Thursday, October 31, 2013

New additions

There are five little trees in the bucket, plus the pot on the left
They may not look like much, but the six new Japanese maples in the photo above make my heart sing! Technically, there are four new ones (Odiro nishiki, Beni shichihenge, Ryuzu and Kinshi), a second specimen of one I already have and adore (Mikawa yatsubusa), and 'Little Gem,' a sport of Vine Maple (Acer circinatum), our native Pacific NW counterpart of Japanese maples (Acer palmatum). The four smaller trees have already lost their leaves, but the two biggest ones are still sporting some of the variegated foliage for which they were selected.
Beni shichihenge – the last one the nursery had

Orido nishiki, the biggest of the new additions
Now to decide on their permanent locations, and whether to plant them now or later. Thanks, Mom!

Last night I finished my second Cat's Paw Beanie; I'm calling this one Purple Paws:
This hat took 52g of yarn; I have 50g left and need to decide whether to make another beanie (I'm confident I could modify it a tad for the yardage), or make a pair of fingerless mitts to match. Of course, that would require making up another pattern, and I'm not sure I have the time or mental energy for that right now!

Our long stretch of sunny days came to an end yesterday, but not before I captured this shot of Bart in lovely light:

That's it for October from . . .

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fully fall

While the ornamental trees around the house still cloak themselves with their fall finery, the bigleaf maples in our strip of woods are flinging their frocks to the wind. The drive to the barn had a crunchy cover until Rick cleared it off earlier this week.
It's nice to have dry leaves to work with!

We're enjoying fires in the woodstove frequently now, and the dogs have a nice, new bed in the laundry room, thanks to a find at Goodwill. (Why pay big bucks for a giant dog bed when you can get a nearly new chaise lounge cushion that fits better in your space for $3.99?) Jackson is lame in the right rear foot, poor dog, which is slowing him down considerably. I hate to see him uncomfortable, but don't mind the reduced energy level!

Me; I'm lame in the left shoulder, but hopefully it's on the (slow) mend now that I've been to the physical therapist again. While the right shoulder just had tendonitis, the left had 'progressed' to adhesive capsulitis – otherwise known as frozen shoulder. :-/

One of my two least favorite occurrences happens soon – the artificial messing with the clocks. Until this fall, I thought this was an antiquated American invention. But I caught a reference to the time change in a Shetland sheep forum made by one of the members in the UK. So I looked it up, and lo and behold, we are far from the only idiots ones who semiannually mess with our clocks! Sigh; there goes any hope that we will stop the madness....

Before the darkness descends, I'm planning a little buying excursion. After moving to Oregon, I fell in love with Japanese maples. Their variety of size, form, and color make them year-round landscapers' darlings – and they are trees, one of my favorite parts of creation. I got the bible, and found a local propagator with lots of cultivars at reasonable prices. I used birthday and Christmas money to purchase some treasures, several of which I sadly lost in the moving process when we built this house (and another was destroyed by a rambunctious boy/dog combo).

When discussing landscaping ideas with my MIL recently, my love affair with Japanese maples was rekindled. I pulled out my book and searched online for the propagator I had purchased from, only to learn he died in 2010. However, the remainder of his stock is still being sold by an associate. I researched every available variety to create a short shopping list, and inquired about picking them up in person to save shipping costs. He agreed, and I will drive out after our homeschool co-op today, or tomorrow afternoon. I'm so excited!

(I started this post last night, but finished it this morning – with THIS happening over my left shoulder. WOW.)

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sheep, scenery, and a surprise

I have photos for you today, but am having trouble with coherent thoughts to go with them. I feel jangly, if that makes any sense, and I don't know why. Maybe "low-grade agitation" is a more precise term than jangly. I do think part of it is lack of sleep, one of the common complaints of menopause. Come to think of it, increased anxiety is also a symptom of menopause. The hot flashes have been worse lately, too. Okay; I guess I DO know what my problem is. What's YOUR excuse? Ha!

Lucky sheep; they don't have to worry about menopause.
Nightcap's harem
WhitePine Sarai
Kimberwood Marta
Whistlestop 0338 (Annabelle)
I spent a good chunk of today helping my MIL with moving stuff. Fortunately we weren't on a schedule of any kind, so I could pull over and try to capture some of our amazing scenery while driving over the hill and back. The light was capricious, teasing me with breathtaking shots and then dancing away.
Who wouldn't rather live here than Mesa, AZ?  ;-)

While discussing various ideas for my MIL's interior and exterior decorating, I thought I saw an old cardboard box in her backyard. I paused and looked closer, and realized it was a beautiful doe!
She seemed pretty relaxed for being in the middle of town (pop. 32,500) in broad daylight, alert but chewing her cud. I suggested my MIL get a list of deer-resistant plants to consult when making landscaping decisions!

That's it from my scattered brain, at . . .

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The fungus fascination continues

Remember this photo from yesterday?

This is what they looked like today! They're melting, they're melting!

We went for a walk this afternoon, and along with pretty autumn scenes,
In person the dahlias are a much closer match to the leaves
Bittersweet should just be called Sweet; he's a love
Hazy valley view from the end of the road

I saw a lot more fungi. These were under a Christmas tree on a nearby lot:

and these were on the lot for sale beside our property:
They're everywhere; they're everywhere!

This seems to be the fall for fungus amongus!

That's it for today from . . .

Friday, October 25, 2013

Foggy Friday

Our weather has changed; it has turned decidedly cooler and the sun will be scarcer. Still no rain in the forecast until late next week, though, which is good for moving (MIL) and riding (me, when I can find the time). The men of the house are campaigning for a fire in the wood stove; it'll probably happen tonight with my cold-blooded MIL staying here. Sure wish I could share the frequent "fires" in MY "wood stove" with all of them; they are going to cook me out!

See the small white thing on the ground under the dark tree above? That's another little cluster of 'shrooms (below), the second to pop up there in the gravel. The first cluster slowly melted into a wet black mess like the Wicked Witch of the West; it was grotesquely fascinating to watch!

While doing chores I spotted some BIG white things below the manure pile:

How big are they? I had a tape measure handy for scale:
Too bad they're not edible – I could have picked a meal's worth!

That's it for this foggy Friday from . . .

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New day dawning

Well, yes, that happens every morning, doesn't it? Not always so beautifully as it did this morning,

but ready or not, a new day dawns every 24 hours or so. Sometimes a new day bring big changes, like today. Today I pick up my MIL from the airport – for good. Her AZ house has sold, all her worldly goods are on their way, and she closes on her house here in town tomorrow. I don't know what to expect or how this will play out in time management and family dynamics. She lived in town this summer, but in a temporary, no-maintenance apartment (which still has to be emptied), not a permanent, brand new house on an unlandscaped lot....

To fight the trepidation that's been niggling at the back of my mind, I focus on what makes me happy. There is so much to enjoy right now – this season, this weather, my horse, my sheep – often in combination!
Sheep in this morning's lovely light, pretty in color or black & white
There's also knitting, one of the world's best coping tools. :-)

I've cast on another beanie; I'm calling this one Purple Paws. I'm taking better notes as I go to write up a proper pattern for those who are interested.

I also cast on a pair of fingerless mitts for an elderly aunt, but had to rip them out. Dark yarn + middle-aged eyes + nighttime knitting = Do Over. I will cast on again in the light of day.

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Marking another date on the calendar

This time, Marta was being courted. I guess March will be lambing season at Boulderneigh. The question is, will Sarai settle this year?

That's it for now from . . .

Fascinating fungi

They're popping up all over –

then morphing in bizarre ways.

Things got even stranger after these photos were taken!
Although horror flicks are not my genre, I can't help but wonder if Hollywood's aliens were inspired by fungi!

That's it for now from . . .