Monday, November 19, 2007

More Leaves!!!

I could look at these colorful trees all day...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Here's to Julius

"The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful, and the ennobling in man, and for one, I wish to see it become universal."

– Julius Sterling Morton
(founder of Arbor Day)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Apple Picking!

One of my favorite memories of this time of year growing up in Upstate New York is apple picking. Every year we'd bundle up, mom would pack a picnic lunch, and we'd pile into the car and head to Littletree Orchards. Other families and friends would usually come, and while all the parents would get out the bushel baskets and begin picking Empires (the local favorite) us kids would run free among (what seemed like) miles and rows and rows of apple trees! The orchard was called "Littletree" for a reason. Even as children, we could reach the branches and pick a perfectly crisp, ripe apple from the tree and rub a shiny spot just large enough to take a juicy bite before tossing it away and running to another tree for different type of apple. My favorites were a huge, green, very crisp variety called (appropriately) Crispin or Mutsu. I also loved the Macoun - some of them were so large I had to use two hands to hold one apple in order to bite into it.

Ahh...I miss those NY apples. They do NOT taste the same anywhere else - they have to be fresh! I don't like apples when I'm not in NY.

At some point after we had worked up an appetite, mom would get out the cider and powdered donuts, and we'd have a snack, and then my dad would organize a contest. We all had to try to find and bring back the best apple in a range of categories, such as: "Largest," "Most Red," "Smallest," (some of us would bring back berries and try to pass them off as apples), and occasionally there was the creative contestant - One year my sister was the self-declared winner of the "Most-Rotten-Apple-Still-Hanging-On-The-Tree" category.

The final hurrah was at the top of the little hill in the clearing, when the boys would have batting practice with icky apples that had fallen onto the ground. It was messy and funny and just a wonderful time.


For the record...I didn't take these photos. I refuse to go apple picking in North Carolina. I can't WAIT to go home for Thanksgiving and have some Cornell Apple Cider. The best in the world! You should all be thoroughly jealous.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Nature's Craftperson

Ok, now it's chilly here, and finally feels like autumn. This little tree looked so whimsical today in the sunny breeze I just had to show you all. It seemed to me that someone had strategically Scotch-taped fake paper leaves to a bare tree skeleton. Seriously! Look at this leaf:

Mother Nature got a bit carried away with the hole-puncher.