Fall Color

Here are Len and Duke. This cuddling is all Len’s (the beagle) idea. I’ve probably mentioned that Len has thyroid cancer and Duke (the goldendoodle) is 15 years old and has arthritis. I’m not sure they will make it through the winter. Sad to see them in decline.

I enjoyed the fall color of the columbine in our native garden. I read that severely wet weather can dampen the fall leaf color but I noticed that this year was the best year for fall color since we’ve moved to the Shenandoah Valley. Other years have been very dry. I’m hoping for a year of average precipitation evenly spread out for 2019!

Frida

I’ve been consumed with a desire to draw and paint these past few months. I’m very frustrated with my rudimentary abilities. I know that it will take lots of practice and I just have to be patient. I’m trying! I ordered some better paints, brushes and paper than what I have and I’m acting like a kid waiting for Christmas. The paints and paper should arrive this Friday and the brushes must be on the slow boat across the Atlantic. The little tracking icon has shown them “in transit” for a week now. Actually, the little icon is an airplane so I don’t understand why it is taking so long. See!

These are leaves from around the house.

And here is my watercolor of same.

Len Len waiting for a treat.

Dave has been chopping wood from the ash tree we had taken down. That pile will be there – just off the patio-  for a while. He was trying to decide where to move the wood and we decided to save ourselves the work of moving it since we will just have to move it back to burn it in the woodstove. This will be good for the winter of 2019/20.

Family

These photos are from mid October.

My daughter Samantha and her boyfriend Luca and I hiked a small portion of the Elliott Knob Trail. They are both fun to be around. My camera says the trail is in Swoope but I think an online trail guide I saw said it was in Craigsville – maybe it is both.

A family photo – Damian (who had just had surgery to repair a knee ligament), Sam and Luca in front. Me, Dave and Colin in back. Not sure what Dave is doing…

I realized most of my photos don’t include people so I’m trying to take more with people especially when we have visitors.

My cousin Gib and his wife Diane came for a short (and I mean short – a little over an hour) visit. It was good to see them – it had been about 20 years. We showed them around our place and had a simple lunch. They are from Gold Beach Oregon.

Fog and Flood

A soggy mess. The lady ferns don’t seem to mind.

A lot more rain since Sunday and some very heavy rain late yesterday.

These photos were taken this morning and the water was still running this evening.

Foggy this morning – almost like the earth was giving off some of the excess moisture.

The birds have been all over this dogwood tree.

Finally, some beautiful sun today.

Heavy Rains, Heavy Creek

We got more rain on Saturday, September 22 and into the following day than we did from Hurricane Florence. I don’t remember the total but it was a few to several inches.

The fence in the foreground is the property line. The bridge is on our neighbors property. See the stream of water through the fence? That usually isn’t there.

The stream of water going by our neighbors house and into the creek comes from the stream that forms during heavy rains on our property along the road. It doesn’t form on our property – it comes up hill from the northwest.

Country Roads

September 21

I took these photos in or near Harrisonburg. I was up that way taking a quilt top to be quilted and decided to go to an apple orchard. I couldn’t resist stopping and taking these photos.

The September Garden

September 19 and 20

A profusion of asters!

White snakeroot under the arborvitae.

These photos were taken just a little over a week ago. Since then we’ve had so much rain that it is now looking very soggy. I hope the asters perk up and the ones that only have buds will flower. Too much rain can be as bad as too little.

Duke got in some cleaver so Damian is getting the burrs out of his fur. Sometimes we can pull it out and sometimes we have to get the scissors and cut it out. That can be real painful after we just paid to have him groomed.

Creating

My daughter won a gift certificate for a class at the Beverley Street Studio School here in Staunton. Because she is in Charlottesville and was finding it hard to commit to a class here we asked if we could transfer the gift certificate to me. They graciously allowed it and I signed up for a beginner drawing and painting class. Above is my drawing after the first class. I was quite nervous at first because we were just told to start drawing while the teacher went around to give individual advice. It took her a while to get to me and I was really struggling with it. It’s probably been about 45 years since I’ve had any kind of art class. Once she got me started I had no trouble continuing. That said, I had my eraser in hand at all time and used it constantly.

I’m sharing this here because I hope to get to where I can do a half decent botanical drawing and still lifes and landscapes around our home and property. It will take a lot of practice though – which I hadn’t really been thinking of when I signed up for the class. Now that I’ve gotten started though, I hate the thought of giving it up. And it has only been a little over a week since my first class! I always loved art class in elementary school and I’ve always said I wished I could draw. So now I hope to commit to the effort. We’ll see!

Posted in Art

Ash Tree

September 10

I missed most of the cutting down of the ash tree. Above, the crane had just let down a 5500 lb. segment of the tree. Apparently, this was a great weight because they were giving each other high fives when it was announced.

The first crane they brought in wasn’t big enough. This one left tire impressions in the driveway asphalt.

This was the first time Queen City Silviculture did work for us. I would definitely have them back. They did a great job and Jason, who is the owner along with his wife Danielle, was very personable.

They left a huge pile of mulch in the driveway and this pile of logs. We plan to rent a splitter and get the hOUR Economy people to help split and stack.

Because I like lichen.

I’m a little concerned about the plantings in the native garden that will now get more sun. After some research, I think some will actually benefit from more sunlight. Others, we may have to move.

Aromatic Aster

Our first aromatic aster bloom of the year. It will bloom from now until the first frost. A real winner for us and the butterflies. Late last winter/early spring we saw dark-eyed junco birds eating the seed and taking the stems off with them presumably for nesting material. A good excuse not to tidy up the garden.