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If we were having coffee: First frost edition

Watching Friday's sunrise from grass level.
Watching Friday’s sunrise from grass level.

I think people who don’t know the woods very well sometimes imagine it as a kind of undifferentiated mass of greenery, an endless continuation of the wall of trees they see lining the road.  And I think they wonder how it could hold anyone’s interest for very long, being all so much the same.  But in truth I have a list of a hundred places in my own town I haven’t been yet.  Quaking bogs to walk on; ponds I’ve never seen in the fall (I’ve seen them in summer — but that’s a different pond).  That list gets longer every year, the more I learn, and doubtless it will grow until the day I die.  So many glades; so little time.

Bill McKibben, Wandering Home

In the beginning. Early morning walk on Friday.
In the beginning. Early morning walk on Friday.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would be delighted to see you again.  Hugs if you’re amenable to them.  Come on in.  Let’s grab something to drink, and maybe something to nosh on, and go have a seat on the porch.  It’s lovely out there now that the sun has warmed things up.  If it’s not quite warm enough for you just yet, we can go back inside to the great room where the wood stove is keeping things nice and toasty.

Decorating the sky.
Decorating the sky.

How are you?  How’s life been treating you?  Kindly, I hope.  Have you traveled anywhere or seen any new sights?  Have you spent time with family and/or friends?  Have you sampled any good food and/or drink?  Taken any good walks or hikes or simple strolls?  Read any good books or watched any good films?

On the forest floor.
On the forest floor.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would apologize once again for being late.  We had company this weekend.  My sister-in-law (M’s sister), C, was here for another quick visit.  Just before she arrived for her last visit in September, I found out that the band Chicago was going to be playing in Salisbury (which is not far from us).  C had mentioned that seeing Chicago in concert was on her bucket list.  She had seen them decades ago when she and they were young, and when she heard they were on tour this year, she hoped to be able to catch them somewhere.  She was unable to go with us when we saw them in Virginia Beach with Earth, Wind & Fire.  We went ahead and bought tickets for the Salisbury show the last time C was here, and that show was last night.  I am not a big enough fan of the group to want to see them twice within two months, but I certainly didn’t mind going.  They put on a good and energetic performance, and it was fun to go with C because it was obvious that she was really enjoying the show.

Looking out towards the bay. (Janes Island State Park.)
Looking out towards the bay. (Janes Island State Park.)

When C arrived on Friday, she was ready for a walk or a hike after spending so much time in the car.  We took a little stroll out to the dock and around some of the trails here at the ranch.  When M arrived home from work, we all went to Janes Island State Park to hike in their woods and have a look at the Chesapeake Bay before going to dinner at the Hide Away Grill.  I think that will be our last dinner at the Hide Away this year.  They’re closing after Halloween, and the weather is getting too chilly to sit outdoors.

Going into the woods. Janes Island State Park.
Going into the woods. Janes Island State Park.

The hike was nice.  As you can see above and in the next photo or two, most of the trees have not yet donned their fall colors.  Most of the colors we’re seeing, especially here at the ranch, are on the crepe myrtles, sweet gum and cherry trees.  The oaks and maples are just beginning to change, and I wonder if we’ll see much color from them since we had such a dry summer.  It looks as though a lot of the leaves are falling without bothering with a color conversion.  That is especially true of the oaks.  Our pin oak tree is almost bare already.

Some spots of color here and there.
Some spots of color here and there.  You have to look carefully to find them.

Janes Island State Park has cabins near the water, and we had a look at some of those while we were out that way.  It would be a lovely place to say during the fall before the weather turns cold.  There are campsites there as well, and there were plenty of people already set up to camp over the weekend.

Sun lit.
Sun lit.

On Saturday we went to Ocean City for a walk on the boards (boardwalk).  We stopped off in Salisbury on our way to visit the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  They had something there we thought might interest C (it did, and she purchased it).  While looking around, I found a stack of CD’s on sale for 50 cents each and bought a few including two Eva Cassidy albums.  If you’re at all familiar with the late Eva Cassidy, it’s probably through this beautiful rendition of Over the Rainbow.  But since it’s fall, perhaps you’d like to listen to Autumn Leaves.

On the beach.
On the beach.

This weekend they hosted the 29th Annual Corvette Weekend in Ocean City so there were lots of Corvettes being driven around town and on the highway.  There were also more than plenty of them at the inlet parking area where you could walk around and have a look.  I didn’t take any photos.  Sorry.  Cars just don’t interest me very much.

Near 4th St. on the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland.
Near 4th St. on the boardwalk.  Ocean City, Maryland.

They also had the Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade, a benefit for the Humane Society.  You can’t tell from the above picture, but it was quite crowded on the boardwalk when you got closer to where the amusement rides are located.  That’s because of the parade.  There were a lot of folks out and about with their dogs.  People and dogs were decked out in costumes.

Little sailor pooch. (Sorry about that bright spot of sunlight that looks like it is trying to burn a hole in the little dog's head.)
Little sailor pooch. (Sorry about that bright spot of sunlight that looks like it is trying to burn a hole in the little dog’s head.  I was using my old Kodak which overexposes light lately.)

I didn’t get many photos of the dogs, and we missed the parade because we were having lunch at the time.  It was jam-packed with people and dogs at the beginning point for the parade just before start time, making it difficult to get pictures.  Plus I was busy admiring all the cute dogs and originally attired people.

Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Thing 1 and Thing 2.

There was one cat.  A sphinx cat.  The poor thing didn’t seem comfortable with the situation.  He or she did win an honorable mention prize because it was the first cat they’ve had at the pet parade.  It was also the only cat to show up yesterday.

The Prisoner. (Sphinx cat.)
The Prisoner. (Sphinx cat.)

It was a lovely day at the beach and on the boardwalk.  Not the kind of day for swimming although there were a few people sitting on the beach.  I heard one gentleman say that the boardwalk was almost as crowded as a summer day.  I think he was right.

Getting busier as the day wore on.
Getting busier as the day wore on.

Saturday evening, of course, was taken up with the Chicago concert.  I was a little surprised at how solemn the audience was for the first half of the concert.  No one dancing, not even chair dancing or nodding their heads, and few clapping.  They came alive for the second half.  One theory was that it was due to the fact that the Salisbury venue does not sell alcohol of any kind.  People had to warm up to the music without the inhibition-releasing help of beer or wine.

When we arrived home late last night, we saw three beautiful deer walking across the driveway and through the front yard.  Just a little past where we saw them, we discovered a dead bird.  At first we thought it might be a large duck or a Canada goose, but a flashlight revealed it to be a Great Blue Heron.  I’m not sure what happened.  I’ve read that Great Blue Herons have few natural predators, but occasionally a Great Horned Owl or Bald Eagle will take one.  Given that this happened at night, and given that M recently heard a Great Horned Owl who must have just taken up residence nearby, my bet is on the owl.  We must have interrupted whatever killed it as it didn’t appear to have been there long.  Except for a pile of feathers, it was gone this morning.

No profanity please.
No profanity please.

This morning started out slow and quiet with Eva Cassidy’s voice singing softly over the stereo speakers in the background as C made coffee, M built up the fire in the wood stove, and I chopped onions and diced potatoes for a breakfast scramble.  The early morning sunlight poured over the lobolly pines and in through the kitchen windows, warming us up as the light bounced off the quartz counter tops creating a fairy light effect on the ceiling and walls.  C had to leave right after breakfast, and is on her way home as I type.

Meanwhile, back on the dock at the ranch...
Meanwhile, back on the dock at the ranch…

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I have rambled enough about the weekend, and I really should get outside and do some mowing.  I’ve been waiting for it to warm up a little.  We had our first frost this morning, but it has been warming up quickly.  Not too warm, though, as our high today is expected to be in the mid-50’s.  The scattered clouds might make for an interesting sunset so maybe I’ll head down to the Point to watch.  Hang around for a while and join me if you like.  Sunset is a 6:21 PM.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I always enjoy our coffee chats.  This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

Memory: Three years ago tomorrow. (Around the pond at Breezy Acres in Ohio.)
Memory: Three years ago tomorrow. (Around the pond at Breezy Acres in Ohio.)

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

26 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: First frost edition

    1. Thank you, David. 🙂 And yes, that poor cat! It looked frightened, especially when a bunch of people circled around it, some of them trying to pet it. My cats would probably kill me in my sleep if I ever tried to drag them out in public like that. It’s not only undignified, it’s probably terrifying.

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  1. Ah, the late great Eva Cassidy! I still listen to the only CD I have of hers which I have owned for at least ten years now. Such a beautiful voice! My Siddy is a black and white version of the white dogs you photographed and he would love to dress up and parade about – he’s a bit of a show pony my boy 😀

    First frost already Robin! Winter is sprinting towards you even as the skies are blue and the woods so beautiful still. Have a good week.

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    1. Thank you, Pauline. 🙂 It’s just a taste of winter. We’ll be warming up again by mid-week. In the meantime, I don’t think the gardens will do well tonight since it will be colder than last night. It’s probably time for the gardens to be put to bed for the season (if I can find the time to do it).

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  2. We had a killing frost last night, so that ends much of the garden. Sigh. May is so far away! Back to store-bought flowers– pretty, but not a lot of variety. The breeze has taken down a lot of the leaves, rather sad. It will take me a week to get used to the status quo. Planted 200 bulbs yesterday (2 types of allium and a fragrant narcissus mix) to enjoy next spring. Hope and faith!
    Way behind the multitudes, I’m finally reading Mary Oliver, which I knew I’d love. Finished Lila by Marilynne Robinson. Good writer with good characters, not a lot of action but didn’t need it as it was more cerebral, resting on the characters. Started watching Home Fires on PBS. Pretty good so far. We stream it online since we have no TV reception.
    Sounds like a busy weekend for you. O.C. looks like it was a zoo, not your usual quiet WabiSabi. So the lawn mower is fixed?

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    1. I’m pretty sure tonight is the night that kills off our gardens, Eliza. It was time, I suppose. 200 bulbs!! Wow. I forgot to order bulbs. Last spring I received some wonderful catalogs and had marked what I wanted to order, and then forgot all about it. I’m not even sure where I put the catalogs, and I’d especially like to find the one from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs (I heard about them through Elizabeth, aka Woodland Gnome, and compared to other bulb places that send out catalogs, they are close to being local for me). I will have to put aside my dreams of dotting the lawn with crocuses and planting other bulbs this year, I think. The mower, which you asked about it, is still shrouded like a corpse and sitting by our little cemetery (appropriate, don’t you think?). The repairman ordered the part weeks ago, but it’s a big, heavy part and we thought perhaps UPS was sitting on it, not wanting to deal with trying to move it. After a morning spent making phone calls between Sears, the repairman (who is a relatively local guy), and UPS, it turns out the answer was at the UPS office just north of us. The part is in pieces. It was somehow broken and rather than do something about it, they kept shoving it in a corner and updating the status to “on hold” with no explanation about why it was on hold. All of this is my way of saying that I’m mowing with the push mower which requires me to be out there a few hours every day in order to, well, not keep up exactly, but at least give the impression of keeping up. I wish there was a way to not have to mow so much, but we reduced the areas we mow as much as possible and still allow a comfort zone without snakes, ticks, rodents, etc.

      A zoo. LOL! Good one. 🙂

      We have no little TV reception here (and don’t subscribe to cable or satellite for television because it’s a big waste of money and time). We actually do get PBS, but I missed the first episode or two of Home Fires. I’ll add it to my Netflix queue since you like it. I think we have similar tastes. As for Mary Oliver, I was a latecomer to her poetry, too. I have one of her books on my to-read shelf. I should bump it up.

      And thank you in regards to the Ohio pond photo. Fall was always my favorite season there. We don’t have as many maples here (especially sugar maples), and although we do get some lovely colors, they never seem as vivid as they did in NE Ohio.

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      1. It may not be too late to plant bulbs – go online to order (or order via phone) via Brent and Becky’s. My guess is you’d be okay for your zone by Nov.15.
        Online pbs.org has streaming through your PC. My son set us up with Chromecast, so we can watch it on the TV via the Mac. I would be in the dark ages if not for him!

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  3. I chuckled through most of this – particularly the sphinx prisoner!!! It’s all here/almost wintery. Blustery, cold, and hail/flurries were flying. I still have my tropicals on the balcony, but hope it warms up tomorrow, as they are saying. Miss you both, plus I & B!

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  4. I love Eva Cassidy’s voice, so thanks for introducing me to “Autumn Leaves.” Perfect for the season! I’m glad you had a nice visit with your sister-in-law and the night at the Chicago concert. I’m sure it’s beautiful out on the Eastern Shore at this time of year, except for the dead Great Blue Heron.

    I haven’t been up to much lately because I’ve been embroiled in an intensive month-long CELTA course, which now, thank goodness, is over. We’re going to the Melting Pot in Reston for a pre-birthday family dinner (minus my daughter who couldn’t get off work) tonight, and next weekend, for my actual birthday, we’ll be visiting Chincoteague! I’m looking forward to relaxing now that my course is over! 🙂 Thanks for the visit and the coffee (and hugs! xxx).

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    1. Hi Frank! And welcome back. Or almost back as you ease into it. No, I haven’t done it yet. The deadline is midnight October 25. It can be extended beyond that if needed. 🙂

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  5. What a wonderful weekend! Enjoyed this coffee talk and your photos as I always do. I answer your questions in my mind while I read this conversation. I’d have some good answers for you if I get my butt in gear with blogging again, lol. Maybe you saw a few of what my answers would be on FB 😉

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  6. It sounds like you had a great weekend–home time, concert, beach and boardwalk. Your photos are wonderful!
    We saw the play Metamorphoses Saturday afternoon, then went for coffee–too bad you couldn’t join us. 🙂 On Sunday we walked to the annual Revolutionary War battle reenactment in our town. Then our daughter joined us for a wine festival nearby.

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  7. Your posts always make me sorry I didn’t get the opportunity to visit more of Maryland during my visits there. Now that my daughter is no longer in school there, I don’t think I’ll have the opportunity to visit Maryland again. Beautiful photos.

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  8. What a lovely blog post! It went well with my coffee! This is the first time I’m visiting your blog. Like many of the others, all I could think about that pet parade was that poor cat! Here in the Midwest we had our first frost last night too, and tonight is supposed to be even colder. I actually turned on the heat in the house. That reminds me, I have a potted lobelia outside I want to drag into the garage. It’s so pretty I’m not ready to see it go.

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  9. I’m a little late for the weekend catch up, maybe I could drop round this evening instead. I’ll bring my two crochet throws, they fit in so well with the autumn colours, maybe we could wrap up on the porch for half hour with a hot coffee to cuddle, and watching the sun go down.
    Life in general has been a little strained here over the last few months, Mum-in-law has got past her throat cancer scare, she’s cancer-free now, they operated and managed to take it all out, but learning to eat and talk again with a small piece of the back of her tongue missing has been a challenge. Hubby’s not coping too well, he off work and trying to keep busy, but he’s running around at full pelt all the time and I’m living in a permanent whirlwind.
    I stayed for a weekend with Little Sister and remembered how wonderful just doing nothing feels.
    We had a family funeral last Friday, Hubby’s Aunt, followed by an already booked sports weekend in Wolverhampton which I really wasn’t looking forward to.
    I somehow managed to stumble upon a canal while looking for a big city park and spent a surprisingly relaxing day just wandering off with the camera.
    I’ll link my wanderings to walktober and share some really different canal pictures with you there.
    Oh my goodness, is that the time, places to go, people to see, I’ve half a week off work next week, it looks like being a busy week, but I’ll remember to schedule some “me” time, even if I have to hide in the cupboard for half an hour to read blogs on my phone. 🙂
    Bye for now, enjoy your sunset. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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