Posts Tagged ‘Fall’

A Cold and Misty Start to October

Frosty Path

It was such a great morning; I couldn’t resist hopping on my bike and snapping a few pictures.

Birdhouse

It was cold, but definitely worth it!

Mist on Calm Waters

These pictures were shot in Watertown, MN at Riverpointe Park.

My Favorite Tree

One of my favorite trees in the park!

Shallow Crow River

Shallow waters on the South Crow River.

Trees on the Path

Natural carnage. Could be old, could be tornado!

Purple Holdouts

No one told them it’s fall!

Misty Dock

The little fishing dock.

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Goodbye Summer, Hello Muse

A Lone Leaf

My muse took the summer off. She’s kind of a selfish B like that. She doesn’t care how long I stare at that blank page; she’s off having a good time.

I started to wonder why she left. Then I realized what the pace has been like the last few months. Since I’m back in a full-time corporate job, my writing time has taken a severe hit. It’s been catch-as-catch-can whenever a moment presents itself. And with an increased freelance load, it’s no wonder my muse ran away with my imagination.

But now that it’s the last full week of unofficial summer, I decided to take a few minutes for myself. I grabbed a beer and my trusty rocking lawn chair and planted myself down in the driveway. Wow, it’s hot. Good thing the beer’s cold.

Facing west into the last few hours of sunlight, I close my eyes and lay my head back. The hum of the sprinklers mixes nicely with the chorus of frogs and crickets. Occasionally the wind blows through the leaves, like an addition of a soft snare drum to the band.

In the distance I can hear a mother calling her children in for supper as the smell of fresh laundry wafts on  a breeze. I take a deep breath before opening my eyes—not wanting to lose that feeling. I take a drink of my beer and see the neighbors’ dog, panting in the heat. It almost seems like I can see the sun dropping in the cloudless sky. I take another gulp and close my eyes again. The sun feels good on my bones.

Secretly I long for fall and winter, the slower pace and cooler weather are much more my style. But here, in this moment, my thoughts run wild. The sun feels good, and the beer is cold. I guess I’ll kind of miss you, summer.

Small Autumn Fixes for Big Rewards

Hayride

I love that the weather is getting cooler and we are seeing the temperatures drop into the thirties.  That means it’s time to do a little fall maintenance around the house to prepare for the long winter.  Even if you don’t live “Up North”, these small fixes can make for a much more relaxing winter and spring.

  • Spring and summer can be tough on flooring.  Now is the perfect time to have your carpets cleaned for quick drying.
  • Check and repair any issues that have occurred over the summer with your roof or rain gutters.  No one wants to have someone on the roof in January.  Well, not in Minnesota anyway!  Remove leaves and debris from the gutters and check downspouts.
  • Weatherize your windows and doors by applying or re-applying weather stripping to keep the heat in this winter.
  • Touch-up any paint that is in need of help inside or out.  Now is the time to spruce up stale colors inside.  For a small amount of money you can get a great return on your investment.  And with cooler temps and lower humidity, you can open up windows to hasten the drying process.

Pathway

  • Make sure to rake up the leaves and aerate your yard before the snow flies.  If you have a garden, turn that over and winterize that as well to save a little time and effort in the spring.  Double check shrubs and bushes for last minute trimmings before their winter sleep.
  • Have your furnace checked and cleaned.  This should be done by a professional, and it’s worth it.  If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, now is the time to install one.  This can be a DIY project, or inquire with your furnace guy.
  • It used to be a nightmare, but nowadays many ovens are self-cleaning.  Give yourself a break and clean your oven while you can still air out your kitchen!  Scrub up the stovetop and hood also.  If you’re really feeling adventurous, tackle the fridge and freezer.  You will be very thankful come holiday time.
  • Pick a rainy day and clean out closets and dressers.  Kids are notorious for packing away stuff.  This is a great time to teach them about philanthropy by making a big donation when you’re done.  This is also the best way to prepare and store summer clothing for next year and make room for heavier winter wear.
  • And of course, especially for us up here, check over and tune up the old snow blower.  Winterize your lawn mower and weed trimmer for next year.  A little TLC in the fall goes a long way next spring!

John Deere

7 Sensational Activities to Fall For

Untouched Birch

On this morning’s walk I noticed that the leaves are beginning to change in a few trees.  I saw numerous school busses and kids walking with backpacks that looked to equal their own body weight.  Yes, my favorite time of year is upon us, autumn.  Football has just started, they’re advertising the hockey opener, and we can actually turn on the oven again in my free-from-central-air century-old house.  Ah, fall.

I have always listed this as my favorite season, hands down and without a doubt.  So in honor of that, I have compiled a list of activities that I like to do or would like to try.  They may be a little “Up North” specific, but you can extrapolate them to your area with little difficulty, I’m sure.

  1.  Fall color leaf-peep.  This is the perfect time of the year for a trip to the country to check out the multitude of colors and maybe enjoy a picnic.
  2. Many hotels in our area are moving to off-season rates.  What better reason to get in one last getaway to somewhere quiet before the snow flies?  My pick in our neighborhood would be somewhere further north, maybe up to the AmericInn in Roseau, Minnesota.  Up by the Canadian border, the city affords the leisure-seeker many opportunities for meandering and decompressing.  The hotel looks like a great place with all the amenities I would need.  (Mental note, check schedule for getaway!)
  3. Take a drive along some of our Scenic Byways.  It’s kind of like letting someone else do the leg-work to find the best scenery and attractions.  We have plenty in Minnesota, but the website shows all of them, and they’re everywhere!  These routes are great for a short drive or a longer trip with overnight stops.
  4. And speaking of overnight stops, don’t forget about all of the great state and national parks.  Many of them have campgrounds, and what better way to enjoy all of what fall has to offer than sleeping out under the stars?  If camping isn’t your bag, there surely are lodging facilities nearby, or just make it a day trip to the park.  You will love it, either way.
  5. Go for a rock pick.  If you don’t live near the water, you may be scratching your head at this one!  Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved to pick rocks.  I thought maybe it was some sort of isolated, weird habit until three of my sisters-in-law revealed they also shared my infatuation.  On their last visit here we scoured the shores of Lake Superior and found some nice little treasures for them to take home.  Seriously, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
  6. The Bayfield, Wisconsin Apple Festival.  Taking place this year on October 4th-6th, you’ll find everything imaginable made with apples.   The tiny town of fifteen thousand swells to the seams when 50,000+ converge here for the weekend.    We like to make the sojourn on Sunday for the parade and afterwards walk through over 150 arts and crafts exhibits.   It’s definitely a treat for the taste buds that shouldn’t be missed.
  7. What autumn to-do list would be complete without an Oktoberfest activity?  Here in Duluth we have Oktoberfest coming up in just a few weeks.  Since I am married to a full-blooded German, this is a big deal in my house.  In fact, the first time I attended an Oktoberfest function I found myself in a hotly contested Polka contest.  I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.  But if you are looking for a good time, even if you’re not a dancer or beer (das boot) chugger, check out an Oktoberfest.  I promise you’ll have fun.  Have you ever seen a picture of someone scowling in lederhosen?

So there you have it, my top seven things to do in this, my favorite, fall season.  Do you have other traditions?  Maybe you can start a new one this year.