Fall Colors

If I were pressed, I would have to say, Fall is my favorite season. While Spring brings flowers, and winter snow… Fall intrigues us with it’s beguiling colors and flirtatious change in season. Winter is coming she tells us… if only.

Fields of fallen leaves drop from the trees above and crunch below our feet as they blow across the forest floor.

To me, it’s a magical time; one of re-birth, re-newal, and change.

I’m ready for what comes next.


Fall is in the air


We went out to check on Fall Colors, but it’s still a little early for this neck of the woods.  Maybe next week will yield more color.


For now, we were happy to walk through the woods and take in the crisp air… as was this little squirrel we found.


Winter is coming.  Storms are on the horizon, and we have already had our first snow.  We’ll take it.   Our burnt forest can certainly use a good soaking.




We’ll make another trek next week to check on colors again.  It’s all good.




Fall Trees

People call us ‘crafty’.  I actually resent that term.  When you’re using jackhammers and shoveling rock, building pizza ovens and garages, ‘crafty’ is the last thing you feel you are.

But yesterday, I must even admit, I practiced ‘crafty’.

I saw this little project, I got a wild hair, and decided to make some myself.

It’s a little ‘crafty’ table ornament made with readily accessible resources – sticks, twigs, and branches.


We started cutting branches into little rounds which I then brushed with Thompson water seal, and then drilled a hole in the center (but not all the way through).


I cut little tree-like twigs and fired up the hot glue gun.  I think when the hot glue gun comes out, you are squarely in the craft zone.

And cut tons of little paper cut-outs of oak leaves with our handy leaf punch (doesn’t everyone have one of those laying around – available at Michael’s and JoAnn’s).



With glue gun in hand, I glued the little twig trees into the branch bases… and the paper cut-out leaves onto the trees.

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And, wa-la.  Fall tree table ornaments.

Ok… maybe I am a little crafty.  But just today.


First Fall

It seems too early, not even in October yet, but there is a definite chill in the air and you can feel winter is coming.  So we decided to do a scouting trip to check out Fall Colors.


It’s a strange year, as some leaves are just turning from their resident bright green to shades of pale green.  Other maples are in full color and even falling to the ground floor.

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It certainly isn’t in full color, as the leaves are patchy only in some areas.  There’s no denying it though… it has started early, with more to come.  I love the mosaic tapestries that the leaves and tangle of trees weaves.  It’s fascinating to watch this myriad of color dot the landscape.

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It’s always fun and challenging to try to capture this awesome season and convey it’s many splendors.

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Milk Ranch Road

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Just off the Forest Road 300 is an obscure road marked FR 218:  Milk Ranch Road.  Along it are magnificent overlooks of the Mogollon Rim below.  One can find an open spot in the woods or down a long rocky rough road to be rewarded by this great expanse.

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If you’re lucky you’ll be blessed with amazing skies, puffy clouds, and remarkable sunsets and sunrises.  If you’re not, just enjoy the view, a nice picnic and peaceful, relaxing visit.

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For more from this trip and Lessons from a Squirrel check out my post HERE.

Snow pack

Just when we thought the snow was over and Summer was coming early, we got a storm out of seemingly nowhere.  Yes, the weather forecasters said it was coming… but they are often wrong.  So we didn’t expect much… certainly not what we got.

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It came hard and fast.  It was heavy and wet, and probably dumped around 16″ in 12 hours.  It was fun to watch as it came sideways across the horizon sticking on the trees previously bare of snow.


It left just as fast as it came, and was gone seemingly overnight.  Because it was so wet, it melted fast.

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It left quite the impression… and filled Lake Mary.



Nova Scotia

We just got back from a week trip to Nova Scotia.  Many people asked us before we left, Why Nova Scotia?  I found that to be an odd question.  I ask… Why Not?



Why does anyone go to a particular place for vacation?  Perhaps it’s because they have been before and enjoyed it, or maybe they want to try someplace new.  For us, we don’t generally go to the same place twice, and are always trying to find new places to experience grand new adventures.  Every person has different things that make their ideal vacation.  I think it was my sister-in-law, Kate, who originally raved about Cape Breton (the northern most island of Nova Scotia).  For Kate, I think the allure has more to do with the quiet solitude, Celtic influence, and musical flavor.  Frankly, things that have little bearing for me personally.


Vacation ‘buying factors’ for us include great food and great photographs.  We love seafood… so Nova Scotia seemed to us like as good a place as any.  We had gotten a couple recommendations from other friends that had been there.  It has been on our GO TO list for some time.  So it came up to the top of the list and we scheduled the trip.


We broke the trip into 2 parts:  (1) Cape Breton, the northern most island of Nova Scotia, home to the scenic Cabot Trail, and (2) Peggy’s Cove / Lunenburg coastal area.



Cape Breton in known for it’s Celtic origins.  Even the signs are in Gaelic.  It’s also home to the windy scenic Cabot Trail that winds between the forest and over the hills.  The views yield mountains of trees tapering off into the sea, the occasional lighthouse, and vast hiking areas.



For our trip we were gifted with overcast skies, gray clouds, and drizzly rain.  It made for poor sunrise/ sunsets, but interesting fog pix.



Lobstering is a big industry in Nova Scotia, as is all things sea related (no big surprise as it’s an island surrounded by the ocean and bays).    Since we were there during lobster season we witnessed the hard working lobstermen coming in from their early morning hauls, and enjoyed many fruits of their labors (i.e. – lots of lobster 🙂 ).



In Baddeck we went on a puffin tour trip and I was thrilled to see many very small Atlantic puffins.  My practice of panning photographs paid off as I swept my inadequate telephoto lens across the water to capture the fleeing small awkward birds.  What fun!  I wanted to turn around and go again.  Worth the trip alone!




Not only does Baddeck have puffins (actually on Bird Islands off of Englishtown), Baddeck is also home to the Alexander Graham Bell museum and Baddeck Lobster Suppers, which in addition to great lobsters had fantastic mussels fresh from Cape Breton.

We had a fabulous time in Cape Breton, and were off to Peggy’s Cove.  See post here.

First Snow

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I must admit, I never ever thought I could get used to snow.  I hate the cold.

But never say never.  Now that we live somewhere where we have 4 seasons, I enjoy every one of them… including the snow.  There is something pristine and innocent about the beauty and cleanness of snow.


It hangs on the trees and coats the ground in white fluffy clumps.  If one is lucky, the first snow of the year coincides with the end of fall… and changing of the colors, yielding an intersection of seasons in all it’s beauty.  Check out my Snow Trees post on kritterspix.com.

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