Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Round Bales

Today is Outdoor Wednesday...
Please be sure to visit A Southern Daydreamer

Autumn is the season of harvest.  Round baling is one way of putting up hay to feed the livestock throughout the year.  A field full of round bales is an impressive sight, to be sure.

Round bales fill the valley floor.
"Not everyone uses round bales, but they are becoming more common every year...

...The shift to using round bales is easily understood if you have spent much time putting up square bales...

...When comparing the cost of putting up hay as square bales versus round bales, round bales usually win." 

This round bale is about five feet tall!

~ Edward B. Rayburn, West Virginia University Extension Service Specialist

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Old Dog Learns Something New

It's Outdoor Wednesday!
Please visit A Southern Daydreamer!

After four and a half decades on this planet, I am delighted to discover that my garden can still surprise me.  The weather in Ohio has been peculiar this year - that is to say, it has been completely normal.  You never know what you'll get.  We have a saying that goes roughly like this...

"Don't like the weather?  Wait around a bit.  It'll change." 

Thus it has been in 2011:  crazy wet spring, brutally hot summer, an October when you didn't need the furnace until late in the month. 

And so, in all her inspiration, Mother Nature has provided me with these over the past two weeks:

They are beautiful and strange and somehow frightful all at the same time.  These plants - which are actually mushrooms - resemble a striped carrot coming out of the ground, yet they are hollow on the inside!

A quick Internet search provided the answer.  Commonly known as a Stinkhorn (I didn't get close enough to confirm), Mutinus Elegans is actually found throughout North America east of the Rocky Mountains.  Despite this fact, however, I had never seen one before!   It's wonderful to know that just when you think you've learned it all, something new comes along to delight you.

Sidenote:  while researching this plant, I came across a website that I would highly recommend:  MushroomExpert.Com 

Definitely check out the Stinkhorn Hall of Fame 
You will be AMAZED!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
Beth Zellner

Plump pumpkins galore,
Squash and gourds and so much more!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shades of Yellow (Haiku)

Shades of Yellow
Beth Zellner

Six shades of yellow
linger into fall's gray days.
Recall summer rays.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gone (Haiku)

Beth Zellner

The sun is just lit.
Sheets you once warmed now cool.
Gone.  Into the morn.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Foliage Haiku

Beth Zellner

Autumnal leaves drop
Colors rain down upon me
A torrent of hues

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In Memory of Bijoux

My beloved friend and canine companion of over fourteen years, Bijoux, passed away on Saturday, October 8, 2011. In her final year, she had suffered from heart disease and bravely battled cancer. In the end, she did not suffer, and died peacefully in her bed right here at home. That was a great blessing.

Bijoux was the best part of my life. No matter how difficult my day had been, how demanding work was, or how badly the people around me might act, Bijoux was always there to support, encourage, and love me. The price for her affection? She asked for only the basics: food, water, shelter. She could be easily bribed with a belly rub.

Though she had no words, Bijoux spoke to me. She let me know her needs and wants. She could keep me in line with one simple, endearing, heart-melting, doe-eyed look. Bijoux made me a better person. She taught me what true, unconditional love is.

I am at a terrible loss today. I don’t exactly know how to proceed in a world that continues to spin but without Bijoux in it. I do know that I will love her and remember her every single moment for the rest of my days. And I will be eternally grateful to her for her abiding faith in me and the lessons in love and life that she provided me along the way.

Until we meet on the Rainbow Bridge…

Friday, October 7, 2011

What Are Your Plans For This Weekend?

What are your plans for this weekend?

Here in the Central Ohio area, the weather is going to be nearly perfect.

You might want to go for a slow walk...

...or explore a place you have never been before.

Whatever you do, I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Walk Around the Marysville Upground Reservoir

When you were a kid...

Sipping nectar from clover.

...did you ever take a stem of Queen Anne's Lace...

The delicate florets of Queen Anne's Lace.

...and put it in a jar of water with a drop of food coloring...

Almost harvest time.

...then watch it turn all different colors...

Heron in flight, reflected.

...from red to orange to purple to blue? 

Can you spot the hot air balloon in the distance?

I used to love to do that. 

Self portrait.  I am not Gumby, dammit!

I still do.

Delighted to partake in

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October's Opal by Robert Savino

October's Opal
by Robert Savino

October is here, once again,
barely transcending the threshold of autumn.
The maple is turning yellow to orange, to red,
soon to be bared by winter.

Ah winter, when blankets of bliss
cover spoon-fit bodies,
flickering sparks to flames. . .
until love of spring gardens
becomes the rapture of summer bloom.

And looking from outside-in,
beyond recognizable beauty,
the ruby of jewels glows bright,
pumping currents of rivers red,
deep into the wells of every extremity.
Our chest fills with laughter.

When apart, even so brief,
this season stays with you,
whether I am or not
through wind’s immutable breath.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where Did the Summer Go?

Can you believe that Saturday is the first day of October?  October?  What?  Where did the summer go?  It seems like it sped by this year faster than ever. 

The chair and flowers add a pop of color
and the gnome adds some whimsy to this vignette.

I really DO love autumn, and I am not complaining, mind you, just startled at how fast time truly does move. 

A beautiful fall display.  I love the zing of this burnt red color!

Here are some pics from the neighborhood of the changing scenery. 

From the inside out, the leaves turn from green to tawny.
Take your time and enjoy them.  I have a feeling all too soon it will be (egads!) winter!

This is such a great idea!!! 
These little cuties are actually thin slices of log painted orange with faces drawn on 
and a little embellishment...'s a closer look.  Adorable, and SO EASY to make! 
The kids can help and you can re-use them year after year!

Later this year, these berries will nourish the tiny sparrows
who stay behind to brave the Ohio winter.

What a spectacular sight across the eastern sky. 
This rainbow is a portent of good things to come.

Delighted to partake in

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ideas From Arlene's Garden

My neighbor, Arlene, and I have very similar tastes when it comes to decorating our homes and gardens.  Luckily, we differ by just one degree, which prevents us from arguing too much over who gets what when we go out thrifting for goodies (er...most of the time, anyway).

Here are some FAB ideas from her yard for you to enjoy:

Arlene has named her garden "Wabi Sabi,"
which is what is written on the white sign.
While out shopping one day, we came across this idea in Arlene's favorite flower shop.  However, neither of us adored the $125 price tag!  So, we started scouting out the basic ingredients: small cupboard, door, and old screen window.

We found the cupboard in another neighbor's trash.  He had just redone his bathroom, and this was just sitting on the curb, all lonely and waiting for a new home.  Voila! 

I donated the screen window (you can't see it very well, but it sits across the top), and Arlene relented and actually bought the door from a local Habitat for Humanity shop (which counts as a good deed!).

Slap the combo together, slather the whole thing in a coat of paint and you've got yourself this nifty little piece, perfect for some storage and also used as the drink table for block parties.

Next up is this adorable vignette that Arlene created in a cozy little nook that abuts her neighbor's property.  It is a perfect place to escape the hot summer days and sit with a cool glass of lemonade and a bestseller. 

A perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle!

Again, most of these items are salvaged from garage sales, thrift stores - or, my favorite place to shop - the trash pile!  When you know that you are going to be using a shabby piece in the garden, it's okay if it only lasts for a season or two.  Our gardens are a constantly evolving place - and that's a big part of the fun for me! 

Delighted to partake in Outdoor Wednesday!