The Seasons, They Are A’Changin…

This is my first real Autumn in I don’t know how long.

My first, honest-to-goodness, stomping-through-piles-of-leaves kind of Autumn.

park maples

It’s not like we didn’t have Autumn in Phoenix, it’s just that we faked it.

In Phoenix you wear sleeveless shirts in fall colors, switch out your flip-flops for brown sandals, and drink iced pumpkin lattes.

And it’s not like I haven’t lived in areas with four seasons before, it’s just I don’t remember being wowed by the colors. When we lived in northern Arizona, the first snow came sudden-like. Shocking the leaves into a quick drop. When we lived in Iowa and Nebraska, there were too few trees to matter.

Clearly, Minnesota is hoarding all the trees.

Autumn by the river

Real or fake, I love this time of year. In truth, it’s the transition phase between the seasons I love best, and I’m thrilled to be living where it’s so apparent.

I’m not alone in my appreciation; several homes are decorated for Fall. I’m told it’s quite common for Minnesotans to have quirky lawn decorations and from what I’ve seen, it’s true. A home near us has 11 screen doors in front — eleven!

This is a permanent display and I’ve no idea how they mounted them, but I wondered if they’d add anything for the seasons. I’m pleased to report, they do:

Doors

Looking forward to seeing their Christmas display.

Our decor is more understated, but not without its admirers.

Autumn at the Hartwell's

Last Saturday when our newspaper was delivered, I saw the delivery girl taking a picture of our display.  (I wonder if we’re trending on Twitter?)

At the website for Minnesota State Parks, you can enter your email address for “color alerts.” The state park in our town, the Charles A. Lindbergh Park, is currently listed at 25% to 50% color.

I think the Hartwell Maple Tree is nearly 60%:

Maple tree

Neighbor Buddy told me not to worry about raking leaves; he’ll use his leaf blower and take care of them for the whole street. The total number of homes on the street being three.  Even so, he’s a nice guy.

(Probably a requirement for anyone named Buddy.)

In my backyard hidden among the leaves is a petunia. I didn’t plant it and there are no petunias in the vicinity. Yet there it is. A petunia.

Petunia
It’s a Petunia Miracle.

I asked someone how long we’d have the color, she guessed another couple weeks.

Guess we better enjoy it while it’s here.

autumn color

Something I did in Phoenix to commemorate the seasons is to change my computer’s desktop background. My favorites pictures included curving paths, usually through woodsy areas or by rivers.

Never in my life have I lived in an area with more desktop-worthy scenes:

desktop picture

Question is, which photo do I use? Current contenders are first, second, and last pictures in this post. Your opinions are appreciated.

Meanwhile, if it’s Autumn where you are, find a pile of leaves and stomp through them with abandon.

If it’s not Autumn where you are, fake it. 🍂 🍃

Pokemon GO to the Park!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of Pokémon GO. And if you do live under a rock, no offense meant.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of Pokémon GO. And if you do live under a rock, no offense meant.
(I mean, really, I find you fascinating. Please send me a picture of your rock. I bet you have a swell bug collection.)

Anyway. Back to the game. Daughter has been taking a lot of walks lately, so I’ve been keeping her company. Come to find out, our nearby park is a goldmine, Pokémon-wise. Continue reading “Pokemon GO to the Park!”

While Strolling Through the Park One Day…

Bear with me, people. It’s another park story.

Desert mountainSo I’m walking Dog along a mountain path – she’s off leash, by the way. Yes, there is a sign clearly posted at the entrance of the park with a rule stating, “Pets must remain leashed at all times.”

Right. I’m going to walk in this big mountain park, with jackrabbits galore, with Dog who is part Border Collie, part Lab, and I’m going to keep her leashed? Not bloody likely.

Before you lecture me, Dog is extremely well-behaved, comes to my side whenever I call her, and I always pick up after her. Always. Because I’m not a barbarian.

Anyway, I’m walking along the path, Dog is trotting ahead happily, having just sniffed a rock with great satisfaction, and I am very, very deep in thought. If you must know, I am thinking about the elephant shrew.

Continue reading “While Strolling Through the Park One Day…”

Meditating on a Desert Hike

There’s a mountain preserve near our home – actually, I’m not sure if it’s a real preserve. parkThe real estate agent who sold us our home said it was a preserve. If it is, it’s the first one I’ve seen with a housing development and gravel company on it.

Even so, it’s a nice park with a Frisbee golf course, playground & picnic area, softball fields and basketball courts, plus lots of places to hike.

Including, to our great surprise, a labyrinth.

No, not that kind of labyrinth. You won’t run into a Goblin King here. It’s one of thoseWP_20160223_16_48_19_Pro[1] meditative labyrinths. Husband came back from a long hike, where he was trying to gain more steps for his Fitbit, and announced his discovery.

The next day, Dog and I set off to find it.

Continue reading “Meditating on a Desert Hike”

The BEST Writing Prompt Ever — Plus a Writing Contest!

I know I’ve told you before about the park near our house where Dog and I like to walk. Truthfully, as far as parks go, it’s not much to brag about. But it’s serviceable and allows Dog a good run.

It’s also a nice place to walk if I need a bit of inspiration. Case in point, what I saw this week:

UnderwearAlright, so what’s the story here? What causes a person to throw their underwear up in a tree? And before you immediately leap to something scandalous, remember this is a park within easy view of a major city street. (Also, this is a G-rated blog. Well, most of the time.)Sign

On the other side of the brick wall are a number of thorny, desert plants and a sidewalk about eight feet away. So, pretty sure the underwear disposal happened on this side of the fence.

Also, you can’t tell from the photo, but the underwear is covered with little peace symbols. I think that should somehow play a part in the story.

I took a picture of the park rules, to give you a few guidelines. You’ll note that while we must keep Dog on a leash, there is not a rule against nudity.

For a bit of fun — email me your submission and the selected story will be highlighted on Feeding on Folly next Wednesday (Nov. 18). Added challenge: the story must be 500 words or less.

Deadline for submission: Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. MST.

The best part of this is that it will give me a chance to test my brand new Contact page — see it there? Way up on the menu bar? Click there to submit your story.

Ready … set … write! 🙂

A Man and His Wagon

Perhaps you know of the poem by William Carlos Williams:

so much depends

upon

a red wheel

barrow

glazed with rain

water

beside the white

chickens

Charming, yes?

However with all due respect to William Carlos Williams, I think the sight of a grown man with a little red wagon may be more charming. Look upon this my friends:

Continue reading “A Man and His Wagon”