I've known 'urban' hospitality living in Virginia in the early '80s, but our trip south to Arkansas this month brought a whole new meaning to Southern Hospitality. Mena, Arkansas has several home town cafes the best being the Skylight and the Mena Cafe and Vickie's up the road a piece in Hatfield. Here's the best part: homemade pie in every one of them! Too many kinds to remember. Our first visit to the Mena Cafe found the place closed on Mondays. As we sadly turned back to the car the cafe's door opened and out came the owner, her husband,her two daughters and twin granddaughters, inviting us to come in anyway 'if all you want is pie. We have pie. I'll go make a pot of coffee while you decide what kind you want.' Thus began a one week love affair with 'southern' pies: chocolate cream w/meringue, chocolate peanut butter, coconut cream, cherry hand pies, and so on. And on.
Fondly remembering the friendly people of Arkansas, I link a piece of pumpkin pie to ABC Wednesday in honor of the letter P.
JUST BEFORE THE DEATH OF FLOWERS,
AND BEFORE THEY ARE BURIED IN SNOW,
THERE COMES A FESTIVE SEASON WHEN
NATURE IS ALL AGLOW. anon
We've been away in spurts in September [Philadelphia to see Dr. Erica], October [Arkansas and points north] and when we went south the trees at home were still wearing some autumn leaves. I took these on our return to our neighborhood and Owasso Lake. I could stand and watch these golden leaves drop silently right before my eyes. On the way home I saw our neighborhood's elusive little white squirrel who unfortunately doesn't need to wear a bulls eye for the local hungry hawks.
Remember the old wild rose bush I found this summer near the railroad tracks? Fast forward to September when I acquired an old English china plate with a fall scene including rose hips. And a sprig of hips from the said wild rose bush. The seasons circle round and round.
Erica was in grade school when she got her first cat named Gator, a big orange and white tabby. Always a keen observer, Erica named the pads on Gator's feet 'pork and beans' because they were pink and bean shaped.
Fast forward about 25 years when I took this photo of a tired kitten enjoying the afternoon sun in the Germantown area of Philly in September. At closer inspection there were visible gray pork and beans. Seeing them made this empty nester not so lonely.
Laura Ingalls Wilder's observation of Midwest autumn beauty is a perfect frame for these sky shots I took this morning walking a wooded path, looking for deer again [visit yesterday's post]. Of course they had already eaten their fill and were napping somewhere else.
It seems the leaves have turned over night in our area or maybe it is that those that did are so vibrant against our clear blue autumn skies.The deer live among the red trees you see in the distance, below.
A contrast with the showy reds are the more shaded trees near the lake and their deliciously sherbet colored leaves. You'd tell me if I've photographed poison ivy, wouldn't you?
1. When you leave your camera at home you insure that there will be a deer sighting; maybe even a doe and a fawn.
2. Always have a Plan B.
This morning I took a walk in the woods around Island Lake to soak up the clear blue sky and the trees just starting to turn, some already bright yellow and red. Hoping to catch a glimpse of the deer I know live in one area, I remembered I'd forgotten my camera. That's when I saw a doe watching me just a few yards away. Along came her fawn and I blessed them both as they just stood watching me. Above is from another summer, same lake and woods with lens.
Still working on Plan B.
Nature is not a place to visit. It is home. ― Gary Snyder
Summer days are becoming just a hot, muggy memory. There's less daylight, fewer birds at the feeders and the lake water is warm and mossy in places. On a clear day at Island Lake I saw the sky and trees' looking at themselves in a mirror.
I caught this grandmother and granddaughter walking casually along another sandy beach in Alexandria.
Blue Heron sunning himself on the pier of Island Lake, so toasty he didn't fly away from my lens.
Wishing you a restful and fun Labor Day weekend. See you in September. . . and at Skywatch Friday.
I'm still remembering our trip through the Great Smoky Natl. Park, in particular Cades Cove in Tennessee. Below the sun is trying to break through the clouds and mist in one of the meadows along the Cades Cove trail.
This area was once full of early settlers in the 1800's.
Just around the bend as the sun was finally up, we began to see many deer .In this pic we came upon what looked like a 'good 'ole boy's club'--a meadow filled with young bucks with full racks, still covered with velvet.
Such a gorgeous color on these Cockscomb in Thomas Jefferson's garden. More beauty can be found @ Skywatch Friday.
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. -- Milton Berle
Another installment from our motorcycle ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop in Charlottesville to visit Monticello. Whenever I go to Jefferson's home the first thing I do when I get off the bus is visit the huge garden to see how the okra planting looks, especially the gorgeous blossoms they set. I am never disappointed.
They start with a soft red center and end up a deeper red below, with luscious pale yellow petals. Note the ripening okra in each photo.
Here's a view of a part of Jefferson's garden facing Charlottesville. The okra grows in the bright green rows to the far right of the gardener.
To honor Thomas Jefferson's red hair, I'm linking these okra shots to Ruby Tuesday.
Here are Blue Ridge skies from our motorcycle trip last week. We spent 9 days on the bike riding to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee then rode the full 469 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stopped in Charlottesville to visit Monticello and two days later we were back in Minnesota. There's no place like home!
These two captures are along the Parkway where those mountains were always blue.
Below is the sky seen from the hot pavement of the parking lot at Monticello.