Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Central Ridge from the north draw

And it’s official. The holiday season is open. After Labor Day I celebrate fall themes -- harvest, Halloween, and Thanksgiving -- then moving into an understated Christmas. No more waiting. The “100 Days of Holidays” are upon us and it’s all fair.

Young buck on horizon at dusk
We had a great Labor Day weekend. Daughter Hallie and Nick took a break from Little Tudor renovations and arrived Friday mid-day for some relaxation (if you can call it that) at the farm. But – if the little Tudor was out of sight, it wasn’t quite out of mind. We shortened six drapery panels for one of the bedrooms.

Old dog Nellie brightened to see her old friends. When Hallie went for a run, Nellie and I walked up the road to meet her as she returned, just like old times. And energetic Bess followed along for some distance when Hallie and Mike left for a mountain bike ride and was summarily delivered back to the house with stern words from her master. That meant the cyclists had to make Plank’s Pitch and our relatively steep lane twice on the same ride.

See Hallie in center of picture -- north draw
You know, I knew we had blackberries on the homestead, but I thought they didn’t bear, probably because they didn’t get enough sun. I guess I was just looking for those berries at the wrong time of year. Nick found them while exploring the north draw, and he and Hallie picked a gallon or so from which they made juice. Since they didn’t like the Sure-Jell recipe, they decided to take the juice and make jelly at home with their “gourmet” pectin. I will miss sharing the process.

Hornets nest in apple tree
I’ve talked about the country apples for years, but this year I finally convinced my family to give them a try. I could pick the apples myself, but I can’t reach them. Some of the trees are tall! Anyway, we picked apples, and I made two delicious apple “crostatas,” an apple-pear “crostata,” applesauce, and apple juice. Johnny Appleseed would be so pleased. The apples are tasty, too, requiring only minimal sweetening. All the trees need pruning, and we made a start by using Mike’s new pole saw to trim some of the scorched, dead branches out of the apple tree(s) in the lane. What an improvement! And Hallie and Nick picked more apples.

Farmhouse from north field
Sunday afternoon son Clint visited and stayed to have “Warnock burgers" with us. 

It was over all too soon. Hallie and Nick left Tuesday mid-morning and within an hour Mike and I were packed up and heading out as well. With the fall, our activities schedule becomes even more structured – hunting dates, meetings, etc., but we will still enjoy time on the farm.

American coot on pond
The number of American coots on the pond, originally seven, has been gradually dwindling – three at last count. Mike opines that they will all be gone when next we visit. But perhaps one of them will remember and bring his bride with him in the spring to re-establish a home on our pond. KW
Evening light at Gilbert


Chuck said...

I'm curious. What was the fate of the nest in the apple tree. Did that mean you won't get apples from that tree?

I hope the return to the tudor project goes well for Hallie and Nick.

We just returned from a trip to Fort Collins, CO. to see the new temple open house. We visited friends, and picked up some peaches and pears in Pallisade, Co. just east of Grand Junction. They are really tasty, and Joanne will do some canning, jam, etc.

Have a great week!!!

Love, Chuck

Mike said...

We left the nest alone. We didn't bother them and they didn't bother us. They seemed pretty benign. They just stayed in the nest even though we were sawing pretty close to them and making a big racket.

Kathy said...

Yes, I thought the hornets nest was picturesque. And as Mike said, they weren't bothering us.

Glad to hear that Joanne got some good fruit.