Sunrise, Sunset

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As if to compensate for the fading leaves, our late October skies exploded with color. Morning temperatures drew gauzy mists up from the lakes or created fog banks hunkering over the shore.

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The sky became a brilliant contrasting backdrop to the mist and fog, as the sun rolled up over the blue Camden hills.

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We have an unobstructed view of sunrise, but being on the southeast side of a ridge, do not see the sun drop under the horizon at sunset. No matter. We get a show just the same. As the old day heads toward nightfall, colors so extreme as to best be described as lurid or garish light up the western, then southern, then eastern skies. Honestly, this photo looks muted in comparison to the real thing.

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October’s variable weather, golden light, and temperature inversions contribute to these remarkable bookends on the day.

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Typical for this time of year, the weather has been fickle–summery one day, scudding clouds and rain the next, followed by a bit of frost and wintry air.

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The poor honey bees do not know whether to hunker down or get out and forage.

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There are still a few lingering flowers, but the bees go quickly from one to another, finding little on offer.

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Some are still bringing in pollen, however. I fed them sugar water for a few weeks to help them shore up their winter honey supply. I likely will slip in a fondant patty in a week or two, strap the hive down, build a straw-bale windbreak, and the bees will be on their own until early spring.

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Whether it is due to the bees’ pollination, the summer drought, or something else altogether, the fall berries are especially abundant this year.

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The milkweed is bursting out of its pods.

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The geese are migrating so high overhead that we can hear them well before they become visible.

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All kinds of mushrooms are springing up in the lawn after it rains, making me paranoid that Capp will eat some (he eats everything), vomit profusely, twitch a little, and promptly die.

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We continue to put the gardens to bed, and ready the orchard for winter.

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Capp helps cover the strawberries.

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The last of the carrots and beets.

I am absurdly proud of my little orchard nursery. All of the apple grafts that I clumsily attempted at the spring grafting workshop were successful and grew into impressive little apple trees.

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The grafted apples in May.

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The same grafted trees in October.

Next spring we will replant them in various places on the property. We will have more area cleared and ready for fruit trees, flowering shrubs, another vegetable bed, and a sitting area with some scattered perennial and annual flowers.

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Thanks to George’s hard work, the fence is almost finished. It looks like arms enfolding our garden and orchard.

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We still need to do some post leveling, attach the screen, and hang the gates. Once the fence is done, we will start looking for another dog to keep Capp company.

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It has been a busy fall, tempered and bounded by very bad and very good news from loved ones. Grief, happiness, and change all mixed up together. Bring on winter.

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39 thoughts on “Sunrise, Sunset

  1. Wow, when I think of all you did this year!!! The orchard, the gardens, the bees, the fabulous grafting! You’ve been busy. Winter may seem restful. I’m going to be putting gardens to bed this weekend, I hope. Capp is adorable. I have seen squirrels eat poison (to us) mushrooms and there don’t seem to be fewer of them. Maybe you don’t have to worry. Keep enjoying the sunsets. They’re gorgeous.

    • It sure has been a busy year–too busy, really. Once we get the fence in, we are looking forward to some quality down time. Capp doesn’t seem very interested in the mushrooms. Too many garden veggies, and quality rocks and sticks to entice him. But our vet said that she has had dogs with vomiting and even neurological symptoms from eating mushrooms.

  2. Wow, George, that’s alotta fence holes! Hopefully, he has a machine?
    Your photos are terrific – what a great catch-up post, I loved reading every bit of it. Love the passed out Capp at the end! 😀

    • George did the tricky ones himself by hand–near drains, septic, and in rocky areas–about 20 or so. For the rest, we had our local do-everything guy come in with an auger. Capp’s sleeping position apparently is a family trait–mother, grandmother and siblings are all “relaxed” sleepers. Belly-up, exposing all to the world–they are confident, relaxed dogs.

  3. Wonderful, wonderful photos! And, oh, that Capp! Aren’t you energetic to be getting another do? Phew! Puts me to shame. So sorry to read that there has been bad news.

    • There are always trade-offs, right? We certainly are not sheltered, although we are protected somewhat from the strongest winds by trees to our north and the hill crest to the west. I have always before lived in places where trees obscured most of the sky. Our immense sky here makes me feel as if I’m on a never-ending vacation.

  4. Beautiful photos of your fiery skies. We don’t get the full glory of the sunrises and sunsets here because of the trees, but I have seen glimpses of some gorgeous reds and golds in recent days. My bees have also been flying because this autumn has been so mild and sunny. But I’ve also ‘shut them up’ (so to speak) for winter after feeding them up. They should be strong enough to get through but of course I can’t do anymore now, except for putting some bee paste on. Your apple trees do look as though they’re thriving and the fence looks great.

    • Thanks Wendy. Although we have lived here for a year and a half now, I still am in awe of the sunrises. The stars aren’t bad either! Unfortunately, I cannot capture them in photos. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the bees make it through the winter. The weather predictions are all over the place for Maine, so nothing would surprise me.

  5. Congratulations on your apple-grafting success. Your sunrise and sunset colors are wonderful. Because I’m in the woods, I don’t get the great color views here. It seems to me that the milkweed, like the red oaks, have been particularly prolific in making seed this week.

  6. You two (3) have certainly been productive with your bees, your fences, your gardens – and whoa – your grafting! I bet you are ready for a winter break. And I love your care of your bees and of course your wonderful photos. I am hearing from friends and family all over the country about the fabulous light displays, at sunrise and sunset…ditto here. Sorry to hear about bad news. Thank you again, for your wonderful posts! Your cousin in California

    • We are more than ready for some winter rest time. I’m looking forward to some tranquil indoor activities. Wish we could band together and buy the homestead in PA. Thanks for your sympathy and your thoughtful comments Cuz.

    • You’ve inspired me to do some compost sifting. The previous owners put lots of peanut shells, mussel shells, and lobster parts in the compost. Everything else has broken down nicely, so George made me a sifter so that I can put the good stuff on the raised beds this fall.

  7. Wonderful photos, as always Brenda. What an amazing place you live in. Well done on the grafting success – how satisfying for you. I must give it a go some time. And George’s fence looks magnificent. I do hope life settles down for a peaceful stretch now (although if you’re getting another dog that mightn’t be possible!).

    • Thanks Sam. Somehow, the grafting seems almost like magic–splicing a root stock from on tree with a bit of branch from another, and watching them grow together into a new tree. It is satisfying. I believe we are about to settle into a slower pace for winter, but we keep finding new projects to dive into. At some point, things will slow down.

  8. I’ve just posted my sunset pictures and come over to see yours too, which are amazing. It’s good to see we are enjoying the same things so many miles apart! I am so impressed with your apple grafts they look so huge and healthy! Sarah x

    • Such colors in the sky this time of year–all over the world, apparently. Your sunsets are breathtaking. Lately we’ve also had some glorious moon rises. It has been a treat watching the grafted trees this year. I first thought that only one or two took. Then,slowly, on tree after another budded up. Through the summer they seemed to grow in spurts. Turn around and they were all another six inches taller. They feel like babies I’ve nursed along. They are all older varieties and I am really looking forward to harvesting their first apples in a few years.

    • It looks as though you had a truly memorable trip, Peggy. The tigers alone would have made it worthwhile. Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes. We had a fogged-in quiet day of cooking and eating. Our most exciting wildlife was the grouse that Capp inadvertently flushed on a walk.

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Marian. I am a sucker for berries and seeds. Fortunately, the former owners of this house apparently kept winters in mind with their plantings. So, I am fortunate to have lots of cultivated and wild plants that are beautiful all year. Capp is all puppy and keeps us on our toes. He is a marvelous little being.

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