It's a brisk 47 degrees, and only the incandescent orange and yellow of the aspens brightens the steely, dull sky. It's the sort of day to light an extra candle, pull the blanket a bit tighter around my legs, and slurp deeply from my hazelnut coffee. And to wax lyrical with my end-of-September summary. Here goes:
ONE: Getting crafty
Cooler temps and shorter days launch me into crafty mode. With great enthusiasm, I have leapt into a new project, 30 cross-stitch ornaments for this year's Christmas tree. I am really enjoying this kit because the designs are simple and it only requires a few hours to complete each one. For me, this means a rapid sense of gratification, compared to many complex pieces that mean months or even years of work. And the designs are SO cute!
Autumn's arrival also means football, and I often marry game time with crafts; I just feel better being productive while supporting the Cleveland Browns (and yes, they finally snapped the 19-game losing streak. Go Browns and Baker Mayfield!) It is a special joy to watch the games in our new screening room; so comfy, and the sound/projection system can't be beat!
(I created the arrangements below before my family's visit in September, but the topic just didn't seem to fit any of my previous posts, so I am wedging it here with my other creative endeavors.)
TWO: Getting lost
As most of you know, Spousal Unit and I are avid hikers. Responsible hikers inform family members of upcoming trips, and we are in that camp. We have a 'system' with our kids that involves sending an email with details on starting and ending points, trail names, etc., along with the appropriate emergency number to call if a designated time passes and we have not been in touch. WELL. This month, I misjudged the duration of a hike, and we had no cell service to contact the kids until 30 minutes after the deadline had passed. So, #1 Daughter had started calling out the cavalry, as she should. To say the least, they were relieved but not entirely happy when we finally got service and checked in. So, we are now the proud owners of a personal locator beacon - a Garmin Inreach, which is very slick. It utilizes satellites, so at any point in time, the kids can log on to a website and determine our location. The Garmin also sends simple texts ("Safe at car") even when we don't have cell service. And it has many other features as well. I think we all feel a bit safer with this (not cheap) valuable tool.
THREE: Getting fed
Delicious meals in our house are never an issue with Spousal Unit at the helm. In the last couple of weeks, we've had a couple of stand-out dishes worth special mention. As you may recall from my Horses, Homes and Huckleberries post, my Mother harvested the first of our Goodland apples earlier this month, and we have since plucked the remainder from the tree to protect them from bears (good thing we did but more on that later). Utilizing the apples, Spousal Unit concocted an apple/blackberry pie, which we shared with former neighbors visiting from Cleveland. Just scrumptious!
I'm still endeavoring to achieve my 'cook once a week' 2018 goal, and one of the best dishes we've discovered lately is this Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna. Mouthwatering flavors, a pleasant change from a tomato-based lasagna, and pretty healthy to boot with chicken broth and low-fat milk as the base. Perfect for these cuddle-up cool fall evenings!
This time of year, I occasionally treat myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, with a scone. Heaven, just heaven.
FOUR: Getting visitors
Consider this Chapter Three of our summer visitor series. (See links for Chapter One and Two.) We (re) welcomed two former neighbors from Cleveland, who had been to the house last September, when it had no door or flooring and barely had shingles! To say the least, it was a joy to tour them 'round the finished dream, inside and out! After a scrummy dinner that featured "brisket beyond compare" (per one of our guests), we gathered around the fire pit and caught up on each other's lives. Nothing could have capped the evening with more flair than the pie I already mentioned above. Food coma, anyone?
The next day, we cruised over to Glacier National Park and absorbed the adjectives that rapidly tumbled from our visitors. Until the car became silent, with only strains from Billy Joel's Greatest Hits in the background … I suppose you can run out of ways to describe the soaring, rich grandeur of mountains in autumn.
An overnight light snowfall above 6,000 feet added another dimension to the vistas throughout our drive on Going to the Sun road. At Logan Pass (6,646 feet), the snow and rime coating every flower, blade of grass and tree brought these natural structures into sharp relief against the dark mountains. The 1.5 mile hike (one-way) to Hidden Lake Overlook reminded one of our visitors of scenes from Skyfall. We all marveled in our own ways at the wonderland created by a little H2O.
On our way out of the Park, we stopped at Lake McDonald Lodge, which provided a close-up view of the outcome of the Howe Ridge Fire (see this link for my report on this fire back in August). From ridge to shoreline, the mountain is scorched, with little black matchsticks that used to be towering pines. Without the billowing smoke and leaping flames, it now seems somewhat benign. But we know it consumed 14,522 acres and 13 residences, some of which had been used by the same families for over 70 years. Sobering, and lingering smoke lets us know the fire still smolders, waiting for snow as the final extinguisher. We moved on to Whitefish for a bit of touristy shopping and then wrapped the day with a delightful dinner at Tupelo Grill. (Get the chicken and dumplings - to die for!)
|If you look closely, you can see a ribbon of smoke at the base of the mountain|
|Candle gift from our guests; their note in our guest book|
FIVE: Getting outdoors
Lest you think everything is perfect
Wildlife seems to be hiding out - my trail cam photos are mostly deer and elk. The other day, while cleaning the patio, I met this little fellow … I am not entirely sure, but I think it's a garter snake.
In the meantime, I was amazed to find this small violet growing near the house, and a harebell plant that sprung up in the middle of a stretch of compacted dirt - nothing else is growing for yards around it. Asters are holding out against the cold mornings and the frost we've had; they almost seem to thrive in it.
And of course, the aspens are gussied up like young ladies heading to prom. I don't know why some are orange or red while the majority are yellow … but then, I don't need to know; it's enough to simply bask in the radiant beauty.
Sharon's Souvenir Photos
Wednesday Around the World
Willy Nilly Friday
Lovely shots! My favourite is the garter snake! I hear you about the elk munching. FOr us it is deer and our hostas! I don't really care. I love watching them.ReplyDelete
Oh your ornaments are so nice! I used to cross stitch but haven't for awhile. Maybe I should start up again now that I'm retired. My daughter was up in Glacier yesterday and they have closed the Going to the Sun road, snow! She said it was just lovely up there. Good idea on the Garmin, we don't want to see you on the show, Survival Stories...lol :) KitReplyDelete
The ornaments are nice and will look great on your tree.ReplyDelete
I too like to do counted cross stitch. Haven't done one in a while though. I'll have to start one.
Enjoyed seeing all your pictures.
Gorgeous photos as always!!ReplyDelete
I love your simile of aspen to girls going to the prom. Gives me a smile. The photos of your autumn. My gosh, I got to see what I would not otherwise. Thanks, Angie! Have a wonderful week.ReplyDelete
Even though I live in Oklahoma, I am not an OU fan, (I went to the University of New Mexico) and I kind of ignore college football and I am not a Browns fan but it was great to seem them win last week and they really took it the Raiders today on the road. I see a bright future ahead of Baker Mayfield.ReplyDelete
I love all the photos of Glacier National Park. It is on my bucket list.
Take care and have a great week!!
This season puts me into crafty mode too... we will see what I can produce! The last shot is my favourite with those orange leaves...ReplyDelete
They have reintroduced elk to our region. They were hunted out in the early 1900s. Herds have increased in size enough there are limited hunting draws each year. I like finding them in the backcountry. People in town aren't as excited when they come to the golf course to graze. That's in addition to our local deer population. - MargyReplyDelete
WOW!!! 4 and 5 are so awesome!! and 2 - I like that idea - we do the same.. letting people know where we are etc - but that sounds like a greater idea!!ReplyDelete
I expect there’s no need to go to the movies when you have a screening room as comfy as yours. Yes, the most beautiful regions have endured the most terrible fires. The lake looks placid and lovely, though, and unruffled by the traumatic natural disasters that happened not so far away.ReplyDelete
Love your Glacier National Park photos, such amazing scenery. Some lovely things being cooked in your house too! Good you have the Garmin now, will give everyone peace of mind. Your Christmas decos are beautiful. Shame the trees were munched!ReplyDelete
Hi Angie, what an amazing September you've had. I love your photos. Wow!ReplyDelete
Great shots of the mountains and autumn foliage. Snow already! Too bad about the trees being nibbled by the elk. They probably enjoyed the apples very much. Your screening room looks like a wonderful place to cozy up with crafts and some screen time when the weather is a little unsettled. Your Garmin is a great idea.ReplyDelete
What lovely autumn colours.ReplyDelete
Beautiful post as usual. All that yummy food has me hungry and your views can be described.ReplyDelete
Beautiful images Angie, especially the ones of nature, excellent.ReplyDelete
Once again Angie. A lovely post. You do have a way with words and also with a camera. Those naughty Elk! I would be very excited to see them but of course you do need to protect your landscaping trees. Hopefully the elk will find food nearby and sill allow you to watch them.ReplyDelete
Your question about the thrush. The weakness at the extremities of both tail and wings suggest that near the end of it's time in the nest in midsummer there was a shortage of food or bad weather when nutrients were in short supply. Such times usually result in "fault bars" showing across a tail - visible lines, rather like the growth rings in a tree.
Oh my goodness those elk leave their mark don't they. What a fabulous place is your screening room. One could get very comfy there. Love your sweet Christmas decorations. I can just see a very tall Christmas tree in your lovely home brimming with Christmas pretties. Glorious photos of your beautiful landscapes.ReplyDelete
Gorgeous photos. I do miss experiencing real Autumn weather. Everything here looks the same except when flowers bloom but they can only bloom when they are planted and more and more people are ripping out every bit of plant life so they can have bigger houses and seemingly care more about washing their cars and driveways rather than watering plants (one of the reasons why I feel depressed). Nice to see you cross-stitching. I used to stitch big projects years ago, but now I much prefer quick and easy. My eldest (who will be 23 tomorrow) doesn't understand my worrying mama ways so that Garmin gadget would be out of the question. He just got back to Colorado from a month long volunteer trip in Patagonia, Chile -- and boy did I fret for weeks before he even left. Thankfully, he had a great experience, saw unbelievable landscapes, and did have internet in the middle of nowhere so that this mama didn't have to worry so much. :) Happy October!ReplyDelete
You are great travel guides for your visitors! So many beautiful places to see. I'll take your 47 degrees and give you my 90! Love the little ornaments you are working on. I'd have to start the day after Christmas to get them ready for the next! Ha! Have a fun filled week!ReplyDelete
Montana is so beautiful this time of year! Lovely photos - and I love the stories that go with them. Thanks for sharing. :-)ReplyDelete
Lovely series of photos ~ such an array!ReplyDelete
Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores
Beautiful September..... fun and busy and full of joy! The incomparable scenery, good friends, good food (thank you for the lasagna link]. I am not at all crafty but used to know how to crossstitch and that project is tempting...because something I could do while watching TV.ReplyDelete
Very full month of September for you, Angie! I loved your photos of Glacier NP, and glad the fires are almost all gone. We have not had snow as yet here, but we may get some next week. Colorado has been in a terrible drought this year so I hope for lots and lots of snow this winter and promise to never complain about it...lol! We have been getting lower temperatures in the evening and night but still warm up to the 70's during the day. If you visited my small backyard you would see lots and lots of chicken wire as it si the only way we can preserve some shrubs and all our rose bushes from the deer. Elk and deer are eating machines Elk can decimate trees quickly--even Rocky Mountain National Park had to enclose some aspen groves in fences and wire from being completely eaten by the rlk and growing Moose population! We have been seeing a lot of bobcats in our area lately--last year it was fox. It seems animal populations vary from year to year. Your delicious meals looked fabulous. I love to cook --an eat--lol--so I always appreciate a good recipe. Your cross stitches are adorable--I used to do a lot of cross stitch and crewel work embroidery when I was younger. Making ornaments is a great idea! The new GPS hiking tracker is a valuable tool to have. One of my friends son's is a backcountry skier and a tracker like that saved his life when he crashed very severely while skiing. We have 45 miles of trails right in our neighborhood so we can stay close to home to hike, and our cell phones work on our trails, but if I traveled to other areas without coverage I'd also consider buying one of those trackers, just in case. Continue to enjoy Autumn!ReplyDelete
Fabulous update and photo. I can easily see why your friends enjoyed their stay so much and why they will return for an encore. Really your scenery, your home, the food, what more can one want? I'm sorry about the Elk eating your trees but that is the age old challenge of living out with nature. I hope your solution is a lasting one so you can harvest apples next year.ReplyDelete
I meant "photos", not photo ;-)ReplyDelete
So enjoyed your September round up of places & things. The new tracker sounds ideal, no more worried kids now they know where their adventurous parents are at all times. Love your screening room, not sure that I could stitch and watch simultaneously though. Those pesky elk certainly went to town on you trees, hope they leave them alone now. I wonder what delights October has in store for you?ReplyDelete
Those are all such wonderful photos!ReplyDelete
glad you was not lost really, even if family got scared up. Gret to have backup plans :) I am very careful outdoors as I easily get lost. Love your first snow and the look of the little snake. :)ReplyDelete
what a beautiful nature: leaves; mountains, river, lake, deer...ReplyDelete
Foods look delicious.
Thank you for sharing.
Beautiful shots of those mountains. We haven't seen snow at our house yet (elevation 7,100 feet), but maybe this weekend; today it's over 70!ReplyDelete
I loved looking at your world through your post today. I loved your opening paragraph. The Christmas ornaments look lovely and the views just gorgeous. Terrible isn't it when fires engulf the bushland. We have had bad fires in our south west every summer the last few years. And I hear it is going to be a long hot dry summer this year. Enjoy your football season and crafting. Our Australian Rules football season has just finished, and the team we support won the grand final. So very happy blokes in our household. Enjoy the rest of your week, snuggle up, and thank you for visiting my blog this week. I hope the elks don't devour too much of your garden.ReplyDelete
oh so wonderful start to finish! We don't need to know, just enjoy the colors! that's right! you do live in the most stunning area! Got to check out the lasagna recipe... right up my alley!ReplyDelete
Autumn is a season I don't like at all ! Your landscape pictures are beautiful !ReplyDelete
Fall is very generous with color and produce in your part of the USA. I love all your amazing photos...thanks for sharing with us.ReplyDelete
What a feast for the senses! Autumn to me means Halloween and thinking about costumes.ReplyDelete
You are busy..My daughter does counted cross stitch and enjoys it. It really is fall to winter where you are and seeing snow..I am not ready for that here yet. The snake may be a ribbon snake. We have them here, but I am not an expert on snakes at all. Thank you for linking into Nature Notes...MichelleReplyDelete
What a delightful post. Autumn is a riot of colour in your neck of the woods. The leaves are just on the turn here but without the aspens we don't have the vivid colours you experience. Thank you for your visit and comment on my blog.ReplyDelete
We exceptionally have still warm weather in Belgium ! I am not so a "crafty" girl but you seem to be very talented !ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed reading your post Angie - the first time I've "met" you; welcome to the world of photobloggers! Gorgeous shot of the lake and fall colours. (Thank you for dropping by my blog) Happy weekend.ReplyDelete
...I'm not as crafty as I once was.ReplyDelete
...you are a lot smarter and considerate than I am.
...I like to start with dessert.
...I can see why guest want to visit.
...it's sure hard to landscape in deer country, hungry devils.
thank for stopping by, please come again.
What a great post. The pie looked so delicious. Oh my those pesky Elk sure did a number on that tree. Beautiful autumn colors. So not ready for winter/snow. It's rain here now.ReplyDelete
Awesome post and wonderful images!!ReplyDelete
Hello, sorry about the deer/elk eating your tree. The garter snake is cute. Your pie looks delicious, apple pie is my favorite. I think having the Garmin locator is a great idea, you never know what could happen. The views of the park, flowers, leaves and trees are lovely. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thanks for the comment on my blog.ReplyDelete
Fantastic pictures! Too bad about the fire.ReplyDelete