Going Green!

This is my FAVORITE time of year. I love the colors. I love the smells. Yes, I even love the change in temperatures. Everything appears more golden. The sun comes in at different angles for shorter periods of time. Many times the weather puts an end to fall before I’ve had time to enjoy it. This year is smooth sailing as September gradually slips away and the gentle weather allows for autumn activities.

It’s the time to collect tomatoes off the vine and pick apples off the trees. Homegrown pumpkins are turned into pies, cakes and cookies and the leftover zucchinis … well, no more of them, thank you …enough is enough!

Sad to say, it’s also time to decide which of my beautiful plants will be brought into the house and which will stay out in the cold due to lack of space and access to windows with sunshine. I have so many healthy coleus plants that want to come indoors along with my aloe, geraniums, hibiscus, rubber tree plant and healthy fig tree. I don’t have enough space or enough light. I want them all to live but I don’t like the feel of a cluttered house, especially when the amount of sunshine is limited. I wish I had huge south facing windows. I wish I had more shelves. I wish I could keep them all but alas.

In the past, bringing my plants indoors meant bringing in a ton of bugs and insects. I listened to a one-minute podcast today about bringing houseplants indoors. The major take-away was to use insecticidal soap before I bring them in to take care of any pest problem. And another hint was to clean any dead or damaged growth and trim up the plants gradually so I don’t send them into shock.

What it comes down to is — which plants do I keep? And how do I gently let the others know they didn’t make the ‘cut’? It’s like being in school all over again. My back patio is filled with potted plants that I acquired from cuttings, kept from last year, purchased this year or received as gifts. They are all so healthy and happy right now. And most are still in bloom. Honestly, this warm Colorado weather has kept my plant family smiling and content on the outside looking in. That will change as soon as the weather dips.

Maybe I can farm some plants out to friends who need some delicious greenery in their house this winter. Plants are so good about cleansing the air and adding humidity to the house. And, when plants are indoors – it’s like a party! Every plant has its own personality, likes, dislikes, needs and desires. Some like lots of water, others want to be ignored. Some like every bit of light they can suck up and others tend to give off good smells. And they are all great at increasing positive vibes (ok, I made that one up) which makes it hard to decide which to keep and which to release.

Perhaps this is the time I visit my friends and leave a plant on their front step with a note about how much I love and appreciate them and all they have done for me. And bestow upon them one of my plant friends. What would you think about finding a ‘love plant’ on your front porch?

I know I would ADORE one! But wait … where would I put it?

Related links:

How to bring houseplants indoors

Fire Update from C Lazy U Ranch

Fall Dieting: Apples, Tomatoes and Basil! Oh my!

The Essence of Autumn: So Tasty!

Day 10 – Autumn Photos

Well, for some reason my fingers do not want to be on the keyboard today – so it’s a day of posting pictures (that have been used over the years on this blog.) I’ll still be biking and moving right along but maybe you need a rest too – from my amazing adventures. So, actually, it’s all about you.

Enjoy the photos!

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elk in rocky mountain national park, colorado

Day 4 – All that glitters IS gold…

HaHa! Lucky Me!!!

I’ve had the good fortune to see the autumn leaves many times this year. Several times in September I visited Grand Lake, CO which is located on the western side of the Rocky Mountains. To get there, I have to drive over Trail Ridge Rd. It’s the highest paved road in the U.S.SAM_0202

There are times the road is so high and the drop off is so steep I have to cover one side of my face as a blinder. It’s a two lane road with no guard rails and often has cyclists, tourists stopping their cars to take photos of wildlife, large recreational vehicles moving ever so slow and crazy weather conditions.

elk in rocky mountain national park, coloradoBut … on those rare days when I am on the road super early in the morning, I can sail along and enjoy the sights, drive at a comfortable pace, cover my face when it feels too steep and bask in this lovely park. One foggy morning I was driving and caught sight of these elk hard at work with their antlers tangled in each other. What a sight!

aspen gold2 - Big South Hike
The Big South trail, Colorado

View from Colorado Highway 14

A bit later in September, I had the opportunity to take a hike up the Cache La Poudre River. My friend and I were a bit surprised to get to the trail head and see the temperature had dipped to 39 degrees. We dressed in layers, grabbed our hiking poles and set off on an amazing trail that climbed ever so gently as it followed the river. That hike was filled with views of the shimmering gold aspen trees near and far. It was stunning.

My most recent trip took place in the Sierra Nevada’s this weekend. The 8 mile hike was uphill and steep in places. It was the kind of hike that your body could go far but you had to stop and let your heart slow down a bit. Aspens lined the trail and in many places the ground was covered with pine needles. I felt like I was walking in someone’s calendar photo. The return hike took 90 minutes because gravity just took over and we sailed down the mountain!

sierra nevada hike1 oct 3-2015

Sometimes I’m unable to enjoy the fall foliage. Either the weather changes too quickly and the leaves fall off before they can give their ‘goodbye dance’ or my timing is off and I don’t get into the mountains to see them in time.

But not this year. This has been one of the best autumns for me in a long time. I’ve stood in the mist of the colors, smelled the leaves on warm days and felt the cool air on my face. Each time I find myself standing in a grove of glittering gold trees, I count my blessings.

Fall and swirl

fallen leavesI hope for those of you who attend church that you had a good visit with your higher power today.

For those of you who turn to nature to connect with your higher power, I hope you were able to breathe deep the colors, the sounds of the birds and the change in the weather.As for me, I took a walk up and down the neighborhoods and kicked leaves, watched them swirl and fall as gusts of wind blew here and there.

Simple things keep me sgold tree and falling leavesane.


Related articles:

Autumn Blessings

chaz and sophie in leavresYesterday I wrote about counting my blessings. Well, today I had the most wonderful time with my grandson and sweet little next door neighbor.

It was all about leaves, dirt, Candyland, snacks, sunshine and laughter. It was about making buildings, playing with cars and moving wheelbarrows.

It was a day where I counted my blessings to be part of it. All too quickly, the days turn into years and the innocence of jumping in leaves soon fades away. But for today, the kids let me join in. Could it be any better than this?

The Penultimate Month

November is the penultimate month. It’s stuck there, second from last, dangling like a broken wing waiting to be loved, hugged instead of snubbed and forgotten.

It’s needy. Wanting to be important but mostly being ignored. It’s a placeholder for the other months, keeping things lined up but wiaspen tree with eyes looking through Novemberth no real purpose.  The goal is to get through November so we can get to the other side.

We bundle up, wrap up, rake up and shore up … and flip calendar pages – feeling amazed to be 11 months gone. What have we achieved? How did time slip by?

Is there some way to skip November? Just hop on to December and move towards a new year?

Or maybe we turn November into an event. Dress it up, deck it out, get it fit, light it up, and make it special. We walk it, stroke it, stoke it and make it POP!

Instead of drowning in dullness, perhaps we light up the month up with leaves, pile them high and let art come forth.

We can turn ‘penultimate’ into the hottest month of the year. Add some color, glitter, sparkle and spotlights and we’ve got something special – right here, right now.


A golden day… in Colorado!

Autumn in Colorado is a splendid time of year.

If you get into the mountains at the right time, you’ll see an array of golds, yellows and reds mixed in with the evergreens. In addition to the gold hues is the brilliant blue sky. These are the types of days when digital cameras come in handy because every angle deserves several clicks. By the time the hike is over – the 100+ photos (many of them the same) bring back the smells, sounds and awesomeness of it all.

Hope you enjoy my photos!

Golden aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sept 2012Golden aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sept 2012Golden aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sept 2012Golden aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sept 2012

The Essence of Autumn: So tasty!

Shall we say goodbye to August? In just a few more days we’ll be flipping the pages of the calendar and looking at colorful leaves, some bubbling brooks or maybe a basket full of apples. The calendar tries to ease us ever so slowly into the next month. You probably know by now that Autumn is my favorite of all the seasons (so favorite that it needs to be capitalized!)

I love the colors, smells and sounds that nature releases and the cool morning air and chilly nights.

I smile at the wilting plants, herbs gone to seed and unpicked goodies.

I welcome the new apples, laden with juice and flavor.Honeycrisp apples

I picked apples last week. This year Colorado had a bumper crop of apples, pears, peaches … you name it! I visited an orchard and picked to my heart’s content. As I was driving to the weight station, I found another stand of trees just begging me to pick, pick, pick! And, I did. The Honeycrisp apples are small this year but the flavor just drips out of them. Trust me on that one.

Thirty two pounds later I am happy to say I am eating 3-4 apples per day. I also plan to go back and get more. I can put some in my freezer, make applesauce, or give them away.  To me, apples are the essence of Autumn.

Soon the Western Slope Peaches from Palisade, Colorado will be delivered to our community and my oh my … Move over apples!  There will be no room in the fridge for anything else and that’s ok!

Palisade Peaches – Colorado 

Fading away…

Have you noticed that summer seems to be fading away? In the early morning I need a long- sleeved shirt to keep me warm!

Red maple leafI love the change of seasons especially when it is a gently unfolding. When the leaves turn and slowly fall instead of a heavy wet snow to tear down the branches still filled and glorious.

I love living in a region with four seasons.

I love the smell of warm leaves.

In Colorado, the autumn consists mainly of gold aspen. It took me a LONG time to appreciate this splendor and stop comparing it to the beauty of Upstate NY.

I adore the cool mornings and evenings.

Have you even stood in a forest and watched the autumn leaves fall? It’s the best!