Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's Fall!

I will admit, fall is my favorite time of year.  I know, it is the precursor to winter, but I still love it.  I love the warm, clear sunny days and cool nights and the colors and the scents.  I love being outdoors and comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt.  So, what has happened to this fall?  It has been dreary and rainy, rainy, rainy.  The mud around the barns is reminiscent of early spring, not fall.  It would have been a good year to re-seed pastures, had we but known....Last week, the pond went from being down 14 inches to running over the spill-way in less than 48 hours after a 3" rainfall on Monday night.  The creek was even up into the chicken yard and over top of both bridges, judging from the debris left behind.

  This bridge will need some work before I drive a truck or tractor across it again!  It amazes me how quickly the creek comes up and how quickly it recedes once the rain stops.  Thankfully.

At least the rain has allowed for some indoor projects to be done.  I finally got my upstairs bathroom painted.  It is no longer "gaggy pink".  I don't know what I was thinking when I painted it that color.  I was thinking peach.  Well, I guess peach is just pink.  Maybe I can get a photo for next week.

The last weekend in September is the Soakum Festival in Caldwell, Ohio, which I wrote about here
I attended on Sunday and did some spinning, some chatting and a lot of eating.

This is the little cabin on the fairgrounds where we set up on the porch.  The weather was actually very nice for the festival.  I think the rain started later Sunday night.

We had about the same group on Sunday this year as last year, with the addition of Marlene, closest to the camera.  The others are JoAnn, Sally, Bill & Don.

 I took my rugs to the festival and needed a way to display them, so I came up with a simple rack which Sam helped me to makeIt folds and fits quite nicely in the back of my CRV.  You can see it on the left in the photo above.

This past weekend, which was downright cold and rainy, I sat outside at the Bethel Harvest Festival all weekend with a couple of my alpacas and some products for sale.  I usually get some spinning done on this weekend, but it was too muddy to even get my wheel out of the truck.  Plus, my fingers were too numb to spin.  I stayed fairly warm, though, with my hand-knit alpaca socks, flannel lined jeans, hand-knit alpaca/wool sweater, hand-knit alpaca neck warmer, and hand-knit fingerless alpaca mitts.  

 Looks dreary doesn't it?  And this was Sunday, which was the BETTER day, weatherwise.  It only rained part of Sunday.  It rained ALL of Saturday.  I have done this festival for years and never has it been so unpleasant.  But, I enjoyed the local atmosphere and people.  That's why I go.

 Now I have had some time to get out and enjoy the fall weather.  The dogs and I get our walks in whenever possible, sometimes even in the drizzle.  The wet weather has made for a lot of interesting fall mushrooms, which I am not used to seeing.  Generally it is too dry for mushrooms to do well this time of year.  I found these to be particularly pretty. 

There were quite a lot of them growing among the pine trees on Wayne National Forrest.  I don't recall ever seeing such colorful fungi before.

It is also easier to see other things now that many of the leaves have fallen.  For instance, here is something I have been walking under several times a week on my walks with the dogs and I never saw it until now.  

 It is easily the size of a football or a little larger and about 12 feet up right over the road.  There seems to be no activity around it at this time, but I am sure there was earlier in the season.  

Another interesting construction I found recently in the woods is this little tiny woven basket nest.  I don't know what kind of bird makes this little nest hanging from thin tree limbs, so if anyone reads this and knows, please tell me.

 I know it is not the greatest photo, but the nest itself would only hold something about as large as a golfball. 

I also got into our beehive this past week to check on the bees.  There are SO many bees!  But I was dismayed that while I found capped brood (eggs), I did not find capped honey, which means that the bees have probably been eating their stored honey already.  Most likely due to the rainy weather and lack of pollen.  This was discussed at our local bee meeting and many beekeepers are feeding their bees.  I think I need to start doing so as well.  I need to learn more about bee-keeping than I know now.

 I am lifting out a comb that is totally covered with bees in this photo.  I was amazed at how many bees are in this hive.  I hope they are able to survive the winter.  I may get another hive before spring and if I do, I will go with the standard bee hives because that is what I am learning most about at our local meetings.  I would really like to be successful at this.  Hopefully I can find a place to take some classes this winter.  

The weather is supposed to be taking a turn for the better this week and the forecast shows  upper 70's and sun for the next week.  Gosh I hope it's right!  Sam is even planning to mow our hayfield again and try to get in a third cutting off it.  With all the rain we've had the hay has grown like crazy and if we get enough dry weather, maybe we can get another 100 bales or so.  That would be great!
The End

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