Thursday, September 26, 2013

Summer's ghost.

"We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage. We will welcome summer's ghost."
-Henry Rollings.

The beautiful fall weather has inspired me to embrace its loveliness. This week we hauled up the Halloween totes from the basement and filled our house with pumpkins and skeletons and ghosts and bats. Now it's spooooooky, as Spencer would say. We made new projects to accompany the ones from years past now hanging on our walls.

First we had to start with an autumn photo shoot. You see, I've had my eye on this old school desk at the in-law's, envisioning it positioned in front of pretty flowers and backdrops of fall colors. What I didn't account for was how heavy the thing is. I nearly had a hernia trying to carry the desk the short distance out of the porch into the backyard. I muttered obscenities under my breath as I awkwardly hauled this thing one, two, three steps and then dropped it, only to repeat this over and over until I finally traveled the very short distance to the shaded tree line. This was not the beautiful spot I had envisioned, but my scrawny arms could do no better. While you look at the pictures I snapped with my big girl camera before it died on me (because who actually charges their battery ahead of time?), try to imagine amber leaves and golden halos of sunshine peaking through pretty flowers as the backdrop of this Mommy Photography photo shoot. 

While we were out at the in-laws, we gathered tidbits of nature for a project. Once we were home, we glued the collected items onto some card stock and created the first pages of our seasonal nature book. (I also pilfered some pine cones and used them as a centerpiece on my table.)

The boys were thrilled to include Daddy on a project this week since he has been off work early all this week. We gathered on the driveway to paint the pumpkins from the apple orchard. (For future reference: don't use washable paint. It will come off in the morning dew.)

Our last project was to create our own fall leaves. I drew leaves onto coffee filters and then we painted them with water color paints. Spencer loved this and probably could have painted a dozen more, but Ash dumped all his water on his first coffee filter and then just gnawed on the paint brush thereafter. Once they were dry, I cut out the leaves, punched a hole in them and strung them through a piece of yarn to create a garland. Now it hangs above the deck door, the leaves rustling in the breeze through the screen.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apple Orchard: An Autumn Tradition

"If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older."
-Tom Stoppard

One of the most highly anticipated traditions for our family is our annual trip to the apple orchard. We talk about it in the days leading up with much excitement, pinpointing the things we most want to do. Spencer's list always revolves around the hayride and the pedal tractors, but he also discusses his haystack climbing techniques. This was Ashton's second visit but probably the first that he will actually vaguely remember when next year rolls around and we begin discussing our orchard trip again.

We were lucky this year to be blessed with such a beautiful fall day. Upon entering the parking lot, we stripped off our jackets as the warm sun beat down on us. Trudging up the aisle of towering sunflowers, our excitement was palpable. The moment the boys spied the field of pumpkins, they wanted to bolt to lay claim to their own. But, first, I made them pose for the traditional photograph by the giant apple and ruler. Then off they went to explore the pumpkins.

Then we made our way to the pedal tractors, conquered the haystack, posed for a few photo-ops, explored the giant tractor, barreled through a giant tunnel, and fed some goats. All this before finally boarding the main event: the hayride up to the orchard. Once we were walking among the maze of apple trees, we'd pluck an apple off a nearby limb and nibble our way through it. Ashton especially was in apple heaven. We searched and searched for our beloved honey crisps apples and then stopped to fill our bag. David instructed one of the boys to ask for my help reaching the high ones, but I declared I was the photographer, not the helping hand; and away I snapped, picture after picture.

When our bag was plenty full, we hopped back on a hayride and rode down the hill to buy caramel apples and apple strudels for dessert, and finally select the pumpkins we wished to adopt. The boys were escorted to the truck in style, sharing a wagon ride with our new pumpkins.

Before returning home, we stopped at the same park we do each year to eat our picnic supper.

Oh, magical apple orchard, thank you for your memories. We shall be seeing you again next fall.

If you're interested, here are a few of our other apple orchard trips:
Apple Orchard 2011
Apple Orchard 2012