Friday, October 23, 2009

More Gorgeous Fall Shots

Here it comes again. Yet another beautiful series of fall pictures from our latest walk. I took the kids to Hamlin woods here in Wayland after school yesterday. It was around 70 degrees and is 40 today. Which warm day will be the last? The leaves are falling rapidly.

We saw many animals: 2 snakes (dead on the road) ducks, squirrels, turtles, birds, bats, and a frog (check photo carefully)

And evidence of beavers with Jack trying to inch out of the picture (note notch in tree).

Gorgeous reflections on the still water

I'll bore you with a few family shots now:

And a final shout out to my mom who sent maple sugar candy Priority Mail from a Vermont farm cooperative when Renee mentioned she liked maple sugar candy. It made a lovely hiking snack. YUM.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lady beetles and Other Fall Hazards

After a few days of cold and snow, we're back to weather in the 60's. Perfect fall weather for a swarm of ladybugs. Well, I thought they were ladybugs, they are actually Asian Lady Beetles that eat aphids and other harmful garden pests. In fall they swarm to find warm shelter for winter. They especially like south facing light colored surfaces, hence:

There were dozens, maybe a hundred beetles on the house and porch. I read one online account where there were thousands of beetles that would get in a woman's hair and down her shirt collar if she went out to get the mail. Luckily that isn't happening here. But there is another fall hazard. Giant acorns dropping from very tall trees. I haven't been hit in the head yet, but I keep hearing them make dents in the roof of my car. Doug keeps his new car in the garage.

Friday, October 16, 2009

First Snow

October 16th brings the first snow of the season to Wayland. I was a bit alarmed thinking we're in for quite a winter here. But it is not our geographical move North, but rather odd early snow in many places. Friends in NJ, Rochester NY and Pennsylvania have reported snow in the last day or two.

Furthermore, it's 10:15 am and the snow is gone, no trace left on the leaves or grass. But I did get to snap a few photos after the kids caught their buses. (Renee missed her bus for the first time yesterday).

Snow on the fall leaves is an unusual sight.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Living Deliberately

What a beautiful fall weekend surrounded by changing leaves and crisp New England air. Yesterday afternoon we headed to Walden Pond. Yes Thoreau's Walden Pond. It's only 5 miles from our house. We hiked around the pond and to a marshy meadow where we saw a tree sawed down by a beaver. At one spot we stopped to listen to the wind blow through the trees and just a second later about a dozen acorns fell from the tops of trees to loudly splash into the pond. I can't believe we didn't get hit on the head. It's remarkable how only 4 hours north of NJ, the forest is so different. There almost all the trees were deciduous maples and oaks. Here there are so many pines. The forest floor is spongy with soft needles and the smell is so fresh.

Walden Pond

Marsh with fall colors and fallen leaves

Renee and Doug in the woods

Today we raked the yard, and did other yard chores (like reading in the swinging chair). Doug was up on a ladder to clean out the gutters and put on screens to keep out the leaves. And for dinner, mac&cheese and another batch of Jaime's squash and apple bisque. Yum.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Reflections

A discovery... I am able to bring my computer out to the deck and connect to the internet.

So I am writing as fast as I can to record my impression of the sound of the wind through the branches and the golden leaves falling this way and that in their wayward descent. I am amazed by my kids who can play piano without ever looking at the keys, but I find I can type the same way. I am sitting facing the Southwest and as the sun shines toward my face edging out from behind some still green leaves, it lights the bits of pollen that float or skitter through the air across the field. Tree fluff actually rises rather than falls with the wind, like glittering dust motes or insects. I wish I could capture the way the seeds and leaves and branches move in a picture or with a video camera but mere media cannot contain it, a big screen TV could not imitate it, words can barely explain it. Only being out with the rushing sound of the leaves and the brace of the the air and the glint and warmth of the sun. There's a desire to run and catch the leaves to try to stop and hold this moment before it blows away into the cold bleak winter.