OH, TO BE BACK IN OCTOBER AGAIN – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Autumn Scenes


Autumn is our season, though for the past two years, it has been abruptly shortened by unusually warm weather and far too much rain. Still, we did get at least a week or two, which is better than nothing.

My favorite house in mid-October

The shed in October

The very end of October 2019 on the Blackstone River

Maple trees in late October at River Bend

Upward from the house to the road

Mid-October, on our road towards Rhode Island

IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING – Marilyn Armstrong

I was definitely feeling better.

For one thing, I noticed the house needed cleaning which I hadn’t noticed at all for the previous six weeks.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

There are more birds every day at the feeders and this morning, there was a big gray squirrel swinging from the wires. It appears that most of the birds have come back. I even saw a little Goldfinch the other day.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I think I missed Autumn. To be fair so did everyone else. I was thinking “Okay, but maybe I can finally get out of the house and do something.” I’ve been stuck in the house feeling really crappy for weeks and it seemed like a couple of days more and I’d be almost normal again.

That’s when Garry broke a tooth. I think it’s in his upper jaw and the doctor concurs. Talk about a lot of pain. I broke that tooth about 15 years ago and it was really bad. I ended a vacation to come home and go to the dentist.

During the two days ago from when I was beginning to feel better and Garry broke his tooth, he seems to have developed infections in one ear and a lymph gland infection too. He’s on the biggest dose of Augmentin I’ve ever seen as well as muscle relaxants, plus some impressive pain killers. Not surprisingly, he’s also sound asleep.

It’s cold today.

I don’t mean a little chilly. It’s a two-sweater kind of cold. Maybe it’s the dampness because it’s also raining. It was this cold last week, but it didn’t feel this nasty.

I finally gave in and turned up the heat to 67 (from 65). My bones were rebelling.

I feel more than a little put upon. I can’t get well from one illness before the next thing wallops Garry? Is this some kind of competition? It ain’t fair!

Meanwhile, Autumn has gone missing. There are yellow leaves, but no reds or orange. We’ve lost that delicious fall weather with a bit of cool snap in the air, the crunching of leaves underfoot — as well as the color. If ONE season had to go missing, why did it have to be the one I like most?

On the street where we live.

I did discover that hemp seed oil makes Bonnie stop barking without putting her into a stupor, so that’s good. In fact, she likes hemp seed oil so much, I could give her the whole bottle and she’d lick her lips and ask for more. I think the other two dogs are getting jealous.

And so it goes. The doctor today and the dentist tomorrow. Are we having fun yet?

Still water and the rush of the dam

Nonetheless, hope remains alive. We have one bright red leaf on our maple tree out front. A single scarlet leaf. It’s a promise that no matter how miserable it is now, it will get better. That red leaf is a promise of more and better to come.

These photographs are here to remind us of Autumns we used to have, back in those golden olden days.

A LITTLE BIT OF AUTUMN

The weather has changed. It finally feels sort of Autumny, but it doesn’t really look it. We had friends over today. Cherrie commented that she wonders if we are even going to get a real fall this year. I thought by today we’d be seeing real color, but there’s not much. I haven’t lost hope yet … but I think we can say this isn’t going to be one of the really great seasons. We may yet get a week or two of color, but …

I took a few pictures today. This is as much Autumn as I could find. Tomorrow, we are going to go get flu shots, so we’ll bring cameras. Maybe there’s more color over at the dam or on the canal. We can hope.

SHINY AUTUMN

SHINY – The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge 


Autumn. It’s my shiny season. From the day the leaves begin to change, I’m happy. It charges me up, makes me want to take pictures, go places, do things. Now, as August ends, I can feel October vibrating in the air. It doesn’t last long, so I hope it’ll be a good one.

These photographs are from October 2016.

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

THE CHANGING SEASONS: OCTOBER 2016 – NEW ENGLAND PEAK FOLIAGE

The Changing Seasons: October 2016


Hosted by Cardinal Guzman, this is a monthly challenge which shows the places we live and to which we travel — throughout the year and through all seasons. Locally, October is the unchallenged best photographic month. If you live in New England and you own a camera, October is when you feel you should be out there shooting, no matter what else is on your schedule. And basically, that’s what we have done. More than 2,000 pictures. Obviously, many (most?) remain to be processed … but these are some of the best.


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Garry and I take more pictures in October than we do in any other six month period. Those of us who live in New England feel a compulsion to shoot as much as we can while Autumn is in town. The foliage doesn’t last long.


The pictures in this gallery were all taken on either 4 October or 7 October 2016.

This year, autumn has raced by. The first color appeared in the trees during the first week of October and peaked this week. Now, in many areas, the leaves are falling. Trees will soon be bare.


This bunch of pictures were all taken two days ago, 18 October 2016 at River Bend Farm, part of the Blackstone Valley Historic Corridor park system.

We’ve been out shooting every other day since the first week of the month and we were out today. I think by next week, we will be past the peak of the foliage and heading for the bronze and bare trees of November and the winter that follows.


This final group, taken today 20 October 2016 by the Blackstone River and Canal. You can see the difference of color from just a couple of days ago.

With Garry and I shooting together and so many pictures, I hope you’ll forgive the “mix and match” of our photographs. I’ve indicated who took which shots in the caption.

What’s this «Changing Seasons» blogging challenge?


«The Changing Seasons 2016» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month. Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2017.
It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed.
These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

TheChangingSeasons_6367

LOCAL FLAVOR – OCTOBER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

OCTOBER AROUND MY TOWN

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Living in a small town, when the nearest “real” city is 70 miles away, you find yourself taking many pictures of “local” because that’s what there is to photograph.

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What luck that our local is also highly photogenic.

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Long before we moved to the Blackstone Valley, we used to drive up here to see the leaves and buy the biggest pumpkin we could find.

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This is October in the neighborhood.

LOCAL | WORDPRESS DAILY POST WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE
I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

BENCH SERIES: OCTOBER – 42

BENCH SERIES: OCTOBER #42

As usual, I’m late to the party. Nonetheless, in my continuing effort to catch up with life before it gets any farther ahead, I decided to give this challenge a go. I love taking pictures of benches and I have taken many through the years. Let’s see what I can come up with … Hmm.

Snowy bench in March

Snowy bench in March

March at the dam

March at the dam

Maybe I’ll have something more interesting next time.

The photographs are from last March. Although it was almost spring, our 10 feet of accumulated snow had not melted. The bench was still partially snow-covered and would be until April. We got a lot of snow last winter!

OCTOBER’S MONTHLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: CHANGING SEASONS 10

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons -10

Bob and I went to the dam today.

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I wanted to show him where the beauty spots are, though eventually I’m sure he will discover his own favorites. For now, I’m enjoying playing tour guide.

Into the woods from the back deck, through the last of the fuchsias.

Into the woods from the back deck, through the last of the fuchsias.

I also knew this challenge was coming up, so I took pictures with a mind to showing the changing seasons in our small town and nearby.

It’s autumn. It ought to be full-bore glorious trees of scarlet and gold. More like a rich pastel. The colors are stronger along the river, as they always are, but elsewhere, they are not the vivid display we expect in New England.

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Most people think the lack of color is the result of our continuing drought. It has gone on for at least five years. Even though we get a lot of snow in the winter, it’s barely enough to keep the rivers from completely drying up. Barely enough to keep the aquifer alive so we will have water in our wells and thus in our homes.

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Drought is a frightening thing. Scary for people, lethal for the wildlife. I haven’t seen a duck, swan, or goose since early spring. Today, there was a turtle sunning himself on a rock in the river. Usually, a turtle would be a common sight, but even the turtles have been rare this spring and summer.

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The rivers have been so low, it’s hard to imagine there are enough fish to support a single family of herons.

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The drought is not merely local. It’s national. International. The climate is changing. Our world is changing and we seem to be unable to do anything to help it or ourselves.

Cardinal Guzman, the host of this challenge, has totally blown us away with his gallery. Absolutely take a look. Amazing photography.

ON THE FLY: CEE’S ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE

CEE’S ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE: 2015 WEEK 40

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge (COB) is all about those great photos that you take which really don’t seem to fit into a common category.  We’ve all taken them and like them, because we just can’t hit delete and get rid of them.  There is never a theme to this challenge, so what is an odd ball is all up for you to discover and photograph.

Usually when I start this challenge, I have a pretty good idea what pictures I’m going to use. This time, I’m not even sure if I’ve taken the pictures yet. In fact, I think I’m going to go take a few right now. Back in a few …

It’s the very end for the fuchsia. October. Autumn’s in the air.

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And that’s all she wrote. For now. There’s so much more to come.

SHARING MY WORLD – OCTOBER, COFFEE, GAMES, AND POODLES

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #27

What is your favorite month of the year?

October. It has amber sunlight, scarlet maple leaves. Crisp air.

New England puts on her party clothing and sings hosanna. I take out all my cameras and run around like a crazy person trying to capture it all before it goes away.

Do you drink coffee at all?

In the morning. Two large cups. After that, no more until the next morning. BUT. Those two cups in the morning make the difference between waking up and spending the whole day in a semi coma.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I washed poodles. I developed a deep loathing for the smell of poodle shampoo. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was in the early weeks of pregnancy. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to tolerate that smell without feeling a little queasy.

List:  If you play video/computer games list 5 games you like? 

I play little bubble popping games on Facebook — which is pretty much all I do on Facebook. I used to play Caesar, Civilization, and a variety of “Sim” games. All of them were “improved” until I didn’t like them anymore, or they became unavailable.

I play computer versions of Monopoly, Scrabble, Life, and a couple of others, but I don’t think they count as video/computer games. They are merely computerized versions of board games.

MADAME ZTHULU, SOOTHSAYER, SUMS UP OCTOBER

In Retrospect – Yesterday you invented a new astrological sign. Today, write your own horoscope — for the past month (in other words, as if you’d written it October 1st).


As if yesterday were not bad enough, now you want me to write about this soon-to-be-over month as if it hadn’t happened yet — but like someone had the prescience to know what would happen. And write about it like a silly newspaper astrologer.

Well, the jokes on you because I used to be one of those silly newspaper astrologers. I quickly learned no matter what twaddle I wrote, someone always thought I’d nailed their life. A soothsayer can, it would seem, do no wrong. And really, this assignment is just a version of “What did you do on your vacation” turned backwards. Or sideways. Or something.

Hocus … … … POCUS! and WHOOSH. A puff of mist rises from the crystal ball. My eyes are wide, like saucers — small saucers like those that come with demi-tasse cups.

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Mist in the morning, Peachum, Vermont

“Madame Zthulu,” I cry, “what does this mean?”

“You will travel far and wide,” she croaks ominously. “But slowly, very slowly. You will see everything as you pass it. Your number is … ” And here she pauses and rummages in her sack to pull out a pack of cards with big numbers on them. I’m pretty sure I can see numbers on both side of the cards.

“Hey, aren’t those flash cards for learning multiplication tables … ?” I start to question her, but she cuts me off.

“HOW DARE YOU INTERRUPT MADAME ZTHULU,” she thunders. I crumble in the face of her wrath. Or is that wreath? She’s got a really nice wreath on the wall of the tent and I get up to look at it. I just love handicrafts.

“SIT!” she says, and points. “What was I saying?”

I sit. “You were going to tell me my number,” I say, humbly and quietly.

“WHAT?” She shouts. “Speak up. Don’t mumble child.” Child? She must be blind, not merely deaf.

“YOU WERE GOING TO TELL ME MY NUMBER,” I repeat.

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“Right you are,” she says and pulls a cards from the pack. “Your number is 28. You will travel either 28 miles — no that can’t be right — or maybe by route 28,” and she looks at me, apparently hoping for confirmation but I shake my head. Sounds like the wrong road, but I’m probably the wrong person to ask.

“Then,” she says, certainty returning to her tone, “You will travel at 28 miles per hour and do this for many hours, many days. But the scenery will be just gorgeous, really. You’re gonna love it.”

And she puts out her hand, palm up. International soothsayer-speak for “pay me,” and I do.

As I exit her tent, I realize it’s gotten terribly foggy . I’m completely lost. Again.

ALMOST HALLOWEEN

All Hallows Night Poem

It’s almost here, the spookiest, funniest, silliest holiday of the year. Halloween is the perfect kid celebration. Dress up in weird costumes. Harass your neighbors until they give you candy. Decorate the house in ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties. Not to mention things that go bump in the night!

Most of the pictures in the gallery are Garry’s and they are signed by him.

MONDAY — OCTOBER IN VERMONT

The mist is nearly gone ...

The mist is nearly gone …

As the rains washes the remaining leaves from the trees, autumn lingers in my photo files. It was a great autumn and I still have more than a few pictures to show you.

In the valley when the mist clears , you can see the farms and houses

From our grand tour of the White Mountains of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. October, 2014 is definitely one of the best ever.

Pink reflections at day's end

Pink reflections at day’s end

WORLD-SHARING, WEEK 36

Do you prefer reading coffee table books (picture), biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational?

Aww, c’mon. I read everything, including the back of cereal boxes. I guess science fiction and fantasy are my top two this decade, but history is a very close runner-up. With thrillers and biographies hanging in there too.

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I read all the time, pretty much. If I’m not writing or shooting or processing, I’m reading.

What is your biggest fear or phobia? (no photos please)

Spiders.

I have a couple of really creepy photos, if you change your mind!

What is your favorite cheese?

You keep asking hard questions. Well my favorite changes. Bleu cheese is a favorite, but right now it’s sharp parmesan. Sometimes, it’s Jarlsberg. Sharp cheddar is a perennial and almost a staple. Cheese — kind of a moving target!

What is your favorite month of the year?

October.

The Canal, mid October 2012 - Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

 

CEE’S SHARE YOUR WORLD WEEK 36