Category Archives: Fall

The Love Tree

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I enjoyed a walk in the woods near my house today as it was unseasonably warm outside.  The backdrop of cascading yellow leaves was a beautiful sight to behold. Our property is surrounded by maples and tulip trees whose leaves turn to gorgeous shades of gold in the fall. I  kicked the leaves to make a rustling sound as I walked. I spied acorns and pinecones peering through the leaf piles.  Just beyond the creek that runs beside our property, I discovered a tree that was amazing in a different way  besides its leaf color.It is extraordinary because it has a very distinct shape in a knothole.  The hole goes clear through the tree which is in a state of decay although it still has leaves and signs of life. The fact that it is still standing is a testament to the image it portrays. I have named it the “Love Tree” for there is a perfect heart shape permanently imbedded  in its bark.  I am reminded of a poem called Trees by Joyce Kilmer.

imag0115imag0114-1A line in the poem states “Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.” I might also add  “His love was shown to me through a tree.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alas, the common hickory nut

100_2867I was out raking leaves in my yard the other day and thought I had discovered a treasure.  There were gobs and gobs of nuts falling from shells that had landed on the ground.  I must have missed them last year or perhaps squirrels got them before I noticed them.  When I inspected them more closely, I found some that were cracked open enough to reveal inner nutmeats. They looked alot like pecans and smelled like walnuts.  I began envisioning all the delicious pies that I could bake for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My mouth began to water. I quickly collected as many as my little bucket could hold.

My neighbor passed by while taking a walk. I asked her if she could identify the mystery nuts.  At first she also thought the nuts could be an edible type but she suspected they were more likely hickory nuts. She suggested I Google them.  I learned that in fact I had hickory nuts.  There are some common and uncommon types. My tree was of the more common variety with a plain bark instead of a scaly kind. Unfortunately, the nuts from the common tree have a bitter taste.  The hickory nut also is about the most difficult nut to crack. There are some practical uses for the nuts. They can be used to add flavor to meats by smoking them under meats on an open grill. Some people have cooked the nuts to create hickory milk. Making the milk is a labor-intensive process. It takes a long time cooking the nuts in water until the meats fall out of their shells. The meats and shells must be strained out of the liquid. Only then can the milk be used to flavor dishes with the hickory flavor.

After I finished my research on the hickory nut the excitement over my discovery began to subside. I realized that using the nuts for anything other than decoration was improbable.  Store bought nuts for pie use suddenly seemed pretty appealing.  The common hickory nut is a disappointment for human consumption……but the squirrels still love them!

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Amazed At God’s Beauty All Around

It has been a glorious autumn day here in South Carolina. I took photos of the spectacular color of trees in my yard and neighborhood. The yellow, gold and red leaves were particularly stunning against azure blue skies.  All I can say is God’s handiwork is amazing.   Nothing on earth can compare to the beauty that He creates.

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Sneak Peak Of Winter

Our family went away to the mountains this weekend.  We were expecting to see some beautiful fall color but got an unexpected treat.  When we got to our in-laws’ house in Hendersonville, NC we were greeted with three inches of snow on the ground.  It was like a winter wonderland.  What a rare treat! The kids did not expect to be able to frolic and have snowball fights on the first of November, the earliest on record forFlat Rock 3Flat Rock2 IMG_5983Flat Rock 1 our area.  We schlepped about downtown after a scrumptuous meal. We visited some quaint shops.  We felt like we were in a scene from Star’s Hollow on the Gilmore Girls.  That was just the therapy we needed away from our busy lives, even if it was for only one day.

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A Taste of Fall

One of my family’s favorite fall activites is to visit a local apple orchard and bring home a sample of their cider and donuts. Those of you who live near us are very familiar with this place. Here are a few photos we took at the orchard and at a nearby antiques shop where I get a lot of artistic inspiration.102_2750 (2)102_2749 (2) 102_2743 (2)102_2738

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