A fine autumnal day

A brilliant addition to my pictures of people taking pictures! Susan photographs a tree on our walk to lunch, November 2015.

A brilliant addition to my pictures of people taking pictures!
Susan photographs a tree on our walk to lunch, November 2015.

“It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.”Washington Irving

The most wonderful thing happened in early November.  Remember that fabulous photo of New Hampshire that Susan recently shared with us?  Well, she decided to zip on down the coast to Florida, and along the way, she was able to visit with Raynard, Mary and Ms. Ella, and the next day, with me.  So not only was she able to share the fall foliage of her home with us; I was able to share what remained of Virginia’s autumn colors with her too — live and in person! I’m always excited to meet people I’ve come to know through this blog.  Each face-to-face encounter feels like a sparkling little miracle.

Washington Irving might well have been writing about us instead of Ichabod Crane when he penned the lines quoted above.  Susan’s visit happened to fall on a day when the weather couldn’t have been finer.  We decided to walk  to the café for lunch, and I had not been outdoors for five seconds when I decided I didn’t even need the light jacket I had on.  It was sunny and clear and gorgeous, and even with a short-sleeved shirt on, I was as warm as if it had been summer.

As I’ve written here before, I love taking pictures of people taking pictures, and Susan was a good sport about it.  In fact, she was a good sport about everything.  At the time she arrived, I had been having one of those days when I was distracted by large and small worries.  Our time together was a wonderful respite from business as usual.  We took a few extra minutes to stroll down the lovely wooded walk behind our home; you may recognize it as the one I shared in this post, though it looks different in the fall.

Ever patient with my compulsive photo taking, Susan paused for another photo during our woodland walk.

Ever patient, Susan paused for another photo during our woodland walk.

Thank you, Susan, for being willing to interrupt your trip for a brief visit that shone a bright light into my day!  Thank you, Washington Irving, for your description of autumn that lives on with as much relevance today as when it was published nearly 200 years ago.  And special thanks to our blog community here for being with us through these words and photos.  You’re all invited along on our next adventure.  Stay tuned!


  1. bobmielke

    I haven’t met any of my online friends yet even though there were 3-4 close to me in Portland, OR. Maybe I can add to those numbers here in New England as time goes on. I had made so many friends at the Oregon Zoo that continue to follow my blog. I am so grateful for them.

    • Bob, one nice thing about New England is that everything seems much closer together than it did on the west coast. We love it that we can easily see parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine all in the same day! Someday we must make it to Connecticut. We have never been there. Our good friend Darla is from New Haven and Alan is from “the quiet corner.” I imagine it to be beautiful.

      I hope you will stay in touch with your Oregon friends. I am thankful that communicating with faraway friends is easier now, especially when it comes to sharing photos.

      • bobmielke

        They are all so fresh in my heart I’ll make every effort to stay in touch.

  2. Julia, love to see Susan taking pictures in yourneck of the woods.

    • Thank you Cherie! I knew we would have fun when I said “would you rather walk or drive to the restaurant?” and she answered “Walk!” 😀 I’m glad you like the photos.

  3. Good morning, Julia, you are so sweet! It was such a delight to be invited into your world for those few hours! Certainly a day of “abundance” for me!
    I love that first picture – for those that don’t know me, no, I’m not near-sighed (I laughed at the “extreme close-up” leaf shot). I totally fell in love with autumn leaves and sunrises this year.
    Hugs to you, and embracing all of your dear readers!

    • Susan, I just HAD to take that photo. You don’t look near-sighted; the top of that tree was quite a ways up! This has been a good year to enjoy the leaves. I hope we have many more seasons of such color. Thanks for being willing to be featured on the blog TWICE this month!

  4. Carolyn

    Good afternoon, glad you had a great visit with your friend. I had a friend to drop in for a very short visit, but it was great to have her here. We were in Alaska together. Friends are a great part of our lives. I am still in therapy but we can see some improvement. I see the doctor Dec. 14th, wonder what he will tell me. I hope you all are well,how are things with Jeff? Love and hugs to all.

    • Hi Carolyn, Jeff is doing OK. We will see the oncologist this week and should find out more then. I’m glad you are making some improvements. I imagine it must seem like slow going sometimes but keep heading in the right direction and you’ll get there!

      Speaking of short but wonderful visits with friends, we were so happy that you and Terry were able to be with us awhile back (I can’t even remember now exactly when it was). I’m hoping your next visit here will allow more time and maybe even include the DC area. How fabulous that you were able to be with someone from your Alaska years. Military folks make a lot of sacrifices by pulling up stakes and staying on the go, but the rewards are worth it when we can look at a map and think of so many people we love all over the world. I’m glad you are in that number for us! When I conjure up a mental image of that Mississippi moon shining down on Memphis, it makes me smile to think of you enjoying it. ❤

  5. blseibel

    Thank you for sharing wth us. Your posts do brighten my day.

    • I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks. 😀

  6. Rene

    Hey Julia!

    I’m sorry I missed your anniversary this year, but it’s good to be back nevertheless. I can’t remember exactly when I let myself get out of the habit of dropping in, but I’m sure it was due to work. I managed to go to 9 trainings in the summer, along with a trip to New Mexico with my mom (saw Carlsbad Caverns finally—amazing!). I have a great class this year, a lot of need, but their enthusiasm is infectious. Have a wonderful day & see you soon!

    • Rene, it’s great to hear from you! I have thought of you and wondered how you were doing. But no need to apologize, we are happy to have you here whenever. No pressure to show up. 😀 WOW, it sounds as if you have been well occupied. Teaching alone would be enough to keep you busy, without the other events. I’ve never been to Carlsbad Caverns but I imagine it’s fascinating. I’m happy to hear you have an enthusiastic class; energy and engagement are so important to learning. I hope you will enjoy the upcoming holiday fun at school. Young people add so much life to seasonal festivities. Thanks for dropping in today– it’s always nice to hear from you. 🙂

  7. Sheila

    Julia, I think that I finally caught up with ME today. As weird as it sounds, I’m just out of sequence with our recent Daylight Savings Time change here, and then traveling to California for eight days. I can’t remember ever having jet lag before but then I’ve never been this old before. I spent much time outside today, just enjoying the last of fall before our weather changes. I’m really hoping there has been encouraging news in your week. 🙏 I really enjoyed reading about your time shared with Susan. What fun! 💛 Until tomorrow ….

    • Hi Sheila! No wonder you were feeling out of sync– eight days in California would leave anyone jet-lagged. I always find it much harder to get over the time change when moving east into later hours, whether coming back from the west coast, or going to Europe. Plus, this time of year always leaves me feeling sleepy, what with having to get up in the dark now. I’m glad you are back in time to enjoy some of this gorgeous weather. Our week has been quite lovely, in terms of warmth and sunshine. No good news, though– in fact, just the opposite, but we are surviving as best we can. Jeff’s chemo starts up again next week but we are both getting quite discouraged. Hearing from you puts a bit of sunshine in my day. 😀 ❤

  8. Michael Bertoglio

    Great picts. We still have some fuchsias in bloom. They refuse to give up. I think they are hardy fuchsias “Marginella” if I remember correctly. Our hummingbird friends are also hanging around.

    • Michael, we had some fuchsias in our garden when we lived on the central coast of CA over 25 years ago. They were gorgeous and required very little care of any kind. I have not had any since, nor even seen them for sale in a nursery or in any garden. I’m not even sure they grow in this area. How lucky that you have hummingbirds! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

  9. Michael

    You too Julia. This year we are doing ,”Thanksgiving light,” with just the two of us. Verie has to work tomorrow so we are not travelling. Fuchsias were the thing I missed most in Hawaii.
    Of course our Thanksgiving light does include a few necessary items like crab cakes.
    I am remembering today the Macy parade we went to in NYC in 2005. It was so cold and we went to the balloon inflating the night before- a local tradition.

    • Michael, I love the idea of “Thanksgiving Light” — although some would say that’s an oxymoron, at least calorie-wise. Way back in my early childhood, before the Macy’s brand had gobbled up the various unique local Federated Department Store identities such as my beloved Rich’s, I still knew of that store from its famous parade. It must have been quite fun to be there in person to see it. I didn’t realize people got to see those fabulous balloons being inflated. What a charming tradition, and an exciting thing to see! I guess the spectators probably don’t know what they are about to see with each balloon, until the air fills it up. On my very first trip to New York City, Macy’s was one of the places I just HAD to go. Mama bought a unique (and now politically incorrect) necklace there, made from buffalo horns. I still wear it often and remember how fun it was to shop at such a fabulous department store. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Light. I’m happy we do not have to travel anywhere this year. Thanks for being here with us.

  10. Michael

    Have you heard of a gardening magazine from N.Carolina called Green Prints? Just ran across this in an article by local garden writer- Marianne Binetti. Web site is http://www.greenprints.com. Have not heard of it. She also talked of English garden writer – Beverly Nichols- who wrote in the 60’s and supposed to be a lot of fun.
    Marianne also has a website and I have heard a couple of her talks in person. She is pretty awesome and has a couple of books out.
    Your necklace r reminds me of a shaker that I have from Peru that is made out of goat nails.
    Interesting I heard an interesting program on NPR about buffalo now up to 350,000 or so. There are a couple of farms I n Eastern Washington. As someone might say- I digress- big time.
    And now the frig is packed with those Tday light leftovers.

    • Michael, what an appealing magazine! I love their subtitle — “The Weeder’s Digest.” 😀 I had never heard of it, so thanks for sending the link. I think there are a lot of gardeners who read the comments.

      One thing I always love about fixing a huge Thanksgiving dinner is having all those leftovers than mean no cooking for a few days. Hmmm, if you had Thanksgiving Light, how come there are so many leftovers? Sounds like Thanksgiving semi-light. Goat nails?!! I thought they had hooves?!! 😀 Well, this is the year of the goat (I think) so you might want to keep that shaker handy.

  11. Michael

    I did cut out the pecan pie this year. Pecans are out of my network this year. If you know what I mean.

    • I know pecan pie is supposed to be a southern staple, but lucky for me, I have never liked it. However, I LOVE eating just the pecans. They are quite high in calories, but supposedly at least a little bit healthy. I do have a recipe that I used to make every Christmas, for mini pecan tarts — mostly crust made of flour, butter and cream cheese, with just a bit of pecan pie filling and nuts in the center. The are about one inch in diameter. Having all that crust takes the edge off the overly-sweet taste. Not that the crust is any better, calorie-wise or even carb/sugar-wise. Good thing nothing we eat during the holidays is bad for us (that’s part of the magic, right?) Dear Santa, please make cinnamon rolls more nutritious without changing the taste!

  12. Michael

    Pecan pie has been my fave since toddler days. My mom made it with Karo syrup and I think I mentioned I grew up with dark Karo syrup on buckwheat pancakes from my gram. These are un reproducible, even by me.
    Is your recipe difficult? Never had much luck with baking. Is the crust premade? Sounds really good, and mighty tasty.
    Glad you liked magazine- I have yet to check it out.

    • Those buckwheat pancakes sound WONDERFUL. I have a peanut butter bar recipe made with Karo and it’s probably my favorite of all my cookie-style recipes. I know that it’s trendy now to think that corn syrup is worse than other sweeteners, but I love it. The pecan tart recipe is quite simple, or I would not have been able to make it — I’ll try to remember to send it to you (along with the DVD I keep intending to send — don’t hold your breath). 😀 The biggest problem with the recipe is that it’s very time-consuming, since each mini-shell has to be formed by hand in those miniature tart pans.


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