposed to be some dense fog in the river valley areas.
I always find that this makes for very interesting sunrise photos.

I can still see stars to the east in the upper sky.

Down in my hollow, the fog is starting to build.

It should be an interesting morning.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Archery ~ addressed years later...

I like to Target Practice and with ammo for my .22 so difficult to get, I thought I'd go back to archery.

I found this Youth Compound Bow that does not have a huge heavy pull on it and decided to pick it up.  

I've been having trouble with rabbits this past summer getting into the garden and destroying a lot of our goodies.

Morris was good at finding rabbit nests and getting rid of a few by digging them out.

So I thought I'd take a beaten up squash about the size of a rabbit and see if...

I could shoot it from a short distance.

...and I was able to just begin to get some feel for the bow after a couple of hours of shooting.

I have to work on consistency for my draw of course and watch a few 'training' videos.
But I am enjoying it a lot.

I can target shoot and shoot and re-use the same ammo over and over.

Archery teaches patience and consistency along with discipline.  I think it is a great out door sport.

I suppose if I ever get good enough I could use it for getting rid of varmints ... but that remains to be seen.

A friend of mine told me to practice shooting while riding a mule.
Hey, there are all sorts of possibilities!
But first things first.
Practice, Practice, Practice.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Afternoon in Paradise

I took Morris for a walk up on the ridge.

We've had three killer frosts in a row, everything in the garden is done done, done...

I found out that the mules love the sunflowers. They eat the heads and chew on the stalks.  
Good thing as we had so many of them we weren't sure what we were going to do with them all.

The afternoon sun was so warm that I was tempted to just lay down in the yard and soak up the warmth.  A nap would have been perfect.

However the day was taken up with making sure my recyclables were all tidied up and taken to the town recycle center.

On the way over I couldn't help but stop and take a photo of this tree.
[edited for textures]

Tonight's forecast is for rain starting and carrying on for a few days.

Well that doesn't make me smile.  But we have had a wonderful week of gorgeous days and cold nights.
The colors are quickly fading and if we get heavy rain, the leaves will come off even faster.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Killer Frost

The temperature when I got up at 4:30 am [oh sometimes I don't sleep so well and I just give up and get up!], was 28 degrees...
unless my foggy morning eyes were not seeing the thermometer properly.

We did have the heat turned off in the house.  I turned it on to warm things up for the morning.
If you are curious, our house in not much more than a wee cabin.

Yesterday we had a hard frost also.

The grass was pretty white except where it was protected under the trees.

But the ice crystals were pretty evident even by 9 am.

By late afternoon, it was nice and warm.

So here it begins again.  
Start the morning with coveralls and a stocking cap and as the day warms towards noon peel off the other clothes. 

Then go with a light jacket or even t-shirt weather like when I was pulling frosted and dead plants from the garden.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The making of a new adventure book

Each year it seems that Morris's stuffed toys decide to go on some sort of adventure.

Sometimes they take a Tonka truck for a ride, sometimes they get lost in the woods...and occasionally they meet new friends such as mules...or new toys.

Imagine me carrying a gym bag full of stuffed toys through the woods finding ...'Just the right spot' to take some shots of the 'characters'.

Hint for the preview of the book.
Morris is getting the surprise of his life.

Lots of new characters are going to enter the story.

I'm looking forward to how these characters take me on an adventure.

Babies, Blood Moon, and such like...

Welcome Sterling Edward to this life.  He had a bit of a rough start with an emergency C-section on September 30th.

There I am holding Sterling, next to me is Samantha the proud mom... step sister Lily, and Sterling's sister Elena!

It was a whirlwind few days of lots of emotion and happiness.


It was all over the news, the last lunar eclipse of the year was Wednesday morning.
I checked the NASA site for estimated times and set my alarm for 4am.  At 4:15, I could see the shadow beginning so I made coffee and made the decision to await until the shadow had nearly covered the moon.

I drove to the ridge top and parked on the gravel road with the moon now turning orange.
So I kept trying exposures until finally I nailed a keeper.

It was still well before dawn.  I think this shot was taken about 5:15AM.

Worth the wait and the nearly frozen hands!  The moon was dim enough that it did not blot out all of the surrounding stars.

I patiently waited until the glow in the east started.

As the sun rose the moon dropped and returned to its normal color with the lower half still either in shadow or in atmospheric haze.

I finished up by jumping into the car and going to a higher viewpoint to watch the moon sink into the trees and out of sight.

Last night I made an attempt to catch yet another full moon after it peered down into our hollow.

It turned out more like a Halloween Shot instead.  Of course, I didn't use a tripod and the clouds were not exactly cooperating.

Today is supposed to be in the 50's.  Perfect for poking about in the woods to find colors.

Perhaps Morris, my assistant will come along and we can start photographing the new book in his series of adventures with toys....

It should be fun!