Sunday Post: Surroundings~ “The Woods”

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” ~George Byron

My surroundings~the pathless woods.
Never more beautiful than in fall…

 

 

Click images for a larger view.

Thanks for visiting my surroundings!
If you’d like to join Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post, click here to go to his site and read all about it.  There’s a great challenge every week for photographers, writers and more!

Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Weekly Image of Life: Seasons and Changes~ Red Leaves?

“The one red leaf, the last of its clan, 
That dances as often as dance it can,  
Hanging so light, and hanging so high, 
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.”
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834

Our Japanese Maple tree is green for most seasons in bloom~ from spring through summer.  In fall the leaves usually turn a bright, beautiful shade of red.
It truly lights up the garden with its seasonal change.

The Japanese Maple contrasts nicely with the strap-like green and white leaves of the Yucca below it.

Last year’s Japanese Maple in fall…

Last year…

But this year there were changes, even before we got to September.
Our normally green Japanese Maple leaves began turning a bronze-green color in July.
They’ve remained that color for the rest of the summer.  I believe it has to to with our extremely hot, dry weather this summer.  All of our plants have suffered in some way or another, even with watering.

Just this week I began to see a tinge of red around the leaf edges.
Perhaps we’ll get some red after all!  Changes!

This year…

“Change in all things is sweet.” ~Aristotle

The Weekly Image of Life post: Seasons & Changes, is brought to you by Island Traveler’s blog: “This Man’s Journey”.  Check out his post on Seasons & Changes, here, and join the rest of us…by sharing photos or stories of Seasons and Changes.  Each Wednesday, Island Traveler will post a new challenge.  Come join the fun!

Judy

COPYRIGHT

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine.
– Thomas Jefferson 

School friends together “Up North” in MIchigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Thanks to all the friends who’ve made my life full of Sunshine!  I love you!

Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Random

Since there was no official WordPress Photo Challenge this week, several of us are doing our own.  I followed Maggie’s path and did RANDOM.  Random can mean scattered, as in these scattered leaves from fall.

Scattered Leaves

I sit in the warm fall sun,
The wind whirling about me.
My face is upturned to
Feel the warmth
Of the rays on my face.
I welcome the sunshine
After so many days of rain.
The wind caresses and tickles,
Blowing my hair askew.
It sends leaves scattering
In a vortex of color
Around me,
And I am dazzled by
Their beauty.

Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Thanksgiving craft~

Good evening loyal readers!

This is a great craft for parents and children to do together….or for anyone of any age.
As with any craft,  there are many variations that can be used.

I found this craft activity on the net a month ago.   The original craft item is hanging leaves, as you will see when I give you the link.
You can choose to do leaves, as we are in the midst of falling leaves at this time of year, and I think the finished look is really neat.

I made a variation to show you another idea.  I made turkey feathers!  When I taught kindergarten, I found out that five year olds (and most children) are fascinated with turkeys!

Click here to see the original craft idea from KABOOSE.   (my directions vary from Kaboose because I wanted the feathers to look different)

MY HOW TO:
1. Using tagboard or heavy construction paper, cut out 7 feathers,  leaf shapes (or the shape you desire) Note: they do not have to be exactly the same shape! Just free-form draw them, or make one shape and trace it.  Don’t worry if they are different sizes.
2. You or your child decorate the feathers/leaves using crayons, watercolor paints, poster paints, markers, torn paper scraps, etc.
3. Find a twig or branch that is fairly straight
4. Use thin string or thin crochet “yarn”
5. Punch a hole in the TOP of each feather/leaf (in the top row) and tie a knot with the string there.  (make sure you have a long piece of string)
6. For each of the 3 top items, wrap the string around the stick several times and then tie it in a knot.
7. Punch a hole in the bottom of each feather in the top row.
8. Punch a hole in the top of each feather in the second row and tie them together, using a square knot.  Mine are about 3″ apart.
9. For the last feather….repeat the process ….as you can see in the photo.

**Thoughts: if this will be exposed to the outdoors, it may be a good idea to cover the feathers/leaves with clear contact paper, or…one of my favorite things: clear package wrapping tape.  KABOOSE suggests putting glue on each knot…. if your item is outdoors and exposed to humidity changes,  that is probably a good idea.

Have fun creating!  Let me know if you do this craft!.
Thanks for stopping by~ 

Fall Photos

Dear Readers…

The season is beginning to change rapidly here.  Most of the yellow maples have lost their leaves in our woods.  The red maples have lost their leaves within just the last week.  The Japanese Maple is the last to hang onto her leaves at this point.  It seems like it was a fast moving fall around here.

But we were lucky.  The people in the East had huge amounts of snow this past weekend and that would make it seem as though fall has disappeared.  My thoughts go out to those who have had quite a lot of weather to deal with in 2011.

The first photo is from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  It was taken in late September.  The golden Birch leaves make a good frame for the view of Lake Michigan.  The sun was not shining very brightly, which was perfect.   I was able to catch the sunlight in the leaves.  I had to maneuver around quite a bit under the trees to get to the right spot and the correct angle, so when I emerged from this photo I had leaves, twigs and probably some bugs in my hair!   For this shot I used my Nikon Coolpix S-8000.

I enjoyed finding the Beech leaf cradling the Maple leaf in the second photo.  I like the translucency of the leaf.   I moved slightly so the trunk of the tree in front was blocking the sun, yet the sun was still lighting the leaf.  I used my Nikon D-80 for this photo. Thanks for looking at the pictures!

Pumpkin Dessert recipe

My mom always made this delicious moist cake in the fall.  But why wait?  I think it tastes good all year!

Here is the list of ingredients you’ll need for Pumpkin Dessert: 1 box yellow cake mix, 1 & 1/2 sticks margarine, 3 eggs, 1- 14 oz.can pumpkin pie mix, 2/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. **If you cannot find pumpkin pie mix, buy canned pumpkin and use the recipe on the back to make it into pumpkin pie “filling”.  Usually you just need to add: sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.   Oven: 350 degrees.
The Recipe:
  the crust: 1 box yellow cake mix (RESERVE 1 cup cake mix)
1/2 cup (one stick) margarine, melted
1 egg
Mix well and press into lightly greased 9″x13″ pan.

the filling: 1- 14 oz can pumpkin pie mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
Combine until smooth and pour over crust.

the topping: 1 cup reserved cake mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine (1/2 stick)
Place ingredients in a bowl.  Using a pastry blender
or 2 knives criss-crossing, blend the margarine into
the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs.
Sprinkle crumbs over filling.  Bake @350 for 45-50 mins.
Or until cake feels slightly firm to the touch.
Serve with whipped topping!