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 brilliant with 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.

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!

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 more worrisome to fly or travel, even by car? And, 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.

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 our friends Jenny and Tony in London. 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. I was hoping I'd be able to tour Buckingham Palace during the brief few 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 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! Then, the Tate Britain for the Turners! Jenny would give me wonderful off-the-beaten-path ideas.

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 we 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.

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.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Postcards from the Lake: Alone This Time

I've been alone at the lake over the years more times than I can remember but this time is harder. It's just that I miss having Rick here. But that said, he got his Covid test results and he's OK. So home soon, and it will be good to be able to be with him without a mask again!

I'm mourning the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I am heartbroken. Can 2020 get any worse? Don't answer that. A pandemic. Wild fires. Hurricanes. An election. Racial unrest. And now this. No words. Just great sadness for the loss of a remarkable woman, a life well lived who defended the rights of not only women but of all people. I shudder to imagine the upcoming weeks.

I only got one painting day in up here, so far. It has been too cold on the porch and the light inside isn't that great. And you kind of want warm fingers to paint. I may give it a go later today. We'll see. No, this isn't Lizzie. She belongs to someone else.

But I did score some beautiful tomatoes at the farmer's market. Only four stands this time. So, I'll warm up the house with some tomato sauce cooking! And for dinner tonight, make this from Jenna's blog.

Blog friend Jenna had some damage on her home as Hurricane Sally landed in her community big time -- it was all over the news. So think lovely thoughts. Meanwhile, blogger Linda tells me Hurricane Beta may be headed toward her area of Texas. Hold onto your hats. And while we're at it, also think lovely thoughts for those in California who are dealing with the effects of the wildfires.

Meanwhile, it's cold up here! Good fireplace weather, although the days warm up enough for walks or outside stuff. I've been putting things away in the garage for winter. We're not closing yet but some things just won't be used again this summer.

Here's a look at my fall mantel. I really don't bother to decorate for fall up here much because we aren't here all that long into the season before closing. But I couldn't resist a couple of pumpkins for the porch and a little bit of love inside.

I love this frame, a gift from a good friend. Dad belongs at the lake. Always has, always will. And he's right by my collection of feathers from my walks. 

I think I've showed my "Dad" wreath, with his collection of fishing lures.

And of course, pine cones and pumpkins help tell the season.

It's definitely pumpkin season. On the way up I picked up some pumpkins from this "honesty truck." The pumpkins are reasonably priced and always a nice selection.

I took a little drive yesterday on my way to get fireplace wood. Well, actually, it was way OUT of the way for getting the wood -- I stopped there on the way back. Our color is quite spotty still.
But there are bright patches. 

This is Deadman's Hill. It looks pretty green right now, but give it a week or two and it will be blaze of color. It overlooks a very steep valley. In 1910, during the logging years a young lumberjack was driving his team and big wheels loaded with logs down a steep slope and was killed. It was one of several fatal accidents in the area. This is its highest point and the view is spectacular.

There are lovely trails here -- Rick wants to go backpack to the bottom and I hope he really enjoys it! Meanwhile, I'll be happy to be in my cozy house with a stack of books.

And a little friend.

I will be savoring the sunsets...

And celebrating the Great Pumpkin.

It's a short season.

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