Look Up

Look Up (and then Look Down)


Every year after we eat Thanksgiving dinner, we head out to our patio and take family photos.  I think the process started when my kids were small, and I was hoping for a good Christmas card shot.  Whatever the origin, it's a tradition that remains today -- and everyone humors me and willingly heads out back for photos.

Through the years, we've had our Thanksgiving photo shoot in all kinds of weather -- wind, snow, biting cold, melting slush, you name it.  But there is one thing we've never had in our Thanksgiving photos . . .


 -- it's fall color as a backdrop.

Yes -- look up!  While most of the trees are bare now, as you can see . . . some are still hanging on.  And colorfully, at that!  (It has been a strange season in terms of fall leaf color and drop.)

As if that weren't strange enough, let's look down now.


Yeah.  Those are daffodil bulbs.  It was warm enough yesterday that I could (finally) finish getting my spring bulbs in the ground.  That is . . . the air was warm enough AND the ground was warm enough to dig comfortably and easily.

At the end of November.

After Thanksgiving. 


I ended up lugging my bags of daffodil, crocus, and grape hyacinth bulbs all around the yard yesterday -- planting with abandon. I also put in a flat of sedum.  And started worrying about the weeds -- which are still going strong out there.

Usually, this is my time to rest and not be actively gardening.  But I'm thinking my garden-time might be expanding.

I surely never thought my nails would look like this . . . 


after an afternoon in the garden . . . in NOVEMBER.


Look Up


In the summer, when blooms are everywhere, it's easy to see the beauty around you.  Even as fall creeps in, it's easy.  Because the leaves put on quite a show.

But in the late fall, as winter edges ever closer, that's when it's tough.  The blooms have faded and the leaves are gone.  Everything is bare and grey and shades-of-bleak.

But. . . that's the time to look!  To really take notice!


Blooms are fleeting.  Here and gone.  

Turns out it's the underlying structure that really counts!  Because that structure remains long after the beauty is gone.

Take a look.



Look Up


Yesterday, we enjoyed a few hours of sunshine -- a rarity these past weeks of grey and gloom and rain.


Today we are back to the grey, gloom, and rain. . . but it was glorious to look up and see blue sky and sunshine as a backdrop for the still-turning leaves yesterday.

Tom and I are busy this morning, working to put the garden to rest (at least a little) before the rains begin again this afternoon.  

Enjoy your Saturday -- and don't forget to look up!



Well, Now. Wasn't That Fun?

The weather forecast here yesterday called for heavy cloud cover.  But, once again, the weather forecast turned out to be . . . WRONG!

We had some clouds, sure.  But all afternoon we had clear eclipse viewing!


What a spectacle!

My dad nabbed an approved pair of eclipse glasses just days before the eclipse -- and he was more than willing to share.  So we gathered in the backyard for a little eclipse party.

We tried a bit of everything when it came to watching the eclipse (because Science).

The humble colander (complete with requisite dog hair)


The tricky binoculars (with modification).


Old-school pinhole box camera (thanks Amazon Prime).

IMG_9114 2

Everything worked -- but nothing was quite as awesome as watching with the eclipse glasses!

Here is my very favorite photo from yesterday . . . 


(Makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it!)

It was a great afternoon.  So much fun!


And . . . speaking of amazing spectacles . . .


Today is our anniversary.  36 years.  And all of them sunny!


Looking Down

The windows in my house, for the most part, don't have window coverings.  Some are bare; while some just have light, woven blinds.

Because we live on a hill and, for the most part, neighbors and passersby can't see in.

Because I like a lot of light.

Because I like to look out.

But there's one window I don't really use much.  It looks out over the north side of my house, from high up ("3rd floor" - counting the walkout basement on that side of the house).

It used to be Brian's room.  Now it's my "art room" -- where I paint and draw and (pretty much) store all my art supplies.

The view?


My "backyard" (delineated by the fence) is an L-shape.  This view represents the short side of the L.  (The patio and my pergola and most of my garden beds are on the other side of the house -- the long side of the L.)  You can also see my neighbors' driveway.  And the street - if you look through the trees.

It's kind of a bird's eye view.

If you remember past blog posts . . . of my garden . . . that corner (that really dead-looking corner) is the newest area of my garden, and it looks pretty good when things get going.  But now?  Not so much.


When I look down on my yard from this window at this time of year, I can't help thinking about my garden and mentally creating a list of things I want to do back there. . . 

  • pruning the beautyberry down to the ground
  • figuring out what to do where the trees were cut down last fall (victims of diplodia tip blight)
  • transplanting the hostas from the front yard side of the fence to the backyard side of the fence (so the deer have less chance of munching them)
  • is there any way to create a labyrinth for walking? (probably not, because the hill is pretty steep back there)
  • maybe this is the year to finally decide on steps down the hill?


I've also decided I need to look out this window more often - especially as my garden comes to life.  Because having a bird's eye view gives an interesting perspective.  (And I can't wait to see my little redbud in the corner . . . blooming . . . from way up here!)


Today's post is part of Think Write Thursday. Click here to read other posts on today's topic, or click here to sign up to receive weekly prompts.


Look Up


In about an hour, my household will have transitioned from 9 people, 3 dogs, and 1 cat to just the normal 2 people/2 dogs.

I plan to sit back, kick my feet up, and knit.

I will look up, though - frequently - to keep up with The Crown.  And to grab my wine glass.


(I'll also be tackling a massive pile of laundry.)
(But who wants to blog about that.)

Enjoy your weekend!

Look Up!


Our lingering fall has been just incredible this year.  Here we are, into November, and leaves are still on the trees (although falling fast now) -- and the colors are just exploding.

It's a glorious time to . . . look up!


Happy Saturday.

Off Track

On Saturday, my Mom and I visited the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids.  Mainly, we went to see the Orchid Show (more on that later this week), but we also braved the frigid weather to stroll around and see some of the gardens in winter.

Right away, we noticed birds everywhere - hundreds of them - mostly hanging around on three tall trees.


What ARE they?

They can't be, can they?


By gum . . . they ARE!


Robins.  Hundreds of robins!

(They are WAY off track.  Ain't gonna be no early birds gettin' the worm around here for awhile yet.)

What a surprise.