Welcome to My Neighborhood

I told E it was cold this morning and she should wear pants when we go for our walk. However, she did not. She left wearing shorts and we had barely reached the sidewalk when she said, “Wait a minute, I’ve got to go bundle up.”

I waited out front and started raking leaves while she went inside to put on something warmer. I know it’s kind of crazy, but I enjoy raking leaves this time of year. Moreover, from what I can tell, many other folks do too…I’m talking mainly about kids, I guess. But then again, they are generally not raking, but building leaf igloos or jumping off swings into piles of fallen leaves. Anyhow, I do get the feeling that just about everyone around here is enjoying the season.

E came back outside wearing a heavy coat, but still in shorts. We started our walk and she asked me to walk faster so she could warm up her legs. I did but then I had to stop when I came across this building. It looks like a barn, but more than likely it’s a carriage house, because that’s what we have in our neighborhood…lots of run down carriage houses from when people went to and fro with horse and buggy. Whatever it is, I like it just the same.

 

Rustic building in my Kalispell neighborhood.

 

Then I saw these cheery sunflowers. It doesn’t matter that they will soon reach the end of their lives, they still lift their sunny faces to the sky.

 

I love the contrast of the sunshine yellow and blue sky!

 

We kept walking. This pretty pumpkin caught my eye. It looked so artsy sitting there on the concrete bench, I just had to take a snapshot. I took so long framing this shot, I kept waiting for someone to shout out the door and ask me what the heck I was doing.

 

I think it’s more designer looking that they didn’t pick a round pumpkin for this.

 

It was such a beautiful morning that we decided to walk around Dry Bridge. We wanted to get some cattails for fall decorating but had a little trouble breaking off the stalks. Perhaps I’ll go back another day and cut a few with a knife.

 

The cattails are on the other side of the pond.

 

After that, E and I headed back home. These crab apples caught my attention, so we had to stop again. From what I have heard they are so tart and sour, they are like biting into a lemon. Well, I like lemons. Honestly, I felt like knocking on the resident’s door and asking if they were going to let them all go to waste. I understand that they make a pretty fair jelly and considering my fireweed honey taste a little wild, but yummy, I am willing to give the wild apples a chance.

 

Crab Apples

When we made the turn towards home, we saw this little fella scamper up a tree with a peanut in his mouth.  I couldn’t resist taking his picture. After all, I’m still practicing my wildlife photography and he was eager to please.

Chitter chatter, what’s the matter?

E has cross country track this afternoon and wanted to jog the rest of the way home, so we did.

That’s about the size of it.

If I ever get my hands on some wild crab apples, I intend to try Mary Wynne’s crab apple jelly recipe (from Allrecipes.com).  I’ll let you know if I make it. You let me know if you do. Okay?

Ingredients

8 cups fresh crabapples

water as needed

3 cups white sugar

1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick (optional)

Directions

Remove stems and blossom ends from crabapples, and cut into quarters. Place them in a large stainless steel or other non-reactive pot or saucepan. Add enough water to be able to see, but no so much that the crabapples are floating. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The apples should soften and change color.

Strain the apples and juice through 2 or 3 layers of cheese cloth. You should have at least 4 cups of juice. Discard pulp, and pour the juice back into the pan. Bring to a simmer, and let cook for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that comes to the top. Next, stir in the sugar until completely dissolved. Continue cooking at a low boil until the temperature reaches 220 to 222 degrees F (108 to 110 C). Remove from heat.

Pour the jelly into sterile small decorative jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath to seal.

Till next time,

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