I cannot add words that will enhance this view.


To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

When I went to Maine, the official purpose was business, a stamping seminar. But the reason I chose that particular seminar was because I had never been to Maine. And my favorite airline did not fly there, so I had to fly into New Hampshire, where I had also never been.  Add Vermont to that list, and it was just too tempting to not go.

I never dreamed in all my life I would be in that part of New England during peak leaf-peeping weekend, but I was. But I am not the type to wander around aimlessly, so for the Vermont portion of the trip, I decided to look for a couple of letterboxes that might lead me somewhat off the beaten path. (Many letterboxes tend to do that.)

So early Sunday morning, I checked out of my hotel in Portland, and headed to Vermont in search of two letterboxes. This took me to Wilmington, Vermont, by way of Brattleboro, and these are a few of the pictures.

The hillsides were a riot of color, but this picture might explain why there have not been and will not be any SkyWatch pictures from Vermont. That whole day was "November Grey," a color I coined when living in Missouri when the whole month of November looked like this.

The hillsides were vibrant with colors, but this photo shows why there has not been and will not be a SkyWatch picture from Vermont (or New Hampshire, for that matter.) I call this "November Grey," a color I coined when living in Missouri and the whole month of November looked like this.

I was still having camera problems.  For those of you kind people who expressed concern last week, the problems seem to be resolved now, but I am not exactly sure how. I never change my lens, so I did not know how it could be foggy inside, but I decided to open it up and give it a look. It did not seem to be, but that process fixed the problem I was having of it not wanting to take pictures unless fully manual, so I apologize that many of these are from the car. I did not have time to stop for everything. My time was limited anyway, and the weather was bad and getting worse. I did not want to get stuck alone in a place completely foreign to me and not know what I could do to get back. So please excuse the odd angles, etc. Be grateful I was not looking through the lens most of the time while I was driving!

Upon entering both Maine and Vermont from New Hampshire, I crossed these large bridges. I liked them, and it made me realize how much water there was. Water does not divide states around here!

Upon entering both Maine and Vermont from New Hampshire, I crossed large bridges. I thought they were pretty, but it made me realize just how much water is there. In the area where I live, states are not divided by water!


This is where I stopped to look for my first letterbox. The snow was just starting to get somewhat heavy. While I was there, the ground started to be covered. My sensible nature told me to head back, but when on an adventure of sorts, I might not always be sensible, so I went to the second letterbox.


This was the location of the second letterbox. I cannot even imagine the view from this place when there is visibility.


Back at lower altitudes, the snow changed back to rain. This was so typical of the houses I saw. I love the leaves in the yard and the pumpkins. Everything just looks so warm and cozy. (Because it was definitely not warm and cozy outside!)


This was the only covered bridge I saw. But I was happy for at least one.


Letterboxing does not use a GPS, but I had one, and after I found myself deep in the middle of nowhere, I just entered my hotel address in New Hampshire so I could find my way out. It did not take me out the regular direction, but through some remote back roads. I was so happy because I saw scenes like this.



Many of the blogs I visit get exquisite pictures of frost on autumn leaves and flowers. That would never happen in my part of New Mexico (too dry for much frost to form, even when that cold), so I couldn't resist the snow on the autumn leaves.


Again back in a lower altitude. I was so happy I was on back roads to see this view that is so stereotypical of New England in the fall. But what a wonderful stereotype!

Next week is Vermont, too. There was one thing I saw that I thought merited its own post.

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

This was my Weeping Cherry Tree. Somewhere in my 20’s I decided I wanted a Weeping Cherry Tree. When I moved into the first house I owned (with my husband) when I was 28, I knew I would have one. But I did not. That was Missouri, and landscaping is somewhat optional there. Most people have bushes and maybe a focal garden, but it is not required. If desired (or if it is all that one can afford), home owners just throw out some grass seeds and let that be their landscaping. I wanted my cherry tree in the back yard, and the entire time I lived there, I never landscaped the back other than herb and rose gardens against the house (and grass seeds everywhere else).

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

So we moved to New Mexico.  Landscaping in New Mexico does not involve throwing out grass seed. In fact, that would not grow. If one wants grass, s/he gets sod. And waters it… a lot. And one does not get that MUCH sod, because a lot of grass is not looked upon favorably in these parts due to the lack-of-water problem that living in a desert presents.  This means that people actually have to think about landscaping. But in new housing, although the front yards are usually done very nicely (with no grass a lot of the time), the back yards are left as sand pits. (Which is great for cats and kids.)

So when we moved here, I immediately decided it was time for the cherry tree. I had seen them dozens of feet tall in the East, and I needed one more than ever. I knew mine would  not get that big, but I needed it anyway. So when I saw it at the nursery, it was a necessity. (An expensive necessity.)

2008-04-06close-goldenlightSo I planted it, and put root stimulator on it, and watered it. I thought I would lose it the first year, but I did not. It always had pretty blooms, but it was never spectacular. Often it bloomed at exactly the time of year I went to Missouri, so I missed the best shows. But last year, my daughter was in school, so we decided to wait until summer to go to Missouri, and WHAT a show we got! It was the best of blooming I had seen (its 5th year with me). I took pictures of it, made cards from pictures, sent pictures to my friends and family in Missouri. It was so beautiful I could hardly stand it.

2008-04-06close-endofbranchThen the blooms faded and the leaves started to come out. But they never came out all the way. My beautiful tree died. After its most spectacular blooming season ever, it died before the leaves fully came on. It was a quick death, but how unhappy it made me. I have no idea what happened, but a honeysuckle on the other side of the wall that separates my yard from my neighbor’s yard (about 6 feet away) seemed to die as well. (It has come back pretty strong, and it never lost all of its foliage, but it had a rough summer last year.)

So this year there is no cherry tree, and as I see the pictures from last year, it makes me very sad.  Because they are so difficult to grow here (I have known others that lost theirs the first year), I am not sure I should make another (expensive) attempt at growing one. So for now, there is nothing there.

The stones are where the tree used to be.

The stones are where the tree used to be.

This summer, the flower bed will be bursting with sunflowers and cosmos, but right now, I wish for that Weeping Cherry!

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

This is not really about “my” world, but about a world I recently visited. I took more pictures there than I do here (at least of things I can post since I do not post pictures of my kids and their friends playing very often), and there were some very interesting things, so “My World” will be about Orlando for two or three weeks.

When I was flying into Orlando, I saw lots of water on the ground, and it was overcast. No surprise. But what did surprise me was large wooded areas with no leaves on the trees. I had no idea trees lost their leaves there.


Then later I saw a tree with orange leaves, fading from its peak of autumn glory… in JANUARY! Maybe I am the last person to know that Orlando has some form of autumn, but previously I never knew, so I thought it was interesting.


Right next to the “autumn tree” was some tree unidentifiable to me that had yellow flowers on it. It was amusing to me that one tree was in bloom, and the tree next to it was orange and losing its leaves.  What a different world from mine!



My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

click on photo to enlarge

In an earlier My World post, I mentioned Cottonwood trees and that I would probably post about them more as part of My World. Well, here I am with another Cottonwood tree post.

I take Chic to gymnastics in a neighboring town every Monday. When the trees were in their blaze of autumn glory, we noticed this tree. We did not have time to stop that day, but we KNEW it was made to be climbed. Since then on every nice day (most) when we had time (some), we have stopped to play in the tree.

click photo to enlarge


It has ten giant branch/trunks sticking out. Two more have been cut off. My girls love to play and climb here and usually pretend they are the Ingalls girls (as in Laura Ingalls Wilder) living on the Kansas prairie and making friends with “Indians.” The girls are in the first two pictures, so you can get an idea of the size of the tree compared to them.

Climbing trees are probably part of the everyday world of many of you, but they are not for us. They are special treasures.

A view of the mountain from the climbing tree

A view of the mountain from the climbing tree

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

Last weekend we went to the Purgatory Ski Resort with some friends who have a condo there.  This is a picture from the condo parking lot.

click on photo to enlarge

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

There has been a bit of a hankering in me to write something. This has NOTHING to do with NaNoWriMo or whatever it is called. I have never had a desire to write a novel. (Though will admit to some works of non-fiction rolling around in my head.) No, it just has to do with the fact that I have been too busy to do a post with real writing in it. Since I have started blogging, I have actually done a little writing, which I probably had not done (other than in e-mails) since college. It has been a while, so I sort of wanted to do that.

But I still do not have time.  Sunday is a heavy “work” day for me. It is  catch-up for all of the work I cannot accomplish during the week which usually involves financial things (personal, business and church) and cleaning up the piles that have amassed themselves all over my house during the week. Everyone pitches in to clean during the week, but no one cleans like “Mommy.”

And last night Prince Charming and I decided to go for a walk by the river this morning for some photo opportunities. The trees are incredible down there, and the lighting they provide fantastic. I do not ever remember seeing trees this spectacular since we moved here. (But must point out that I am away during the peak of fall color about half of the time.) So that has cut into my workday, which means there is no way I can write something substantial for this post. But I want to post anyway. So I thought and decided to just throw up a couple of pictures from our walk today, and a couple of random ones taken last week.

The first is Prince Charming and the Girls and Klondike (our very wonderful mutt who is 12-1/2 but acts about 4 or 5) walking through the trees. I love the light and how the humans/canine in the picture let the size of the trees show. (All of these pictures are taken with my only lens right now, the 55-200 mm.  After my last post, I am much closer to a decision about what to get to replace my broken 18-55 mm lens.)

click on photo to enlarge

click on photo to enlarge

The next picture was just a pretty one I got on the walk. I loved the branches hanging down.

click on photo to enlarge

click on photo to enlarge

The mushroom is so surprising here because it had a companion, and both were large (this one was about 5 inches tall). It was in the river valley, but not anywhere near the river. I really have no idea how it got enough water to grow. We have not had significant rain in about a month, I think.

The last one is a picture of my Google Reader screen yesterday. It was the 4th time in 3 weeks it was over 1000. (This time it was only 1034. Now it is in the low 800’s. I HOPE to get it below 700 before I go to bed tonight, but so far I have gotten no real work accomplished today, so work will have to come first. I just thought I would show you this because some of you were surprised that it did this.

Maybe next weekend I will write something. Until then, come back on Monday for My World and Thursday for Sky Watch!

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge


For My World Tuesday I put up a Cottonwood photo that was not yet in full autumn regalia, so I thought it might be a good time to post a yellow one–against our blue sky.

Our “monsoon season” appears to be over for real, so our skies look like this pretty much every day. The sunrises and sunsets are very pretty, but they are exactly the same every day. So my choices are to find something interesting to put in front of the sky or go into the archives. Today I thought this was interesting enough.

Below is a not-so-good picture of the “green mile” which is now the  “yellow” mile–the river valley filled with Cottonwood trees. I took it by holding my camera in the appropriate direction while I was driving, thus the bit of askew-ness.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

For those last week who expressed concern over my camera lens–I am still without an 18-55 mm lens. I am trying to decide if I want to replace it or get an 18-200 mm lens. I need to do something soon because shooting sky pictures only with my 55-200 lens is a bit of a challenge at times!

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures,  head to the SkyWatch blog hosted by  Sandy , Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Klaus.

I wrote a whole post for today explaining my blogging absence and catching you up on some things, then I remembered that My World Tuesday is really on Monday for me.

So there will be another post tomorrow. It is already finished!

Last week I showed you a picture of our mountain which is one of the defining things about where I live. Another is Cottonwood trees. They are not everywhere; they are mostly in the river valley. But they are big and impressive and have so much “personality.” (I love trees.) There are all kinds of things around named for them (even a mall). In the Spring, it seems like it is snowing from the “cotton” that comes from them.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

Right now, since we got frost last week, the river valley is yellow from the mile-wide section of Cottonwood trees that stretch as far north and south as the eye can see.

The above tree is on the edge of a pond at a local trout farm. We had a field trip there about 3 weeks ago, so the tree has just the first hints of yellow on it.

I hope to show you more Cottonwood trees in the future. In the winter, without leaves, they are amazing things.

My World is a brand new meme put on by the same people who do SkyWatch Friday. Go check it out and see the worlds of other people!