Saturday, October 31, 2015

White-Breasted Nuthatch

I finally caught a White-Breasted Nuthatch at my feeder this morning.
They have a black head and white face and their bodies are gray.
Here's one at the feeder.
Another view.
Its a cool one today, in the high 40s but sunny so I'm not complaining. 
I made a pot of chicken rice soup last nite which should last me a couple days.  I love hot homemade soups in the fall and winter.  That's one of the perks of Maine winters, our hearty soups.
Have a Wonderful Day!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Birds in my Back Yard

I moved the two birdfeeders closer to my kitchen door so I can easily refill them when the snows come and bury the yard.  I can also see the birds more easily to identify who's visiting. 
I took a few photos but failed to catch the White-breasted Nuthatches that have been feeding lately.
One of our many black-capped chickadees.  I just love to watch these little guys.  They are so active.
We have a couple of Blue Jays in the neighborhood lately.  I know they are considered gangsters, but I love all Mother Nature's creatures so I wouldn't chase these guys away.
This is a Tufted Titmouse.
Here's a Chickadee and a Titmouse at the tray feeder.
I'm not sure about this little fellow.  It looks like a tufted titmouse but this one is bluish instead of gray.
Another visitor I can't name right now.  Looks like a bluejay but is duller and a lot smaller.
I'm really enjoying these feeders being just outside my door.  I can take photos right thru the glass door on my storm door.
Its a beautiful day in the 50s with lots of sun.  The wind is blowing so the leaves keep drifting down. 
A good day for that chicken rice soup I have planned to make today.
Have a Wonderful Day!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ground Beef Pizza

Its a marvelous day here in southern Maine, sunny and bright and its presently 72*F here.  Just wonderful. 

I bought the pizza dough (frozen) at Walmart and defrosted it last nite.  Today I made my favorite pizza, ground beef pizza.
These are 10 by 13 inch baking sheets.  I get two pizzas from one lump of dough. The pizzas themselves are about 7 or 8" by 11 inches.

This is a closeup of one.  Its pizza sauce, shredded Mozzarella cheese and pepperoni and covered with ground beef that has been browned with a bit of pizza sauce for moisture.  I love my pizzas this way.  Its definitely a whole meal when one has these.
Tip:  Sprinkle a bit of cornmeal, very lightly, over your baking pans and the pizzas won't stick and you won't have any grease to deal with by just this added effort.
Have a Good Day!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I still have color in my own yard.

Its always nice in the fall when the color lasts a bit longer than expected.
I've got color in my yard this year and its near the end of October.  Not only that, but we had one heck of a windy day yesterday that was blowing leaves off the trees by the thousands.
This tall one is lovely with both yellow and red in its leaves.  It sits among tall pines so its noticeable.
I even still have a little red in the back corner.
Today is a very cool day here in Maine, in the 40s, so its a good soup day.  And I'm going to make a big pot of vegetable beef soup today to warm my innards at dinner.  It'll keep me warm while I watch some of my favorite Britcoms on PBS.
Have A Good Day.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Last of 2015 Fall Photos

I'm sure this is the end of the pix I'll be posting.  A gardener friend sent these to me to use in my blog.  She's a very good photographer so its always a pleasure to see her work.  She's given me permission to post these.
In this photo you can see Mt Katahdin in the distance, looking like a gray shadow.  I love all the colors in this photo.

This is a red maple that is just stunning.  Its on the road to Lincoln Maine.  What a beauty.
I know that Burning Bush is invasive, but you can't deny its shows some lovely color in the fall.
As for sunsets, this one in Enfield is glowing.
How's that for good photography from my friend Christina in northern Maine.  Thank you very much Christina for sharing your photos.
I think this is the perfect way to say "Good Night" to the fall season.  We actually had a few snowflakes today, but they melted as soon as they hit the ground.  Winter is just around the corner, I fear.
Have  A Wonderful Day!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

New Fall Photos Oct 17th

On the way to our mailbox, I took a few pictures along our country road.  The wind has taken many of the leaves with it, and the reds are turning to a deeper bronze from the cold nites.  I'm afraid this is going to be the best of the color this year.
As you can see around our fire pit in the back yard, the colors have just begun.  The leaves are still green but they won't have time to turn I don't think, not with the nites being so cold and the winds being so blustery these last couple of days.
Yes, the leaves are pretty well blowing away today as you can see from this view in my side yard.
Its still nice to see the contrast between the gold and the bronze in these trees along our road.
Here's a little green, yellow, bronze, gold, and red in this short stretch of road.
Here's what I see when I stop at the highway before turning out from our country road.  There's still some color out there among our evergreens.
At least the yellow leaves are still pretty full and bright.
If you look hard enough, you can spot a red tree among the gold.
Its been a wonderful summer, full of great weather, not too hot too often and the evenings always cool and refreshing.  It was warm longer this year so the fall color is running late.  Usually we're going into full-color mode in my neighborhood around Columbus Day.  Its running a few days later this year and into the windy days of fall which pull the leaves from all the lovely trees a little too quickly.  Still, its been a pretty year.  I wish fall and her beauty would last a little longer, but alas, I'm thinking winter is right around the corner in our area.  They're calling for snow tonite in the higher altitudes around the White Mountains just 45 miles from here. 
Have a Wonderful Day!

Friday, October 16, 2015

More Fall Colors Today Oct 16th

I wanted to get some pix before the rains coming in and the frosty nite.  With the winds we've been having today, lots of leaves are already blowing away.
Here's a little color along our Route 302 near our small shopping plaza.
Along our Sebago Lakefront at the public beach, the colors are really nice and bright today.
As you can see, the wind has blown much of the leaves away in this scene.
Even with leaves being blown off, there's still color to be seen.
Its still nice to see some gold among the red.
Here's a distance shot with color along the shore.
Again the clouds are thickening up against the blue sky and the lake is covered in silver.  So pretty.
Maybe tomorrow I can get some color shots along our road.  The ones I took today wouldn't transpose thru the Resize feature so I can't show them today.  Lets cross our fingers that the winds stay calmer tonite and the cold doesn't do too much damage.
Have A Wonderful Day.!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fall Around the Lake

I took some photos around the lake today.  It was sunny and bright but as you can see, the fall colors are still not at their peak.  The long, warm summer really does make a difference in when the colors will really  burst into brilliance.
I was fascinated by the lovely cloud formation to the West.
Not ten mins. later the clouds changed dramatically.  In the distance you cannot make out the colors, but they aren't full yet.
This is our public beach and boat launch just a mile down the road from my house. 
In this view you can see the tall pampas grasses between the parking lot and the sandy beach beyond the fence.
As for some color, here's a few of the trees changing into their fall costumes along our private road to the house.
This is our main highway, Route 302, only 2 lanes wide but with breakdown lanes.  That exit on the left is one of the two from our public beach.  If you follow this highway long enough, it'll take you to the White Mountains of NH with its several peaks in the Presidential range.  Great hiking trails there but in winter the storms come up so quickly, its very dangerous to be out hiking. 
Along our private road you'll find a huge burning bush on the right at my neighbor's property.  In a couple weeks it'll be a bright ball of red.
I hope to take more photos in the coming days and I'm hoping the days remain sunny even if the temperatures are expected to drop into the 50sF by tomorrow.  I think winter is just around the corner.
Have a Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Crocheted Dish Towels

Here is my first pair of dish towels that I crocheted to hang on my oven door.  You cut one dish towel in half and crochet a hanger section on the tops of both.  With a button, they hang nicely over your oven door.

I had lost my pattern directions when I re-organized my quilt room.  Isn't that always the way.  Clean it up and never find it again.
So I looked up a few different ones online and finally found one that sounded the same as the one I used in the past.
They came out as expected so now I have to make several pairs from the Xmas prints I have for gifts.  I like to give a small gift to our guests at Thanksgiving which they can use for Xmas.  These have always been nicely appreciated in the past and its time for me to make more this year.  The best thing is its something I can work on while watching TV in the evenings.
Its a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Apple Harvest

With frost looming very soon, I thought it best to pick the last of the apples from my one Honey Crisp dwarf tree.  The tree may be dwarf, but the apples are large and gorgeous, and oh, so tasty.
These are the very last that I delivered to my son and his family after keeping several for myself for making more apple crisp. 
Honey Crisp apples are so sweet and crisp, they are aptly named.
Love these little darlings.
Today, Oct 11th, its sunny and bright and 61*F.  A Perfect fall day.
New Englanders, enjoy the last of your warm days.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Italian Smashed Potatoes

These potatoes are easy and can be made in ways to suit.  The photos are of Italian Smashed Potatoes because of the olive oil and garlic pepper added but you can make these by drizzling melted butter on them, instead of the olive oil, and no garlic pepper. 
Choose small potatoes and boil them in their skins til just tender, about 10 mins for the very small ones.
Place them on a lined baking sheet (for easier clean-up later) and with a potato masher, press down on each one about halfway so they split. 
Now the fun begins.  For Italian style potatoes, drizzle each split spud with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some garlic pepper or herbed garlic pepper of your choice. 
If you prefer butter, you can melt some of that instead of using olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Want a bit of flair, drizzle with butter, then sprinkle on season salt that you like for a bit of biting flavor.  A bit of salt and pepper never go amiss.
Place baking sheet in a 475-degree preheated oven for 10-11 mins. for very small potatoes, or 15 or 16 mins. for those just a bit larger.  Test them for tenderness and remove from the oven.
I served mine with steak and salad, but these go with just about anything except pasta.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Special Cake for a Special Boy

When birthdays roll around, my DDIL makes a special cake for special people.
This is a Skylander cake she made for her nephew A.  He is into Skylander online and this one seemed the perfect choice.
As usual, her cake was appreciated.  She's sooo talented.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My darling corgi, Penny

I was just testing this photo thru Internet Explorer to be sure its working.  It is.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I got a photo to work. Miracles still happen.

These are a couple of my David Austin Roses still blooming here in Maine in October.  The one of the left is a light apricot, Teasing Georgia, and the other one, more medium apricot, is Camisole.  The fragrance of Camisole is outstanding and among my favorites for scenting the house.  Not too sweet, just right.

We've been having colder weather here is southern Maine.  I've been closing down my veggie garden pretty much.  I've given most of my supplies and equipment to the local Community Garden with whom I was a member for a few years.  They can always use garden stuff.  I'll confine my busy days to quilt projects now and in the spring, maybe some potted plants.  My days of laborning in the garden are over.  Its too much for this older body.  I've put in many perennial flowers instead so hope to see them blooming in their glory next spring.

The only things I have left now, after picking the rest of my tomatoes and roasting them, then freezing them, are a couple pots of thyme which I've brought it to keep going as long as I can.  The sage and Rosemary are still doing well outdoors.  The Monarda (Bee Balm) is pretty much finished with the centers of the flower heads turning to winter seed for the birds.  They'll be happy.  I don't pull those til spring when pulling out the old dried stems makes room for a new group of flowers.

I'll be back to post when I have some quilt projects to share.  Have a Happy Life!