Monday, September 28, 2020

Postcards from the Lake: A Colorful World

The thing I most look forward to in autumn is the arrival of the colors on our trees. Usually that kicks in around the first of October, but this year it was early.

Coming from the south of the state, the heart beats a little faster when we hit the northern counties and the colors get brighter.

It's difficult to keep your eyes on the road!


The color makes for beautiful walks as well. 

This patch of sumac is particularly lovely.

At least, I think it's sumac!

And if one has something rather hideous like a boat lifting system to hide for the season, why not dress it up?

I think these people have a sense of humor and style!

Every day is more and more beautiful.

Of course, the woods isn't the only colorful venue. This is the view when I look across the lake in the morning.

I never get tired of seeing these colors!

They get more and more brilliant in every passing day.

The leaves are beginning to fall. Birch leaves are beginning to land on the beach.

And maple leaves float gently in the water, drifting lazily along the shoreline.

I couldn't resist playing with this photo!

More than a few have fallen on the sand.

The color is inside, too. You find it in the pumpkins...

...and in the last of sunflowers.

As the sun begins to set, another burst of colors kicks in.

Whether it's a sunset from afar...


...or the play of color on the water...'s clear that when it comes to creating a palette, nature wins, hands down!

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Friday, September 25, 2020

This is Where I Should Be Now

Where had you planned to be this summer or this fall? What travel plans went kaput when it became a little more worrisome to fly or travel, even by car? And of course, for many of us, the places we planned to go wouldn't let us in. 

This summer Rick was going to bike through Ontario. And my Canadian friend would have come here if I didn't go there. Nope. Border closed.

And right about now, I would either be packing for or already in England. I would be seeing things and people I've seen before (like the wonderful Jenny Woolf: English Travel Writer) and new things, too. After a visit with Jenny, I'd check into the Parkwood Hotel. Located just a couple of blocks from the Marble Arch tube and across from Hyde Park, the location couldn't be better!

I really never got the itinerary done because Covid hit early enough that it "beat me" to the punch. But I knew that I would have to return to Westminster Abbey for Evensong.

I might have to watch the Changing of the Guard again, even though I've seen it three times. And I was hoping I'd be able to tour Buckingham Palace during the brief months they are open. If not, then the Royal Mews. Both would be a first. 

I would sit in Green Park, taking a break as I walked to Piccadilly. Hopefully it would be ablaze with color.

I'd have to revisit Hatchard's book store in Piccadilly.

And walk down Jermyn street again. I couldn't afford to buy anything here but it's a lovely street!

And speaking of shopping, I'd return to Harrods, if for no other reason than to get better photos of the remarkable food hall. (And while I was in the neighborhood, hit another wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum.)

Of course, if it was a Saturday, I'd be at Portobello Road Market. I'm hoping that little cat pitcher in the center of this photo is still there!

I'd definitely hit a show in the West End. Maybe two or three or more!

And I'd do a little more at the National Gallery. I've seen the Leonardo cartoon of the Madonna and Saint Anne more than once. I'd see it again -- but there are lots of things I've missed! And I'd hit the Tate Britain for the Turners and who knows what else. Jenny would give me wonderful off-the-beaten-path ideas. In fact, what I'd really love would be to see her daughter do one of her remarkable storytelling adventures. Check out London Dreamtime for more on those!

Of course, the whole idea of this trip was to both return to favorites and see new things. I'd like to go back to Oxford -- but see Cambridge, too. 

And since Queen Mary's Dollhouse at Windsor Castle was closed last time, I'd give Windsor another try.

If I could rent the wonderful Morgan's Forge near Bath again, I would revisit this area. I'd just be happy staying at the cottage.

I mean, if you were waking up to a view like this, wouldn't you want to return?

But I wouldn't mind visiting Bath Cathedral.

I'd take another Mad Max Cotswold tour. Or maybe even try to take a bus there myself and stay a day or two!

And I'd like to see the Lake District, Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm, and maybe even the Cornwall of Doc Martin.

When I visited in 2018 with Rick, I was walking around England on ruptured tendons in my foot. It was a wonderful trip but I couldn't nearly do all I wanted. This was going to the be the make-up tour, with or without him.  

Well, we've all missed things that have meant a lot to us. Travel, to be sure. Weddings. Christenings. Seeing grandchildren. We've made final farewells to those we love and for whom we can't gather with friends or family to mourn. And for many of us, the world has turned to chaos, either with a virus we can't seem to get on top of or through tragic wildfires and violent hurricanes -- all of which leave death, destruction and long term challenges in their wake.

Missing out on a pretty view, great museums, lovely British accents, and an environment where history surrounds you like a blanket of old friends -- kings and queens, great writers, favorite fictional heroes -- all this seems pretty lame. Pretty trivial by comparison to what so many are experiencing now. 

Courage, everyone. 

It will be a long haul.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Week at Home: Harry and Ellie

Visits to the lake will soon be coming to an end and I fear that when I'm home, visits to Harry the Heron and Ellie the Egret will come to an end soon as well. But they are worth celebrating while we can.

So, first I grab a mask. I love my little mask station in the kitchen. It's easy to pull a clean one in a hurry. (I also have them hanging on the door knob, rear view mirror, in my purse.... no excuses.)

Today, I pick this one. It says "I wear a mask to make sure I'm alive to vote on November 3." (Although hopefully I'll be voting more like mid-October.)

 Ellie was in her element, gracefully looking for fish in the pond.

She's very deliberate but when she has luck, she's quick!

Then, she's just as likely to fly to another spot... 

And try her luck there!

 Harry, too, is a cautious stalker.

He's as likely to hunt frogs as fish and I've seen him dig out both from the ponds.

Today, his luck seems a little less fruitful. Is that sadness in those sharp eyes?

And off he goes.

I love watching him fly.

I'll miss these two as off they go.

Seasons. They go so fast these days.

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