Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Two Walks & Two Rides

Autumn color this year has been a patchy affair. Weeks of rain and wind knocked the blazes out of the tender sugar maples, tearing down their glory of scarlet leaves before they could finish turning. Walnut trees quickly gave up the fight, and dropped their bright gold with scarcely a whimper.

So murky and tempestuous was the weather that I almost despaired of getting any fall-color photos. But finally, one Thursday afternoon, the rain stopped long enough for a walk to the park.

There I saw mushrooms growing under oak trees:

A charmingly haphazard arrangement of oak leaves caught in a fence:

The last of the asters, shivering in the wind:

Straggly coneflowers daring to bloom in the cold:

Maple leaves blown sideways by the icy blast:

Burning bush living up to its name:

A tree caught in the act of changing:

Another in full autumn dress:

At last! Some of the colour my soul had been craving:

Small white asters still blooming next to the lake:

And, on the way home, rivers of gold in the gutter:

I'm glad I caught a bit of fall colour after all.

Sunday Walk

A few days later, on a drizzly Sunday afternoon, I walked to the prairie restoration project. Along the way, the marshy lake-around-the-corner floated a living carpet of wild geese. Here are just a few of them:

A trail through trees is always fascinating:

No living flowers were spotted on this walk, but I saw plenty of interesting dried ones:

The prairie grasses are lovely in autumn, but very hard to photograph (especially on a windy day). I love the delicate seeds of this variety:

Also spotted were several flavours of chocolate-colored leaves, and a feather in the grass:

Tawny grasses, nearly-bare tree, and winding green path under a leaden sky:

More wild geese on a pond, with a hint of autumn colour behind them:

Autumn is beautiful no matter what the colour of the sky, but oh, how we were longing for sunshine....

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Thursday Ride

Finally, after all the weeks of November-like gloom and damp, October finally woke up and started behaving itself. The first chance I got, I headed out on the bike for some icy-fresh autumn air and sunshine.

Birch trees sported lime-green leaves, and oaks were shining bronze, under the brilliant blue sky:

A leaf lay on the road next to my wheel:

Another oak blushed rosy-red:

"Where are you going this fine day?" asked a friendly calf:

"Up the hill to look for treasure," I replied.

I found it, too. Golden sunshine:

Ruby leaves:

And sapphire water under turquoise skies:

A glorious autumn ride.

Sunday Ride

A few days later, the sun still shone, though the wind was fiercely cold.

Here's Iris the bike resting against the bridge at one of my favourite photo spots:

Iris and I passed gates propped hospitably open into a drying cornfield:

Then rounded a curve...

...to see a flock of turkeys sitting in the middle of the road ahead. Of course by the time I got my camera out they were scurrying for the woods:

Racing my shadow along the edge of a marsh:

One last photo, of larch trees turning pale at the thought of winter to come:

The cycling season is winding down. I don't know how many more rides the year holds, but I hope they're all as beautiful as the last few have been. (And I hope the October weather continues sunny!)

How's October treating you?

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P.S. Several readers have emailed me to say they haven't been able to leave comments, so I'm trying out some changes with the commenting system below. If you are able to leave a comment, would you let me know how it worked for you? Thanks. :)

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Beesong Pattern Winner

Here is the pattern set on offer:

Here are the entrants, listed in chronological order of entry:

1. Teresa (blog comment)
2. Vicki (email)
3. ds (email)
4. Mere (comment)
5. Debbie (comment)
6. cawingcrow (comment)
7. Axta (comment)

And here is the Random Number Generator doing its thing:

Congratulations to cawingcrow! I'll be emailing you for your Ravelry ID.

Many thanks to all who commented and emailed! And thanks to SweetGeorgia yarns for providing the prize.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

One Sunny Day

Maybe it's my state of mind, but it seems that since we got back from California there's been nothing but rain: heavy rain, light rain, misty rain, blowing rain, soft rain, hard rain, unrelenting drizzly rain. Days upon days upon days of it.

I really ought not to complain; my herbs are astonishingly lush and thriving, and our single monster tomato plant, which should be winding down at this time of year, has taken fresh courage and grown another couple of feet.

But dang, it's October. We should be enjoying sparkling days and crisp nights, marvelling at the astonishing blueness of autumn skies, sniffing the winy air to catch whiffs of bonfires. Instead, we've been wrangling umbrellas and living under a damp blanket of cloud.

Except for last Thursday.


Last Thursday was a textbook fall day, with all the sparkle and crispness anyone could desire, and -  lucky me - I was free to take a ride under the (temporarily) glorious October skies.

Maples were just beginning to kindle their autumn torches:

Mushrooms grew by the side of the road:

A local lake rivalled the sky for blueness:

The beguiling road wound uphill and down, while trees smiled benignly on either side:

And a tiny unnamed waterway lay like a sheet of silk under a canopy of fleecy white cloud:

One sunny day. One glorious, north-wind-blowing, blue-sky-blazing, autumn-tinted day. It was wonderful while it lasted.

The next day we were back to this:

And here's our forecast for the next few days:


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In other news, my favourite home-state baseball team will be playing my favourite adopted-state team for the National League championship. It's a win-win situation! :D

Are you a baseball fan? If so, who are you rooting for in the postseason?

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Beesong Hat and Mitts + Pattern Giveaway from SweetGeorgia Yarns

Just in time for cooler weather, I'm happy to present the Beesong Hat and Mitts, a new pattern recently published in SweetGeorgiaYarns's first-ever fall/winter crochet collection:

Photo by Josh Yong for SweetGeorgia Yarns

The Beesong Hat and Mitts are richly textured and beautifully soft, with honeycomb-patterned center panels and slip stitch ribbing bands. The slouchy hat features a fun, flowery-looking chained pompom.

Both hat and mitts were worked in SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash DK, a lovely sproingy yarn that crochets up beautifully. The colorway is called Apple Pie, and was specially dyed for this design; it's a gorgeous gingery shade that reminds me of molasses cookies.

I'm very excited to be part of Crochet Fall with SweetGeorgia, which also features amazing patterns by Elena Fedotova, Kirsten Joel, Nazanin S. Fard, and Jessie Rayot.

To see the entire collection, visit the lookbookRavelry, or SweetGeorgia's pattern page.

SweetGeorgia's dizzyingly delicious array of yarns can be viewed here.


SweetGeorgia Yarns have generously offered to give away a copy of the Beesong Hat & Mitts pattern. The winner will receive a free pattern download to their Ravelry account.

If you'd like a chance to win, leave a comment below that includes the words "bees", OR send me an email (see my profile for the address), with "bees" in the subject line.
~ Winner must have a Ravelry account. If you've never joined Ravelry, click here (it's free!).
~ If you leave a comment below, make sure your online profile is set up to receive replies. If you're a "No-Reply Blogger", or if your online profile does not include an email address, please include a way for me to reach you.
Giveaway closes on Thursday, October 11, at midnight (US Central Daylight Time). The winner will be chosen by random number generator.

The winner will be announced on Friday, October 12.

This giveaway is international and open to anyone with a Ravelry account. Good luck!

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