Thursday, October 14, 2010

Obladi, Oblada...

Life goes on, rah/
La la, how their life goes on/

Even though it has been a tough few weeks, there has also been much to be thankful for. Here are some pics of our life going on, this lovely, lovely autumn.

Hiking at a place called King Philip Rock (the name, incidentally, has raised some curiosity about who King Philip was, and finding out has been yet another cool part of this fall):

The tree with the reddish leaves is called sarsparilla, and someday I am going to figure out how to make root beer from this tree.

Here's the view from the rock itself. It's so nice to be above the trees in our very tree-ful neck of the woods!

Here's a preying mantis that hung out on our doorstep for a while one afternoon. He was at least five inches long; I love how he's looking at us in this pic that my Dad took.

I made amazing apple jelly with apples from a friend's tree. Isn't it a pretty color?

We visited friends up in Maine, and one highlight of our visit was a ride in their motorboat:

My favorite bird, the loon. I love how they look, how they sound, and where they live... of course, my family thinks it's because I can really relate to a bird with a name like loon! Heh.


Magic and Mayhem said...

Love the pics, the apple jelly looks fabulous and we love Maine. Only to visit (I lived there and was really bullied) but we do love to visit. :) Oh yes, and the loon is MN's state bird. You should come visit us to see some more!

topsy-techie said...

ooh, ooh...I've done the rootbeer from sasparilla root thing!! It was in a workshop at an Earthfare a year or so ago and it was so much fun. Like most things, I was daunted by the amount of work it took, but it was a great one-time experience, nevertheless. ;)

Rana said...

I see you have been busy bees like us too.

That view is amazing! We made apple jam too. I'm glad to see your family is enjoying the Fall weather too. Have a great weekend Karen!

Sparklee said...

Homemade JELLY? Really? As usual, I am blown away by your creativity...

Several years ago, my husband's Mammaw taught me to make peach jam, which is way easier than making jelly, I'm told. We made batch after batch and it was wonderful. Since then, I've tried it on my own and it has never turned out. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but we have peach ice cream topping instead of jam!

I love the fall photos!

Karen said...

Alicia - just one more reason to get out there! Someday, I will be knocking on your door :-)

Topsy - I need more info! How COOL that you have done that, my hat is off to you. So, did it taste good? C'mon, dish, dish!

Rana - That's cool about the apple jam. Aren't apples an amazing fruit? I hope you all have a good weekend too. :-)

Sparklee, I am blushing! It took me so long to get up the guts to make jelly, because I had heard the same thing (so much harder than jams to make). While it's true there is an extra step or two, I think in some ways it is actually easier to make jelly, because you boil the fruit, strain it, and then use the resulting juice. Instead of cutting up fruit to just the right size/consistency for jam, which I find tiring and time-consuming. But of course, I still do it because strawberry jam and peach jam are downright necessities around here! One thought I'm wondering is, do you use pectin? I do, and I think that is why I consistently get good results. Of course, that means I have to buy pectin, which is galling, but I still do it because it makes reliably good jams and jellies.

I know, probably more than you ever wanted to read in comments about jam/jelly. Sorry to babble on, but hopefully it's useful info for you :-)

jugglingpaynes said...

We had our very first praying mantis this year! It was peering in our screen door. There are pictures on my daughter's blog, Pictureka. It is incredible how they just stare at you. :o)

Lovely pictures, as usual. I tried to make syrup from our bumper crop of elderberries this year, but I'm not sure if I succeeded. No one has been brave enough to try it. :o)

Peace and Laughter!

Susan said...

That jelly looks mouthwatering! I'm envying your fall color, too. It is raining here which officially means that fall is here...or is it winter? or the onset of spring? Baby lizards are everywhere. I guess it just makes more sense to call it the rainy season. Happy Fall to you there in the land of four seasons.

Karen said...

Cristina - I'm intrigued by the elderberry syrup, did anyone finally taste it? I'm wondering what it tastes like. I love praying mantises, we see one or two a year, and I just think they are the most fascinating creatures.

Susan - we are having a really lengthy fall, the leaves are usually gone from the trees for at least a few weeks by now... kind of strange, but I'll take it. Happy whatever season to you - next fall, plan to come east and check out the colors yourself!