Saturday, October 31, 2015

Local Saturday - Boo!

Today is October 31 - in the United States, it is Halloween.

This holiday has evolved from an ancient Celtic holiday to an occasion of children and adults dressing up in costumes, asking people in their neighborhood for candy ("Trick or treat!"), parties, and trunk or treat.

And, oh yes, decorating your house or apartment.

In our country, Halloween has become a decorating holiday only second to Christmas.  People will spend a lot of money on Halloween decorations - unlike when I was growing up in the 1950's, we might set out a carved pumpkin, but that is about it.

This blog post is my most visited - sadly, most visited by spammers, that is.  But if you click, you will see some yard decorating from three years ago, downstate (as we say) New York, in Yonkers, near New York City. I'd love to have some actual visitors, and comments, on that blog.

As for Binghamton, here is a front yard dressed up as a graveyard, complete with a beautiful red bush.
This is more my speed - zombie apples.

How about some spooky urban legends? Click on the one for Arkansas - I lived in the city they are discussing years ago, and I never knew of all the haunted areas around where I lived 30 years ago.

My home area of Binghamton, New York has its share of haunted places, too - and I've been to a couple of them.

But now, shall we change the subject?

We still have plenty of fall color in the Binghamton area of New York State.

Orange (just in time for Halloween).
And, even a late blooming rose.

Tomorrow, my Civil War Sunday is still on hiatus.  It will be the first day of NaBloPoMo - and you still have time to register, and join a community of hundreds of bloggers who commit to blogging every day.

Is Halloween a big deal where you live?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Falling Friday - Preparing for Winter

Fall, for some, is the most wonderful time of the year.

It's a time of beauty, of seeing how nature decorates.

But it is followed by winter, here in upstate New York.

Winter is a special challenge to the elderly.  I took a falls prevention class this past May and June.  I was (at 62) the youngest person in the class.

I was saddened, but not surprised, to find that many seniors in my falls prevention class do not try to venture out during the winter.

And here, in upstate New York, we have a long winter.

Why? Fear of falling.  

The falls prevention class taught us a number of techniques to deal with winter.  They include:

Taking our time in walking or getting to a destination.

If we know we won't be leaving a restaurant or store until dark, being sure we park under a light.

Keeping handrails on our outdoor steps firm. Using tread material on the stairs (which remind me, mine need to be replaced.)

Wearing boots with non skid soles. Totes makes them, and there are my L.L. Bean snow sneakers.

Walking like a penguin.

Making sure, if you walk with a cane, you use a winter tip.

We were told to consider Yaktrax or a similar product. These slip over the soles of your shoes, and provide a lot of traction on ice and snow.  My guest photographer, who lives in the countryside, swears by them.

I used a similar product one year, and had problems balancing on it.  I have not used Yaktrax.  One caution, though - on non ice covered surfaces, the yaktrax become quite slippery.  (You don't want to walk on your wood laminate floors with them on, for example.)

Or, you can use walking sticks, hiking sticks or hiking poles.  Our instructor explained these make you look sporty or fit. 

Sadly, watching someone use a cane brings up quite a different image in our society - the cane user is old, helpless, and other like stereotypes.  But snow poles?  It's athletic!  It's physical fitness! It's exercise!

But, for me and others, the fear of falling remains. 

Do you have any techniques for staying safe in snow you would want to share with my readers?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Fright and NaNoWriMo

It is the hour of decision.

Should I participate in an annual writing competition called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer's Month) this year?

I won't draw out the suspense.

This year, I am going to sit NaNoWriMo out, although my spouse is telling me that perhaps I should participate. 

Rather, for the first time in several months, I am going to join a blogging challenge - the similarly named NaBloPoMo.  In that way, I can continue the daily blogging I enjoy doing (usually) through, at least, November.

No pressure, no word count, no problem!

For my Throwback Thursday, this post from October 31, 2013 is perfect - it combines Halloween decorations with my then-preparations for my second NaNoWriMo.  The fright I was experiencing is the fright all writers experience at one time or another.

Fright and NaNoWriMo

Today it's Halloween.   A time for decorating, for trick or treating, for pretending you are things you aren't. And to prepare for a writing marathon.

Halloween decorations have become so popular in the United States these last few years, that you find them almost everywhere.

In Northwest Arkansas, for example, when I visited in August, some decorations were already up. (this was in a Wal Mart parking lot.) I loved the hay bale jack o'lantern.
I found another hay bale jack o'lantern at a local Southern Tier of New York dairy farm.

Here in upstate New York, bushes are covered in fake spider webs. Pumpkins rest on porches.  Inflatable witches rest in some front yards.
In a downtown Binghamton apartment, a space under a window has been transformed into a graveyard.
On the West Side of Binghamton, another front yard graveyard.

This is "fake" death and fright, though.  Sometimes, the scary truth is just a few hundred feet away.
In downtown Binghamton we have a 9/11 monument, complete with a girder from the former World Trade Center.  Knowing that there are groups who would love nothing better than to inflict this kind of pain on the world (and having just done so, in Kenya, not too long ago) is truly scary.

And, there is one more type of fright.  The fright of the writer facing a blank computer screen.

Tomorrow I start my participation in NaNoWriMo. This requires me to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Last year was my first time, but this year I am actually a bit scared.  Will I be able to write 50,000 words devoted to a memoir?  I've already written some 20,000 words of memory in two previous Camp NaNoWriMos.  But this is the big time.  My reputation is at stake. I have fans rooting for me! I have writing buddies!

Gulp. Nothing Halloween can scare up for fake fright can compare with this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall Fancies - Nature's Coloring Book

Here it is, October 28, and our trees in upstate New York are still proudly displaying fall color.

Consider this selection, from the past three days:

A Japanese maple, on the west side of Binghamton, New York.
A magnolia, near the Broome County Courthouse in Binghamton, New York.

A selection of young trees on the campus of Binghamton University.

And my personal favorite - I have no idea what kind of bush this is, but I love what nature has doodled within its leaves.  No, this is not an exotic houseplant.  It's ore like Nature's coloring book.

Alas, for us, the fall season is almost over.  On the hills surrounding Binghamton, more and more trees are bare.  Here in the valley, it is almost a matter of days. We've already had several frosts. We've already had our first snow (no real accumulation, but just wait a few days).

Winter is just around the corner.  Soon, white will reign.

Enjoy the color while you can.

To that end, my "falling Friday" will celebrate more fall this Friday.

What is your weather like today?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Will I Take the Writing Pledge?

On Sunday, an annual competition called NaNoWriMo begins.  This is a competition against yourself - writers are challenged to write 50,000 words during the month of November.  The aim is to write, not to edit, not to perfect.

I've participated three times - in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  I do not know if I will try to participate this year.  On the one hand, my time is limited.  On the other hand a lot of people's time is limited.

If I write, I have more words written than if I don't write. 

If you look below, you will see the pledge NaNoWriMo asks us to take this year.  The part about the mockery if you don't succeed rubs me (to use a cliche) the wrong way.  I am way past winning or losing - until I realize I am not.  I'm sure it's meant to be light hearted, but right now, it is hitting a nerve.  A deep nerve.  Because I haven't won by winning three times.

I've been a "rebel" in the past, writing non fiction (a memoir) one year.  Last year, I wrote what started as a dystopian novel of Brooklyn in the 2060's, and that manuscript still, sometimes, calls to me, asking me to revisit and edit.

Believe it or not, my long suffering spouse doesn't mind if I try it again, despite obligations that take up an increasing amount of time.

But will I do it?  

I have never brought out any of the other manuscripts to edit and try to polish up, either.   NaNoWriMo, for me, would just be a rerun, and not an opportunity for growth.  If I want to grow as a writer, I must grow past untouched manuscripts on a laptop.

I will announce my decision on Thursday. 

In the meantime, I will leave you with the pledge participants are supposed to take this year.

"I hereby pledge my intent to write a 50,000-word novel in one month’s time.
By invoking an absurd, month-long deadline on such an enormous undertaking, I understand that notions of “craft,” “brilliance,” and “competency” are
to be chucked right out the window, where they will remain, ignored, until
they are retrieved for the editing process. I understand that I am a talented
person, capable of heroic acts of creativity, and I will give myself enough time
over the course of the next month to allow my innate gifts to come to the surface, unmolested by self-doubt, self-criticism, and other acts of self-bullying.
During the month ahead, I realize I will produce clunky dialogue, clichéd characters, and deeply flawed plots. I agree that all of these things will
be left in my rough draft, to be corrected and/or excised at a later point. I
understand my right to withhold my manuscript from all readers until I deem
it completed. I also acknowledge my right as author to substantially inflate
both the quality of the rough draft and the rigors of the writing process should
such inflation prove useful in garnering me respect and attention, or freedom
from participation in onerous household chores.
I acknowledge that the month-long, 50,000-word deadline I set for
myself is absolute and unchangeable, and that any failure to meet the deadline, or any effort on my part to move the deadline once the adventure has
begun, will invite well-deserved mockery from friends and family. I also acknowledge that, upon successful completion of the stated noveling objective, I am entitled to a period of gleeful celebration and revelry, the duration
and intensity of which may preclude me from participating fully in workplace activities for days, if not weeks, afterward."

Are you going to take the pledge?  Do you plan to participate in NaNoWriMo?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Music Monday - A Farewell

Last week, we in upstate New York and around the world said goodbye to a singer of a group called Three Dog Night.   They were formed in 1967 and they were a part of my high school and college years.

One of their original members, Cory Wells, died last week at the age of 74, apparently from an infection related to his battle with multiple myeloma.  Cory had not wanted his fans to know he had cancer.

Wells was a native of Buffalo, New York.

I wanted to pay tribute to him on my Music Monday, realizing that many of my readers are not from the United States, and may not have been alive during the time Three Dog Night was popular.

But, one of the things I loved about Three Dog Night was their harmony.

Here are some songs where Cory sang lead.

Eli's Coming - a Laura Nyro song, and my personal favorite.

A live version of a song called Celebrate.

Their version of a 1930's song - Try a Little Tenderness.

And finally, a favorite of many - Joy To The World.

Cory was one of many music artists who have passed on in 2015.  They will all be missed.

That concludes my Music Monday feature - it's been fun, and I will leave future music posts to the expert music bloggers.  It was fun, though, and I may still do it from time to time.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Civil War Sunday - A Winery

Today, on Civil War Sunday, I am going to be lazy and let another blogger do the writing.

Actually, I was fascinated by this post because of visiting Manassas, Virginia, the site of the first major land Civil War battle, back in July of 1861.

The Battle of First Manassas, in the South.

The Battle of First Bull Run, in the North. (Yes, we even named many Civil War battles differently, depending on which side of the war you were on.)

And then, in 1862, there was a second battle, almost (but not quite) in the same place as the first battle.  That kind of thing was not unusual in the Civil War, sadly.

It is so important to preserve history.  And this is where a winery, located on historic land, may help.

The entire area is full of history - and, something I never realized, wineries.  It will be worth a trip for "one day".  I am grateful for this blogger, whose link I feature today.

So today, for a change, enjoy a story about history - and wine.  

Whatever works to preserve history....

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Local Saturday - The Last Call of Summer

This is, for many farm stands and farmers markets here in upstate New York, the last week of normal operation.

Our growing season is over.

Right now, the markets are bursting with fresh produce picked right before the frost. We are so fortunate to have a bounty of local food and a generous harvest this year.  It was a great year especially for a crop our area depends on, apples.

But in another week, the tents will fold.  The buildings with their now-overflowing bins will lie empty.  People will sit in their living room and dream of a bounty that will come again, hopefully, next year.

Today, though, we still have bounty. These photos were taken today at Frog Pond Farms near Bainbridge, New York.  You have to be careful of what you buy there - some of the produce is of good quality, some is not.  But the prices are right, especially if you buy in bulk.  And, the market is quite child friendly- a wonderful place to bring the family.

This morning, in the unheated building, it was bitter cold.  I was wearing my winter coat, but I am not used to the seasonal weather quite yet.

My spouse and I were greeted by winter squash and pokemon pumpkins.

Brussel sprouts - not my favorite, but  they make a pretty picture, don't they?

And finally, peppers.

We are hoping that, by next fall, we have a year round indoor farmers market.  Ground was broken on it this week.  It is long overdue.  People without cars can not reach Frog Pond - and there is a great need in Binghamton, and nearby communities, for this bounty.

And now, it is winter's turn to reign.

Do you have access to locally grown food during your climate's growing season?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Falling Friday - Never Too Young

A father should never have to bury his son.  But, thanks to a fall down a flight of stairs at home, with resulting brain trauma, someone in my high school graduating class had to do that earlier this week.

His son, a beloved gym teacher in Queens, was 39.  He left a pregnant wife and a young son.

His friends and family wonder "why?"

A life cut short is tragic. We all mourn the death of a young person, the death of a child preceding the death of his or her parents, because it is not part of the "natural order of things".

But now, let's fast forward some 50 years.

In a normal week, I probably would have blogged instead about Bob Barker, the long time host of the American game show The Price is Right.  Barker, now 91, tripped and fell outside his home and hit his head on the sidewalk.  Two police officers happened to be passing by and witnessed the fall.  They called an ambulance, so he got immediate help. 

I remember Bob Barker so well on The Price is Right.  He hosted the show for 35 years, into his 80's.

People would say "he was old, people fall when they are old and it is the natural order of things".  Bob Barker cut his head and hurt his knee.  It remains to see if this injury impacts the remainder of his life. It so easily could have been a brain injury, too.

It is never the natural order of things to fall.  At 39, at 91, it is equally tragic.

Do not ever minimize the power of a fall.  It is an equal opportunity killer. 

Education is the first step.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday - The Hunger that Will Not Die

A perfect throwback post from March of this year.  It is obvious (once you read the post) that the friend found spring.  But now, the seasons have turned, and we are almost at winter again.

Halloween is only a little more than a week away, and the topic of snow zombies is perfect.  At the end of a harsh upstate New York winter, this is what you should expect.

I only hope we can escape the Zombied Snowcopolyse this coming winter.

And now.....The Hunger that Will not Die, with photos by my guest photographer.
 .  .  .

Near Binghamton, New York, the Third Week of March of 2015, wrote the survivor in her blog.

Day #917 of winter (or so it felt.)
Oh yes, it is pretty out there in the countryside where the guest photographer lives, the diary continued. But don't be fooled by those pretty icicles in the picture.

Here's the sad truth, she wrote.

Zombied out people, sick of snow, sick of no green, sick of shoveling, sick of nights still dipping into the teens, have left for the Carolinas to search for spring.  "Spring.  We must have spring!", they cried as they left.

"Spring is the hunger that will not die." the blogger explained just before she left with her spouse, too

They drove away, leaving her to the mercies of the snow, the wind.
The guest photographer knew she was one of the few survivors of the Zombied Snowcopolyse.  Now she decided to hunt in search of Spring, accompanied by her favorite dog.

Alas, she will not find Spring today. Or tomorrow.  Or, apparently, anytime soon.

But then she got this picture from her blogging friend.

"I found spring!", her friend said. "I swear to you I will bring her back to upstate New York."

So, our story ends here for now.

Will she soften the hard heart of Spring?  Or, will the guest photographer continue to fight through the Zombied Snowcopolyse?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fall Fancies - The First Finger of Winter

Thank you to everyone who commented on my blog post yesterday. It may be a few days before I can respond to the comments but I appreciated everyone of them.

And now, to fall fancies.

On Saturday and Sunday, we had our first snow where we live near Johnson City, New York.  This was nothing compared to some of the regions in what is called the "snowbelt" but snow will cover our ground soon enough.

How much snow?  Check this out (look for "Binghamton").

While taking in some plants Saturday (we had our first frost later that night), I saw the first of the snow falling.  Of course I had to post the fact that it was snowing on Facebook.

It was the first finger of winter, tapping us softly on the shoulder, saying "hey, look at me!  I'm BAAAACCK!"

Soon, I'll only mention the weather if "it's NOT snowing!"
Sunday, up on a hill, I took these pictures.
The white on the roof is snow.

Meanwhile, trees continue to turn.


This is called a "burning bush", for good reason.

I was almost going to post a tribute to my dead flowers, but I thought I would save that for another day.

How is the weather where you live?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Preciousness of Time

I regret to report that my mother in law's friend, who made the decision to no longer use the device needed to keep him alive, passed away on Sunday.

Hemingway said "Write hard and clear about what hurts".

I have a story to tell.

Once upon a time, there was an author, a retired college professor up in Alaska, who I cyber-met during an author's blog challenge.  I started to read her blog, and enjoyed a couple of her weekly writing features. One was a book she was writing, one weekly blog post at a time, about an alien stranded on a prehistoric Earth. She seemed like the Iron Woman of Blogging.

She had blogged daily for some 10 years, despite being treated for cancer.  Sometimes she talked about that, but not that much.  She continued her writing, her tweeting.

One day, she admitted the cancer had returned, but remained upbeat after treatment.

One day, seemingly out of the blue, she stated, matter-of-factually, that she was terminally ill, and was trying to find a "literary executor".  The weekly book suddenly accelerated, but the writing was weak and sloppy - the writing of a woman who was trying to do too much in too little time, with a body that was no loner supporting her efforts.

The blogging stopped.  A couple of months later, she was dead.

The tweeting continued - obviously, the tweets were scheduled far in advance.  It was sad, seeing those ghost tweets, and knowing the person behind them was dead.

She's been dead almost a year now.

Why am I thinking about her today?

It's because I have blogged daily since 2011, but I've lost my reason for the daily blogging, a reason that was intensely personal.  Suffice it to say that the reason no longer exists.

I'm afraid, with the blogging habit so ingrained, that if I miss even one day, I will never blog again.  I don't think that is true. I've put so much work into this blog that I don't want to lose it.  I don't want to lose my readers.  I enjoy many of them, even if I don't respond to all my posts.

There's really no need to blog daily.  Many bloggers have successful blogs publishing on regular schedules, several times a week.

But I think of that woman, and her ghost tweets, and the rapid end to her 10 years of blogging.  In the end, it meant nothing.

I should be upbeat - I should be taking inspiration from writing this post.

But I'm not.  Time is more and more precious every day, and less and less of my time is my own.

But, like so many other bloggers, I have a story to tell.  And for now, I will continue to tell it.  Whether it remains to be told daily, that is a decision I will make in the coming days or weeks.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Music Monday- Every Lyric Tells a Story Story

Today, for Music Monday, I would like to share some of my favorite story telling songs with you.

I hope some of these videos will stir some memories for you.  Warning, some of these songs are long - but after all, it takes a while to tell a story.

One of my favorite story telling songs of all time - City of New Orleans, written by Steve Goodman.
I so love the lyrics.  By the end of the song, you will mourn the decline of train travel.

And the sons of Pullman porters
and the sons of engineers
ride their fathers' magic carpet made of steam....

Simon and Garfunkel, a folk rock duo from the 1960's and early 1970's, had a hit with a song called Scarborough Fair/Canticle.  The song consists partially of a traditional English ballad (Scarborough Fair) and partially a  anti war song Paul Simon wrote in 1963 and rewrote for this (Canticle).

The intertwining of the two sets of lyrics is remarkable.

Speaking of Simon and Garfunkel, I also love a song called The Boxer, down and out on the streets of New York City. In this live version, they sing an extra verse that wasn't in the original studio version.

I am older than I once was
And younger than I'll be; that's not unusual....
After changes upon changes
We are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same

One more story for you, this time, a true story.  I know people who can not stand this song.  But as we are coming up on the 40th (November 10, 1975) anniversary of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald...well, I hope you like the story as much as I do.

Do you have a favorite story-song?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Snow No

Yesterday, I was preparing for our first frost.

I was scurrying around after a busy day - the morning spent with my brother in law who has autism (I will blog more about that later in the week, perhaps), the afternoon doing various things including a walk on the west side of the small upstate New York city of Binghamton, New York.

Frost threatened so I said goodbye to my flowers.The Japanese anemones.  My mums.

 My nasturtiums.

 Meanwhile, my spouse harvested the last of our basil (he had efficiently stripped the leaves from most of the plants by the time I could grab my phone to take a picture.)

As I was taking in selected hanging baskets that I was going to attempt to save, this white stuff started to fall.

It was snowing.

Snow no.  After our tremendous fall - after temperatures being in the 60's F (about 15.5 C) last weekend, it never got past 45 degrees (7 Celsius), with biting winds, today.

I wore my winter coat for the first time.  The chill is still in my bones.
And I cut my last bouquet of flowers I knew would not survive the night.

May these memories tide me over during the winter to come.

And come it will.

I must end this post on a sad note, acknowledging the death of the son of a man I went to high school with due to injuries suffered in a fall a couple of days ago.  I will blog more about this on Falling Friday.   His significant other is a childhood friend, and reader of this blog.  May they both find comfort in the coming days.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Local Saturday - True Colors

Again, for my readers wanting more fall foliage pictures taken in the Northeast United States, I am happy to oblige.

Last week, my guest photographer took a trip from where we live in upstate New York to Massachusetts.

She did all the work - I did all the enjoying of her photos sent after her trip..

Now you, my blog readers, will enjoy some of her fall highlights. 

Some of these were taken in upstate New York, others (I don't know which) in neighboring Massachusetts.

A glowing close up of leaves.
A farm hidden in the hills.
Brilliant trees.
Do good fences make good neighbors?

Fall is so precious here because it is so short.  I'm not talking about astronomical fall, but weather fall.  It's nature's apology for what is to come.  And, winter will come too soon.  Snow in our higher elevations is possible in tonight's forecast.  Today, a high of 44 F (6.6 Celsius). Tonight, a freeze, perhaps, low of 28 (-2.2 C.)

Once frost strikes, the color progression will accelerate.  Strap in.

More views of fall tomorrow.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Falling Friday - These are Its Colors Bright Red and Yellow

Today, I will take a break from my Falling Friday (seniors falling) to talk about a nicer type of fall - autumn.

I work in a downtown of about 47,000 people, in a small city, Binghamton, in upstate New York.  We have our share of buildings (some being restored, others still vacant and waiting for a better day.)  But downtowns are more than buildings.

Many of my readers do not live in areas with the kind of fall color we enjoy in upstate New York.  So, as a "thank you" for your readership, please consider this as a visual reward for your reading loyalty.

What kind of fall color can we find at noon on a sunny October day?
A downtown ginkgo, with its beautiful fan-like leaves.

Another yellow tree, perhaps a locust.
Near the Broome County courthouse.

Meanwhile, only a couple of miles away, the hillsides have colored up nicely.

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, a fiery tree on the West Side of Binghamton.

Do you want to see more fall color for my Local Saturday feature tomorrow?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day Oct 2015 - October Surprise

It's the 15th of October, which means that today is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Hosted by an Indiana blogger, May Dream Gardens, gardeners from all over the world gather to show the world what is blooming in their yards or on their windowsills.

This year, we have had a warm fall this year, with above average temperatures.  We missed the horrific rains that caused massive flooding in South Carolina.

But change is just three or so days away here in my zone 5b garden near Binghamton, New York.

By the weekend. what you see in these pictures will be withered and brown.  These are the last of my flowers.  Most of my blooms are already brown or bursting into seedpods (like my blackberry lily).

The October garden speaks to me and says "Seize the flowered day, for the gardening season of the North is fleeting, and winter is just around the corner.  The low clouds of November are upon us."

But for today, let's enjoy some peeks of sun....

Japanese anemones.

My precious red dahlia, given to me many years ago by a friend no longer with us.

Blurry begonias.  I got this hanging basket on clearance from an Aldi supermarket (dying) and it did so well for me after some Tender Loving Care.
A volunteer petunia, hiding behind a pot in my backyard.  Surprise!

Last but not least - a camilla.  Yes, in upstate New York, a camilla.  A hardy camilla, April Rose, purchased in Chapel Hill, North Carolina this past March.  This is our hope for the future.  A hope it will survive our harsh winters and bloom.  Visit me again next spring and see!

If you visit May Dream Garden's website, you can visit gardens from all over the world.  You owe yourself a moment to stop and look.

Go.  Now.

If you have flowers in your house or yard - what's blooming for you today?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fall Fancies -Almost the End

Fall will be so short this year.

It's hard to believe we will have our first frost by Saturday or Sunday.  Probably, our first freeze, too.
Upstate New York, near where my mother in law lives
The weather has been so summer like here in upstate New York.  But yesterday, the low clouds moved in.  The end of summer is here.

I want to share some photos taken by my guest photographer, who lives in a rural area near Binghamton, New York.

Here's a closeup taste of fall here in the Northeast.
Isn't the countryside beautiful?
Where will this road lead next?

You can say the same about life.

But that isn't all.

Tomorrow is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Stop by and see what is blooming in an upstate New York garden, just before frost.

Thank you for stopping by.  The next several days may be hectic for me, but even if I don't comment on your comments, I still appreciate them.