It’s That Time of Year…(October 11)

In the autumn sunshine, the wildflowers are finishing out their blooms…

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The days are still warm, though it gets cold overnight, and we returned to the forest trail at Eastern Knubble.

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Yep, that’s me, taking pictures of the ground…

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I just can’t resist the tiny magic that happens on a forest floor!

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We stopped at the mine, sorting through tailings speckled with flecks of gold and silver and copper…

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…and then wandered out to the shore to find urchins and sea glass and snail shells, oh my! It looked like a Hawaiian coast today, all black rocks and turquoise waters.

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We discovered another quiet forest trail near Roque Bluffs beach, where we munched wild apples as we wandered over trail and boulder…

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…making friends with the locals…

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…and admiring the forest treasures! Painted pinecones…

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…silvery lilac fairy mushrooms…

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…and peekaboo-turquoise downed branches!

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We found a new rocky shoreline to explore…

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…where Asher found an amazing little beetle in the seaweed…

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…and then took this whole series of pictures because, he said, “You guys just looked so cute out there exploring!”

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I’m still getting used to some things in this area, like tidal rivers! I tend to forget that the rivers that empty out into the bays are affected by the tides as well, and it takes a little getting used to, crossing a wide river in the morning and a mudflat in the afternoon…

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Or watching the river flow upstream as the tide comes back in…Or seeing the buoys and the boats sitting on the shore after the water has gone out!

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 A chilly fall day does not discourage my kids from enjoying a day at the beach.

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 “Mom, can I take my shoes off, pleeeeeeeeease?” Um, sure?

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To be fair, this did also result in a later bout of, “Mom, my feet are freeeeeeeeezing! Can I put my shoes back on?”

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But it’s just so beautiful, who can resist?

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The Red-Breasted Nuthatch is easily one of my favorite new friends, a spritely little chatterbox, ever busy from conifer to conifer, gathering and storing for the winter ahead.

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We’ve seen some incredibly beautiful raptors, like Bald Eagles and this graceful Sharp-Shinned Hawk…

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And a smaller but equally dramatic aerial predator, the Dragonhunter, who we saw during a rainshower at the laundromat, of course!

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There’s the Hairy Woodpecker, who looks just slightly different on this east coast than the west coast cousins that used to visit our backyard in Bellingham.  

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And there are snakes! But none poisonous, and so all very delightful…This strikingly-checkered little guy is just a variation on a common garter snake – isn’t variety wonderful?

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The fall colors have arrived, lighting up the countryside. A sunny day just sets the woods on fire as the maples and aspens and birches turn gold and orange and red and purple.

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Add in a side of sparkling water, and you’ve got yourself a generous helping of glorious!

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The blueberry fields are rolling red…

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And every riverbend is picture-perfect!

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And, guess, what? We’re under contract for a property! Just off of a quiet road in a small town, a grassy driveway curves away under an archway of trees, and leads to an A-frame cabin 🙂

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The best feature is…the trees! Eight acres of maple, poplar, birch, alder, larch, spruce, pine, cypress, and wild apple, nestled between the road and the ATV trail. Be still, my heart! 🙂

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Of course, she’s a bit of a fixer-upper, no mistake! But, it sure is beautiful to see the Lord’s fingerprint on it! He has put it in on our hearts to work with our hands, and we are greatly looking forward to all of the work that we will have to do, and that we can do, on the house and on the land. 

As we’ve waited for closing, we’ve been able to do a little exploring, to test out the utility systems and find the property lines, and it’s been delightful to see the mature hardwoods scattered throughout the forest…

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…the ferns changing with the season…

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…the amazing little mushrooms popping up everywhere…

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…a bizarre little creature that turned out to be a firefly larva…

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…and these ridiculously-adorable blue-fluff-flies! They actually turn out to be a benign type of aphid. They begin their life on maple trees, and then grow wings and fly away in search of alders to finish their life cycle. They are a major food supply for beneficial bugs like ladybugs and lacewings and parasitic wasps, and they are incredibly delightful in flight! We’ve already enjoyed several happy afternoons in the driveway catching and releasing these silly little wonderments!

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It’s definitely something to smile about!

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