Happy Halloween from the Cemetery!

Halloween is one of, if not the most, popular of all holidays for Americans. Both kids and adults seem to love the decorations, costumes, scary stories, candy, parties, horror movies, carnivals, haunted houses and graveyards, and everything else you can think of that goes along with it. I have to admit that I have always loved it too! πŸ™‚ So today I decided to have a little fun with some of my cemetery photo’s. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Adjusted 2 & Watermarked

Adjusted & Watermarked

Adjusted 3 & Watermarked

Have a fun and safe Halloween night!!

Furry Fiends

While going through some of my photographs today I, big sis, found a couple I had forgotten about. Sometimes while out photographing flowers and trees, I’m lucky enough to be visited by some of our furry friends.

On a sunny day at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, this little chipmunk was munching on berries in the bushes near some flowers I was photographing. He seemed as fascinated with what I was doing, as I was surprised at how calm he was when I approached him to snap a few pictures. πŸ™‚

Chipmunk (Corrected & Orton 56020)(watermarked)

On another outing, I spotted a squirrel working feverishly to gather and hide as many acorns as he could under some nearby bushes. He completely ignored me until I decided to get a little closer so I could photograph him and his acorns. After seeing me moving in his direction he stopped by his acorn pile and gave me this stare. πŸ™‚

Squirrel (Corrected&Watermarked)

 

The Birds and The Bees

Ahhh fall. What a wonderful time of the year! The cool crisp air, amazingly blue skies and all the colorful foliage of the trees. I both love and hate it at the same time. On one hand, it always reminds me of my childhood and the excitement I always felt for the upcoming holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. πŸ™‚ On the other hand, I have to say goodbye to all my favorite annual flowers and most of my little garden critters. Of all of them, I think the ones I miss most are the hummingbirds. Little sis and I always have feeders in the front and back yards for the little guys. This year when they headed south for the winter, we were busy and left the feeders up longer than usual. The hummingbirds had been gone about a week or so when sis noticed movement on the feeder by our front window. It was covered with bees drinking from the feeder. I have never seen them do this in such large numbers before. I would see one or two occasionally but nothing more. After watching these little guys, with much fascination, as they emptied the feeder in just a couple of days, I decided to snap a few pictures.

Honey bees (Cropped & Crossover)(watermarked)

Bees drinking from our hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbird (Corrected-Orton-watermarked)

Here is a pic of one of the last hummingbirds to visit us in our backyard this year.

Mums the Word

Yesterday, I (Big Sis here) decided to head to one of my favorite places, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, to take some photos. The weather was so nice I just couldn’t resist. I found several changes had been made since I was there last week. The workers and volunteers had been busy clearing and replanting flowers throughout the gardens. I found some amazing beds of mums and wanted to share some of the beautiful color with you! Enjoy!

Yellow mums (Corrected & Watermarked))

Orange mums (Corrected & Watermarked)

Flower Power

Big Sis and I have been experimenting with a new look for the photography recently. Honestly, it’s been a little nerve wracking trying to tweek the photos because most of the time Big Sis and I are divided about what looks good. We’ve joked for years that we’re like Yin and Yang because if she likes something, I usually don’t and vice-versa. But it’s been an eye opener seeing how these photographs can transform.

Just wow.

Here are a couple of flowers that really make a statement.

Pink tulips (Orton only)

Yellow water lily (Cropped & Altered)

Orchids

One of the most popular flower shows that our local Botanical Gardens showcases each year is the orchid show. This past year was the first time I (Lil Sis here) had actually gone to view the flowers and, Holy Guacamole, was there some serious orchids there.Β 

I have to applaud the Gardens here because they try very hard to showcase the orchids is as natural of a way that they can. They go to great lengths to inform and educate the viewers on how these plants grow in their native habitats. Did you know there were some orchid species that only grow in Madagascar? Yea, I didn’t either.Β 

Big Sis took numerous photos at the show and I wanted to show you 2 of my favorites. There are many more and I’ll be posting more soon but as a quick preview here you go.

 

Orchid 2

 

 

Flower trio cropped & adjusted

Dreamy Yellow Butterfly

Earlier this week Big Sis and I made a trek down to the Shaw Nature Reserve, located in Gray Summit, Missouri. Every Fall the monarchs fly through on their trek South but, unfortunately, there has been a steady decrease in their numbers in recent years. 😦

The ranger we spoke to told us that they had been afraid that the monarchs had dwindled to the point of nothing but thankfully, they had started to see them the weekend before. Excited, we headed out to the prairie sections of the reserve to see what we could find. Sadly, we found very few monarchs. We spotted some but just 5 years ago their numbers were in the thousands flying through but we saw less than 50 this time, and we were walking for over 4 hours. I fear that this may be the last year that we see any.

However, we took 100’s of photos. Yes, I said 100’s and we’ve been pouring through them all week. We’ve been experimenting with a new look to the photos and we’re really excited to share them!

What do you think of this dreamy yellow butterfly?

Here we've played with the color a little.

Here we’ve played with the color a little.

 

Here we've only cropped him.

Here we’ve only cropped him.

 

Which photo do you prefer? Let us know!

 

 

Apple Orchards, Fried Chicken and Eckert’s Farms

Today, I picked my own apples for the first time at Eckert’s Farms and I loved it. Yay me!

But walking through the rows and rows of apple trees, I realized how refreshing it was to actually see where my food comes from. It’s funny how quickly we’ve grown accustomed to having everything we need right in a centralized setting with no clue as to who picked it, what farm it’s from or what it actually takes to grow it. We need to understand how hard it is to grow that apple or orange. But that’s just me. Personally, getting out in the sun, walking around the trees, watching the insects and birds, and really seeing what it takes to get my food made was a huge stress reliever. Plus it gave me some color. Go me.

The orchard we went to, Eckert’s Farms, is a local establishment that’s been around over 100 years. It has a grocery section, restaurant, garden center and various farm sections that you can pick from throughout the year. Come Christmas I am seriously thinking about buying one of their fresh Christmas trees.

But since this was our first trip there we stopped for lunch at their restaurant before heading out to the orchards. I highly recommend their pressure cooked fried chicken, it was moist, the skin was crisp and oh my word was that chicken breast delicious! The sides included mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and green beans. Fabulous! Sis and I chose to get all white meat which cost a dollar more but well worth it to us.

They also have a frozen custard stand on site but since we had already staggered out of the restaurant full, we’ll have to try that next time. Oh the horror of having to find an excuse to go back! πŸ˜‰

Here’s just a few of the photos I took. I’m a newbie to the IPhone. so fair warning.

Geese gourds? Looks like it to me.

Geese gourds? Looks like it to me.

Uh, is Charlie Brown in there?

Uh, is Charlie Brown in there?

Pumpkin Truck

Love the truck!

Mixed pumpkins

Mixed pumpkins

Come sit a spell...

Come sit a spell…

Happy First Day of Fall!

Whew! It’s fall already. Today is D-Day, or should I say F-Day? We’ve moved into the Fall season finally. Which means we’re staring down the barrel of the last week of September and sliding on into October pretty fast. It amazes me how quickly a year goes by now that I’m an adult. As a kid it seemed to take forever and fall was just the beginning of a school season for me. My how things change…

But I just love this season!Β It’s time for pumpkins, ghouls, new fall fashions and all things that go bump in the night, especially if those bumps belong to some studio executives passing out from the realization that we audiences want better films than those sequels they keep pouring down our throats.

*Ahem* Just saying.

In honor of the first day of Fall, I took a few pictures of some of the small pumpkins and gourds that we picked up the other day. The gourds remind me of gourd bird houses that I saw growing up. Every Fall the family would pile in the car and head up to the Smoky Mountains for a ride through the Parkway. It was only about 45 minutes away from our house and it was such a magical ride when the leaves turned.

Here’s to happy families and great Fall memories.

Tiger Striped Pumpkins

Gourds

What Fall memories do you have?

It’s Friday! Come meet our Grasshopper.

I woke up to a gray, drizzly and slightly chilly morning. I’m from the South and grew up in an area filled with lots of sunshine, so the level of cloudiness that envelops St. Louis sometimes gets to me but I rallied and headed to take the dogs out. But what do I spy just as I round the side of the building?

This cutie pie.

grasshopper on the hose

 

 

He was sitting on our hose, content as could be until he spied me looking at him. This was the only picture we managed to get before he jumped over the fence and out of sight. Bummer.

But on a positive note, at least he wasn’t as big as the dark brown/black grasshoppers that can be found in Alabama. I remember as a child, my parents taking me to visit a family cemetery in rural Calhoun County. The cemetery was overgrown and very old, and I remember getting out of the car and wandering around looking at the old tombstones. But I had wandered pretty far from the car and the grass was over knee high in many areas when I noticed the first big guy. He was sitting on a wrought iron fence that enclosed a family plot and then I noticed another, then another, and another…

Just thinking about it gives me the shivers. These grasshoppers were longer than my index finger and that cemetery was infested with em. My parents had grown up in the area and was use to them, but I hadn’t been and I wanted back in the car. So I high tailed it back over to it and dove in. I can still hear their laughter in my ears as I ducked and weaved around the plots while simultaneously trying not to walk on any of them, even though the ground was crawling with em.

*Sigh* They never let me live that down.

So Happy Friday everyone and here’s to a nice and pleasant weekend with no big scary grasshoppers. πŸ˜‰

 

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