Autumn settling in

Autumn is settling in, with colors vibrant throughout the woods… Unless you’re on Zen.. We tend to go from Green to Brown.. Jolly..

We do have a major change in our skies however. Sitting on a summit , you tend to see far more sky than any ground coverings anyway if you are sitting in our living room.

Summer skies tend to be fairly bland, unless there is lots of smoke, then the sunrises are somewhat spooky.

Once we start getting clouds moving through again, I tend to take a lot of sunrise pictures…all the way up to when the cloudless skies of late spring hit….

So, we may not have pretty trees and bushes with all the reds and golds that you see pretty much everywhere else, but we do have our skies to herald the changes.

Once the season comes back around,

As Summer fades and Fall settles, you see more golds rather than reds over all, though with every rising sun there will be changes

and Yes, we do see the sunsets as well ,
but I tend to pay more attention to the rises…. I prefer new beginnings to endings.. Getting old… Besides,, most days I’d have to buck the wind to try to get nice pics and not that big of a fan of eating dirt. Still too dry up here even with rains coming in every week now… more mist than rain but for us it is always a big deal.

So, anyway, I do take a lot more pics once things start to cool down.

We still have a lot of animal movement ; elk , deer, coyote kids, caw caw kids and , of course, our hummers. Funny thing is, I tend to think of that along the lines of selfies; no real need for them. If I want to see what I look like, we have a mirror.. though I tend to stay away from the bitch… Same goes with the kids. We have deer here around the clock. If I see a nice looking buck, or a new baby, or if they are doing something silly, or, of course, if I can catch them in a sunrise pic, then it’s a go… Otherwise I tend to just chat with them.

Elk, I take more phots of, mostly because they normally tend to be offish ..

I happen to go down into our pasture to take a sunrise picture, something I usually don’t do as that is when all the kids around around and they need water more than I need another picture, but the deer hadn’t come in yet and I could hear the elk down a ways below the berm so I figured it’s be cool…

While taking the snaps

I had a cow elk come over the berm. I was absolutely busted. I am standing in a pasture with the only thing to hide behind being a 4 foot fence post…. She, however. looked at me, some fifty yards away, then turn back to watch the sunrise with me,

We watched until the sun broke over the ridge, then we both felt satisfied and turned , pretty much together, her heading back down to the herd and myself, back up to the house.

The following day, I thought I’d take pics from down there again, absolutely pissing off over a dozen does. Seems they aren’t as impressed with sunrises as the cow or I am… I got dirty looks the rest of the day for that.

With October coming in, the deer are starting to form larger grounds. While we normally see a fair amount of does and fawns, once it gets chill, we see them in small herds, usually some nine to a dozen. Many years, the girls hang around the house, bringing in the bucks for us to watch…. I sometimes think that one of them goes into the shop at night to check the freezer to make sure that they can chase the does without worrying if I’ll top the freezer off.. But, once again, the freezers are packed to the rims. Once we make pasta sauce , I’ll finally have room…. too late for bucks to have to worry.

IN the kitchen

I managed to make up the chicken stock this week. I had enough carcasses to fill our 22 quart roaster then added water around them.. it was packed….. We got some seven quarts of ready made soup starter; meat veggies and broth, I’ll still need to season as I don’t want the stock pre-seasoned and it was, of course, all cooked down at the same time. And then 16 quarts of chicken stock. It takes two days to get everything cooked down and then canned but as I enjoy doing it, win/win.

I also got another large batch of eggrolls made up and froze. One of our ” Fast Foods” We normally make up eggrolls and wontons at the same time, but I had just made a good sized batch of both when I ground pork into burger a couple weeks back, so just need to run a batch these up.

While I was going through canned goods to move things around for the new stock and soup starter, I got a new mental count on what we have.. Always a good thing to over can when we have it on hand so that years like this don’t leave us short.. especially when we couldn’t do much last year thanks to no lids.

I still have fruit that I want to process down as well. We don’t use it in its present state in the freezer and some we actually NEED to have processed while the rest we will definitely use it up that way.

I need to pick up some vodka so I can make up a batch of Elderberry syrup so that it can be kept in the pantry rather than canned, which is a PIA to use when you are only using a couple tablespoons a day. That, for flu seasons….

Ma and I got our second vaccine shot on Friday.. Jolly… So far so good though. Friday night was rough, neither of us got any sleep ands Saturday was miserable but we got some good sleep last night and today it looks like the first shot was worse for us ..by far.. unless….. this is the calm before the storm…which we will worry about if it were to happen…. As of today, this is the best either of us has felt since before the first shot…so Awesome.. We’ll take what we can get.

Final thoughts

We most definitely are not ready for winter, hopefully we will have several weeks out before it gets too cold. Snow level is suppose to drop to 4k this week.. still well above us.

Peppers and tomatoes are still putting out and putting on new fruit so we could use a nice Indian Summer this year.

I picked the batch of Sweet hot peppers on the other bush, mostly because they were all but fully ripe, reds and orange, and because she put on a whole bunch of new fruit….crazy thing…

Several trees have dropped their leaves already, mostly due to the rough summer so hopefully they’ll come out of it in the spring.

I picked the taters and though the plants looked awesome, as I figured, the spuds were pretty useless. I did get three bags, though all small. Not a single baker worth calling a baker in the bunch. Our biggest harvest was from the purple fingerlings… Which I stopped planting two years ago….

This coming year, the bed will be moved and broken down to become a tomato bed instead, while one of the tomato beds will switch to taters… All new soil due to the move, which is a total PIA with Spring winds sucking the soil out almost as fast as I can put it in.. behind a wind fence….

Once the garden is moved, it is in a more weatherly secured area and should make a big difference… I am hoping that swapping beds will help the tomatoes as well.. This bed is wider and as long so I may , as we always have before, go two plants deep.. They usually help bolster each other in our conditions up here. Some day we will have to revisit greenhouses for up here, but the only ones that are strong enough come from Canada…So not cheap.

We are at the point where I don’t make a ton of plans for the upcoming due to changes in things… I get done what I can when things fall into place, even if it makes me feel lazy…Though I normally keep pretty busy… Just not gone 12-16 hours a day busy.. I imagine that has a lot to do with it..

October 1st also meant that I have been retired for an entire year now…It sure doesn’t seem like it. Time is going even faster now than it did when I was working. I get to play my music most days if not all and I work on my guitars to tweak this and that…I take a lot more photos though as many as I put up, I don’t put up many of what I take.

Hopefully, we will have a nice calming Fall to enjoy….

Ma is sitting by the fire spinning and knitting while a cool breeze outside slips through the bedroom windows and into my office giving me the best of both worlds , at least today is

just another day on Zen Mountain

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