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Hooded Mergansers

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Back In SE Ohio

I still haven't adjusted to the time change....  I guess it's no big deal...  I haven't had anything I've had to be "on time" for.  I don't know if it's because I'm older or what, but I just don't bounce back so fast.

I have managed to lose the 3.5 pounds I gained on that cruise....  don't know how much I'd have gained if we hadn't have walked over 35 miles.  But here it is, the end of September and we're in Southeastern Ohio.

Autumn doesn't usually hit southeastern Ohio quite this early (at least in my memory).  The prime weekend for the fall foliage is usually the 2nd weekend in October.  But at least in my mind, it's a bit early this year.

We're usually not here this time of year.  Since we became full-time RVers over 11 years ago, we've missed most of the autumn seasons in Ohio.

I'll admit.... I'm a dyed in the wool Buckeye.  I don't mean a fan of OSU...  I mean that my roots are deep in the Ohio soil.  Not just Ohio...  but Southeastern Ohio.  I get kidded about my "hick" accent.  I laugh...  okay...  I was born and raised just over 30 miles from the Ohio River...  West Virginia.  But, I'm not a West Virginian ..... I'm definitely an Ohioan.


I love this time of year....  the leaves start to turn into their brilliant fall colors.  In years past, I've watched the sumac turn their fiery reds first...  then the Virginia Creeper and the Poison Ivy follow suit...

Yep!  This is poison ivy...
And this time it's year it's quite beautiful...

And even better....
The birds will love the berries of poison ivy!
As much as I hate brushing up against this plant while the oils in it can wreak havoc with my allergies, I know that these berries will provide food for several species of birds during the winter.

Juglans Nigra...
Black Walnut....
One of my least favorite trees....
It's one of the last to get its leaves in the spring...  and one of the first to shed its leaves in the fall.  The fruit (walnuts) wreak havoc with lawnmowers.... and if you bother to pick them up before mowing, your hands will be stained black.
But....
The lumber from these trees is one of the best...
Walnut makes into beautiful furniture and other woodwork.

I wrote that it's a bit early for autumn leaves....
Sassafras
It's hardly more than a shrub, but eventually the leaves will turn a mahogany red.....
I've never really cared for sassafras tea but I love knowing that Mother Nature offers us so much.

What's This?
This is what honeysuckle looks like when it "goes to seed".

Most of us are familiar with it when it looks like this...
I think it's interesting that it will still produce flowers into the fall.... maybe it's one of those survival things.
I do know that this vine can choke out and kill the plants that you want to survive.  
It's not exactly like the Kudzu plant of the south, but it's still one of those plants we could have done without here on the farm.

Speaking of such...
While out and about today, I never came across even the first Bittersweet ....  
This plant is also a vine...  
But I liked it because I'd make wreaths out of it each year.

For 18 years, Bill & I sold various items at the local Farmer's Market.  In the fall we'd sell Bittersweet and Grape Vine wreaths... In the winter I'd make wreaths out of the conifers.

Sometime in the last year we had a huge branch come off an oak that is located just at the back edge of the field.
I don't know if lightning hit it or what...  but when I walked back there today I noticed that the Game Trail that has always crossed there has adapted to the dropped tree...
Guess this doesn't show it well....
But the trail is so well traveled I'd have no problem walking it.

We aren't sure how long we'll be here in Ohio this fall so I haven't put up bird feeders nor fed the deer or put out a mineral block for the deer and turkeys.

I've seen (and heard) several species of birds, and today even saw a Tufted Titmouse check out one of the birdhouses.  I haven't been able to get a good shot of the Cardinal
(The Ohio State Bird)
But if I do, I'll be sure to add it to a blog!


When we lived here, we used many "found" fruits to make jelly, wine or anything we could think of....
Pucker Power!
The Persimmon!
We have several trees growing on our property.  If you wait until the first frost to harvest this fruit, you can use it in preserves, puddings or other recipes.  
Personally, it's right up there with PawPaws on my list of "Will Not Eat" fruits.

But our persimmon trees bore fruit nicely this year.  
The raccoons will love them!

One fruit that Bill planted several years ago...
Several varieties of apple trees.
Two trees that have survived are now bearing fruit.
This apple variety is of the "no-spray" kind.  
I don't remember what year he planted these trees, but they never bore fruit while we lived here.
We've been gone 12 summers.... now the fruit, while not really big, is really tasty!  A nice, tart taste...  crisp!
This apple did not go to waste... I ate it shortly after taking this picture.

One last picture...
One of the maples that has begun it's transformation....

As you can tell, I love being here on the farm during the autumn season.

We no longer live in the old farm house....  haven't lived there for years.  
Don't even live in the house we built..  it's now a rental.
But....
Before we left to travel Bill put in an RV pad with a dump station and a hook-up at the edge of our old driveway.

So...
At least once a year we return...
To visit family...
To visit old friends.....
To check on our rentals...
And...
So I can renew my love of our farm...
And Southeastern Ohio....

That's All For Today!

7 comments:

  1. Love your fall foliage photos! It sounds like you thoroughly enjoy your RV lifestyle!

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  2. It looks like a beautiful area!
    Teri

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  3. So all you folks from southern Ohio talk that way?? We have good friends who lived all their lives in southern Ohio and they both sound more "hick" than me who grew up in Arkansas--now there's a "hick" sounding accent for you! Gorgeous fall photos!

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  4. Know what you mean; I have a buckeye in my heart, too. We leave all the fruit for the animals; apples for the deer and grapes for the birds. Beautiful pictures.

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  5. Seeing your windmill brought back memories. Was raised in Florida and there were windmills all around just like this one that would pump up water from the well for the cattle or to irrigate the orange trees. There were two of them a stone throw from my Grandma's house.
    Enjoyed all your fall leaves and neat about your apple trees!

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  6. We're having a lot of falling leaves already but it's mostly because the trees are drought-stressed. There isn't as much changing colors as there is in a good year. I have black walnut trees in the wooded lot next door but the walnuts are not a problem. There are hordes of squirrels harvesting them long before they drop. The thing I dislike about those trees is that the roots cause toxicity in the soil so not much will grow around them. It sounds like you have a lot of other kinds of trees to feed squirrels and birds. The apples look really tempting!

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  7. What a great blog!!! Going home. I like having a place to call my own, to fix the way i like & be able to come back to or stay. Guess i was not such a wanderlust type person as i thought i would be. But still feel like i want to go some where.... Ohio looks nice :)

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