Tuesday, October 29, 2013

All about the Pumpkin

Fall has a strong hold on the Garden Spot with lots of fall activities going on. Last week the weather was mild and warm so we were able to get outside to plant bulbs. I wanted to add more color to the center garden, which causes me so much angst because it grows weeds really well and I have a very hard time keeping up with them. We planted two varieites of daffodils and tulips, so that we have spring color as we step out the front door. We had a good little helper. Since Jacob had fall break we brought the boys home for a couple of days. Nathan is always eager to go outside and help with the chores.

Halloween has never really been one of my favorite holidays. I was terrible at dreaming up cool costumes, but the children sure enjoy the holiday, so for them I am doing a little more decorating now that I have a bit of time on my hands. I bought these window gells that added so much color to the kitchen window. The late afternoon sun glistens through the pumpkin gells, making them sparkle behind the lace curtain. I tried to capture that sparkle, but the effects just didn't shine through. Then as the sun set, I wanted to capture the setting sun behind the gells--all orangey and fiery. As I held the curtain back with one hand and snapped the photos with the other hand, the result was an erie, ghostly effect that I rather like. Just playing around with the camera.

Mission: Finding the Perfect Pumpkin

All over the country, parents took the little ones to pumpkin patches to find the perfect pumpkin over the week end. Here the kids wade through the weeds on a farm looking for their best pumpkin. Mom with little Lily on her back pokes around in the weeds.

There is nothing like a warm fall afternoon walking a field road with blue sky above and a ripening harvest soaking up the warmth. (Grammatically speaking, this sentence is unclear as to who is soaking up the warmth: the writer, the harvest, or the kids. I'd say all three).

It is very hard work pumpkin gathering. Grandpa pulls the wagon full of pumpkins, daddy carries Ellie, Lily gets a free ride on her mamma's back, while the other 3 need encouragement to keep going with tired feet and parched throats.

They look pretty happy. Sometimes the four of them don't get along so well, but this day they had a great time working together to find their treasures.

I finished Nathan's afghan. He loved it.

Ellie celebrated her 7th birthday Sunday. She will be 7 tomorrow. 

Lily ends the weekend by waving and in her sweet baby voice saying "bye."

Indeed Autumn has descended on the Garden Spot. It is becoming my favorite season--until the daffodils begin to bloom and the world turns green again.

Despite all of the pine trees we have here at the Garden Spot, we do have these two brilliant red bushes at the front of the house. I don't even know what they are, but I love them next to the blue spruce.

The roses are done. Look at sad St. Patrick. Once brilliant yellow, it droops on the stem, weighted down with the heavy mist that has been falling for two day.

The goldfish in the little water garden just hang immobile in their cold home, nearly dormant, very still rather than clustering at the surface, mouths gapping as they beg for food. 

Which Camera Should I Use Now?

Every now and then a blogger will ask for advice on which camera to use or what lens to add. I have an assortment of cameras. Two point and shoot Olympus with auto telephoto lenses, 7 pixels. Small, light, versatile. I carried the one all over England, Ireland, and Scotland, along with my ancient Pentax Spotmatic 35MM SLR that I bought way back in 197-something. I loved that camera, but once I crossed over to digital, the Pentax era ended. I liked the results the little Olympus cameras gave, but I decided to make the move to the Canon Rebel, a DRL, 12 pixels. I like it. I am still trying to figure out how to use it to get the best results. But I see my friend's photos that she takes with her Nikon and they are amazing. Sharp and clear. I do get frustrated because sometimes my photos are a bit out of focus. I don't have the best eyes, so I blame the problem on my eyesight, but I have read on various photo sites that the standard Cannon lens that comes with the camera is just okay, that it is better to upgrade the lens, which I may do. Now I am asking, "Any suggestions?"

I did make an upgrade. How do you like the results of the last 3 photos that I shot this morning? I just stepped out of my front door and snapped these. I am pretty impressed. Hubby and I made the big leap yesterday. We bought iPhones 5Cs. $99. each. We can now text, which I have so totally resisted all of these years. And him? Ha. We will see if he does text. The girls are excited. But these little phones do have an amazing 8 pixel camera. I may be using the iPhone for more than just calling. 

A Cottage Autumn View

I leave with you that last fall photos taken from Jen's front yard. What a view.

We will have cold, cloudy, rainy with a threat of snow weather all week. I'll be inside sewing for Christmas. We still have some bulbs to plant, but they will have to wait.

Hey. Who made pie last week? Raise your hand. I bet it was delicious.

To our friends in the UK and in Holland: Hope you survived the awful storm that did so much damage. We know bad weather here. Storms do so much damage, leave a mess behind, and then have the nerve to come again next year. Hope everyone is safe.

Have a great week.


  1. Happy Fall, Ann. Your photos are so pretty. I hope the snow holds off a while.

  2. When your tulips and daffodils bloom in the spring of every year, you will have memories blooming in your mind of the sweet little hands that helped you plant them on that fall day. That just sounds beautiful.....like the 4 of them are.

  3. What a fun post Ann, your grandchildren are adorable!

  4. How lucky you are to have your family there visiting! Enjoy!

  5. The storm passed us by here in Cornwall, although we had strong winds. Compared to other places on the South coast we got away lightly.

  6. We never celebrated Halloween in our country but the last few years it's coming up here too. Such fun to have the grandchildren around looking for pumpkings together in the weeds. Must have been a great day they all look so happy. Love the family pictures and yes, the view of the last three ones is beautiful, real country life.
    Weather has changed here, it is sunny, no wind, no rain and I am cleaning up the garden.

  7. How nice to be close to family and do things together. Looks like the weather has been fabulous. LOVE the photo with the white gate...I love gates! Happy weekend my friend!

  8. Sweet family time!
    Your crocheted blanket is wonderful, Ann!

  9. I miss the pumpkin patch and other things associated with young grandchildren. These days it's me phoning the teenagers and asking for computer help.
    Our youngest daughter is a police crime scene photographer and is supplied with a Nikon. Her own personal camera is a Canon Rebel and I know she likes the Nikon capabilities much better. I use an older Canon 40D and one of their point and shoots with good results. One friend that is an accomplished photographer only uses her iPhone when we are at events that require photos and they turn out exceptionally well. Too many choices maybe?

  10. Hi Ann! No, I'm not ready for snow. Bill will be in the hospital and I'm taking the week off so I can help him. He's having hip replacement surgery tomorrow. I was tired of all my warm weather clothes but now that it's time to wear warmer stuff, I feel like I don't have as many options. That's another thing you can appreciate about retirement - no work clothes!

  11. I don't do anything for Halloween. My hubby passes out candy so my students won't know which house is mine. I love the last couple of photos. So picturesque. The bushes are burning bush.

  12. What a beautiful birthday cake Ellie had! And lovely Autumn photos on your blog. Your photography is really fab!