Autumn Morning Walk

I enjoy cool mornings for walking.  You don’t have to worry about the heat.  You don’t have to worry about putting sunscreen on before your walk.  It is just perfect for walking.

The ground was wet from yesterday’s rain.  In some places, the leaves were matted flat, and in others, they were wet, but still in a fluffy pile.


Leaves Matted Flat on the Pavement


Leaves Wet, but Not Smashed

Then there were all different colors of leaves. ..


Yellow Leaves


Mixed Color Leaves

I passed a display of cornstalks and pumpkins and could not resist getting this shot…



As I made my way around the villiage, I noticed how the school busses matched the color scheme of the season…


School Busses and Autumn Leaves

The electrician came to complete the wiring in the dry house.  We now have lights in the office and a ceiling fan.  Woohoo!  It looks nice.

The Crookstons are getting ready to go home.  Elizabethe and I will miss them.  They have completed their mission and are returning home to Utah. 

Along the theme of a busy day, the elders are going to be moving into the room that used to be the laundry room.  They are supposed to pick up a bunkbed frame today.   This will work out well for a long-term place for them.  That will also free the room they are in for use as a guest room.


Office Door – October 29, 2009

Tonight is barbershop practice.  Bruce, our lead is in South Africa with his wife and her family.  So, we’ll be just harmony – no lead.


Red Oak & Maple Tree – Autumn Colors

I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures from my autumn walk.


Share with Your Friends

Just a quick and special note this morning (there will be a regular posting later today)…

Feel free to share this blog link with your friends.  The URL is…

With the 2009 tourist season winding down now, I will be posting some sales on wall prints.  So, share this link with your friends and let them know to check it often for sales on LDS and Palmyra art.

HDR of Palmyra Temple

Palmyra Temple

Palmyra Temple from the Farm

Palmyra Temple viewed from the Smith Farm










Rain Today, Gone Tomorrow

I do love the fact that it can be a wet rainy day one day, and the next day it is sunny and clear.  Today is one of the wet and rainy days.   Yesterday, was one of those perfect weather days.  Tomorrow, the rain will be gone.  Yes, this is one of those places where you can say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”

With yesterday being the “peak of color” for Palmyra’s zip code, don’t plan on seeing much of it after today.  I’m sure the rain has knocked down many of those leaves.  I guess that is one of the things that makes seeing the fall colors so spectacular.  If you miss it by a single day you could be disappointed.  And, I’m sure there are rains that knock off the leaves before they reach their peak.

Soon, the horizon will be lined with silhouettes of bare tree branches and evergreens.  Although it is not as colorful as the autumn pallet of colors, it still has a beauty to it.  It is like a pen-and-ink drawing against a blue or white paper.

Add to that the snow, and you have a beautiful black-and-white image.  Yet, even in the snow, yellow peeling birch bark, or red holly berries jump right out at you.  A bi- or tri-colored picture, simple in its beauty.

Birch Bark in the Snow

Birch Bark in the Snow

I’m sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself.  The leaves are still falling, and I’m talking about snow.  I guess I am excited about the change in the seasons.  In California, you wake up one day and you notice that all of the grass is brown.  It isn’t very exciting. Whereas here, everyday is a surprise.

For example, last night (and I’m sorry it was too dark to photograph this), I noticed a bush that had leaves the color of a pumpkin’s skin.  It was a beautiful shrub.  Close to it were mums in yellow, purple and red.  Even at night, the colors seemed so vivid and attractive.

Or, like the photos a few days ago of the crocus flowers in my front yard.  There they were, beautiful purple, yellow and white, popping up through red, brown, orange and yellow leaves, with a few green blades of grass in between.  (In case you missed it, here it is again…)



The locals when they complain about the weather, often correct themselves after grumbling for a while and tell you the worst part is when they have ice storms.  They admit that severe stuff like that is infrequent, for the most part, and they tolerate it.  And, they all admit, this is one of the most beautiful places and the winters are not that bad compared to other places not far from here.  (e.g. Buffalo, Watertown, Lake Placid, Wellsville, just to mention a few.)

As for today, I’m thankful for all of the rain.  That’s what keeps this place so Garden-of-Eden-like most of the year.  And, without the winter, many of the hardwoods would not flourish the way they do.  

So, let it rain.  Let it snow.  Comes next spring, we’ll get a whole new show.

Maple Syrup – mmmmm

I had to turn the heat on in the dry house so the paint would continue to dry.  The cold tends to slow the drying down.  That aside, it is looking good out there.  Comes Saturday and I’ll start in on the trim.

At lunch time I took a run to Clifton Springs to Everson’s to pick up some maple syrup.  If you are ever out here, you owe it to yourself to go out to Everson’s and pick up some maple syrup or candy.  They have their own sugar house where they cook down the sap and bottle the syrup.  It is the best.

Elizabethe on the Everson's Tree Swing (October 2006)

Elizabethe on Everson’s Tree Swing (October 2006)

I could easily substitute maple syrup for sugar.  It is a real treat having Everson’s so close to us.

It is also hard to imagine that I have been going to Everson’s now for over 3 years.  Yes, Natalie and I on our first trip out here discovered them.  Elder and Sister Evans told us how to get to their place.  It is a small house in the woods and the back porch is a little store where they sell syrup and maple products.


Elizabethe at the Everson’s

Les Everson was there on the porch putting his boots on when I pulled up today.  I had never met him, but enjoyed our conversation.  When Les heard I liked to hike and bicycle, he told me of all sorts of places to go for scenic hikes and rides.  Les is a super nice guy.

On the way home, I had to grab a quick shot of Hill Cumorah.  It is truly at its peak of color today…

Hill Cumorah

Hill Cumorah – October 27th, 2009

Here is a HDR image of the hill.

Office Painted !!!

It happened.  I managed to get the office painted.  Once I got going, it wasn’t all that bad.  (I still hate painting.)

Painted Office

Painted Office

The electrician, Jay Harding, came over and completed the run to the breaker box.  He’s coming back on Thursday to do the outlets and put up the lighting.

New Conduit for Office Electrical Feed

New Conduit for Office Electrical Feed

Jay and I talked politics for a bit.  We share a mutual disdain for what is going on  in Congress and the Senate.  It is interesting how many people are fed up with politicians.  Let’s hope people have the courage to vote for someone who might be a lesser-known so that we can get rid of the corrupt politicians currently serving.

Outside today it is beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.

Erie Canal - Looking Towards Palmyra

Erie Canal – Looking Towards Palmyra

Erie Canal - Looking Towards Macedon

Erie Canal – Looking Towards Macedon

Blazin' Leaves

Blazin’ Leaves

Beckwith Mansion - October 26th, 2009 - Peak Colors

Beckwith Mansion – October 26th, 2009 – Peak Colors

I’m done working on projects today.  Tomorrow, it is back to the daily grind until next Saturday.  Comes Saturday I will be doing the trim on the office and touch-up painting.

In the meantime, the elders have their P-Day today.  One of them is acting a little bored.  I may just put him to work.

Primary Program

Today’s Primary Program went very well.  The kids were great.  Of course, when you have a bunch of smiling children singing songs, you cannot help but like it.  And, their smiles hide a multitude of mistakes made by the pianist.

Sister Crookston fixed us dinner after church.  She made a delicious white bean chili, rolls, and oatmeal cookies for dessert.  This is their last Sunday here.  They head back to Utah at the end of this week.

Chris Lauren and I visited Dave & Leslie Green’s family and Bob Nichol’s family.   I know it is a little late in the month, but we’re getting our home teaching done.  We’re working hard at being 100%ers.

There are still leaves on the tree, but a good portion of them are on the ground now.  I have never seen so many mountains of leaves along the side of the roads.  The village has a huge truck with a vacuum that comes along and it can suck-up an entire mound of leaves.  It then shreds them and blows them into a hopper on the back of the truck.  (I think my leaves would fill the truck.)  Tomorrow is supposed to be the height of the fall colors.

An Autumn Color Pallet

An Autumn Color Pallet

The reds, oranges, and yellows are beyond description around here.  There trees that are so brilliant the camera cannot capture the vividness of the colors.  It is really worth a visit here in late October.

Change Amid Constancy

Among Latter-day Saints is a principle that there is constancy amid change.  Today in Palmyra we had a small celebration of such constancy amid an upcoming change.  Our local temple presidency completes their 3 years at the end of this month and we had a small potluck dinner to celebrate the service they have given.

As part of the program I accompanied Bruce Nickel as he sang a Kenneth Cope song, His Hands.  (  It’s a beautiful song, and Bruce has a beautiful voice.  It went well.

I asked Elizabethe to take a picture…

Brent & Bruce

Brent & Bruce

And, it was a full house…

Palmyra Temple Workers

Palmyra Temple Workers

Comes November, a new presidency will take their place.  The work will continue as it has the last three years under new leadership.  Faces change, but the work continues.  New friendships will be formed and we’ll do this again in 3 years.

Earlier in the day I had a chance to work with Genine.  Be brought a cool pirate outfit that looked so nice against the basement doors.

Aye, Matie!

Aye, Matie!

Well, it feels later than it is, but I’m going to call it a day.  Tomorrow, the Primary Children put on their Sacrament program…. and it is my turn to play organ.   After this weekend, I’ll think I’ll take a break from practicing for a few days.  (It really takes it out of you… anyone who has played an instrument in front of a lot of people know what I’m talking about.)

Painting Time

I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate to paint.  I’d rather drywall, or pound nails, but I cannot stand painting.  Roller, spray, or brush, it is all the same.  It is a messy, tedious job that someone has to do.

 The elders helped me mask the windows and the wood walls.  That part was okay.  I can stand doing that.

I then took a lunch break to go to Elizabethe work where they were having a going away luncheon for a co-worker.  They asked me to come take a shot of the group.  It was nice to meet the people she works with and talks about on a daily basis.

After returning from Rochester, I decided to go spray the primer on the walls and ceiling.  Wishful thinking.  The primer was to viscous to use in the sprayer I bought.  Ugh!

Out came the roller and it worked great on the sheet rock.  When it came time for painting the foam, forget it.  the roller hardly touches the surface.   The other alternative is by brush.  (It amazes me that a lot of clap board houses are entirely painted by brush.   I’m sorry, I don’t have the patience for it.)



Work, work, work, work, work, work, work!

You’ll never guess what I’ve been doing today?

I completed the drywall work in the office.  All the drywall is up and taped !

Drywall Complete

Drywall Complete

Let’s see… scraped and primed the front door to the studio.  Bought all the rest of the stuff I need to complete the job, including a few tools I’ll need.  And, primed the place where there was a window…

Big White Rectangle on the Left (former window)

Big White Rectangle on the Left (former window)

Tomorrow I mask the wood and windows and start priming the walls and ceiling in the office. 

Here are a couple of shots showing what the woodbine vines are doing…

Woodbine - Front of Studio

Woodbine - Front of Studio


Woodbine - Studio Side Door

Woodbine - Studio Side Door


Woodbine - Side Studio Door II

Woodbine - Side Studio Door II

Finally, I was walking around the yard, trying to find where this really strong skunk smell was coming from.  (It was really bad last night.  I mean, REALLY BAD.)  While I was roaming the yard, I looked up and saw this…

Silver & Red Maple Leaves Intertwining

Silver & Red Maple Leaves Intertwining

Back to the skunk… Anyone know how to keep them away from your house and yard?

Someone Hands You a Lemon…

I managed to get some work done on the office this morning.  I was out there before the sun came up.

Around 10am I headed out the door with all my camera stuff heading to Ithaca, New York.  It is at the south end of Cayuga Lake – one of the largest and deepest Finger Lakes.  (Oh, I passed a place named, Finger Lake School of Massage.  I found that kind of funny.  I should have photographed the sign.)

The drive was beautiful.  The fall colors down at that end of the region are just starting.  They have NOT peaked yet.  But, I did get some pretty shots.

Happy New York Cows

Happy New York Cows

About part way there, I got a text from Misti Hymas saying she was running late.  She was going to meet me in Ithaca to photograph the falls.  And, since she was running late, I decided to stop off in Fayette, New York.

Fayette, New York - birth place of the L.D.S. Church in 1830

Fayette, New York – birth place of the L.D.S. Church in 1830

Since I had time, I decided to stop at the Peter Whitmer Farm and photograph the log home in the fall.  Just my luck, they were re-chinking the log home.  Some of you folks from NCPP will recognize this as the log home that was on my Print of the Year a couple of years ago.  This is that same log home except about 50 degrees warmer outside.  (The day I took that prize winning photo it was about 18-degrees outside.)

Peter Whitmer Log Home, Fayette, New York

Peter Whitmer Log Home, Fayette, New York

I didn’t realize Fayette was so close to the lake.  I decided to do some exploring and cut over to the the road that heads along the lake.  In fact, you don’t realize how close together the finger lakes are.  Because of all the trees, you can’t see them until you are nearly at the shore.

Cayuga Lake - Fayette, New York

Cayuga Lake – Fayette, New York

So, if someone hands you a lemon, make lemonade.  Today was one such day.  I drove all the way to Ithaca to discover the falls I wanted to photograph were closed to hikers.  The trail, according to the sign, was in such bad repair, it was unsafe and closed until further notice.  DANG!

About then, I got a call from Misti saying she was driving around trying to find the place.  So, I told her where I was parked and we drove to where a local told me we could see the falls from a bridge.

Now, try to find a place to park in Ithaca.  It is worse the San Francisco when it comes to parking places.  And, when you do find a place, it is 25 cents for 15 minutes with a 2 hour max. 

Well, we found a couple of spots near the bridge and hiked up there.  We found a trail down – no signs saying keep out, or anything like that.  But, I must admit, this would not be a trail I would take rambunctious Boy Scouts hiking on.  No way.  It was pretty sketchy.

Looking Up from the Gorge Floor

Looking Up from the Gorge Floor

Cascadilla Falls

Cascadilla Falls

We made it down to the canyon floor and hiked up a ways.  Found some good shots.  So, I guess you can say, we made lemonade out of the lemons that were dealt us.

Rapids at Cascadilla Falls

Rapids at Cascadilla Falls

On the way home, I found a real-life Halloween house!  Check this place out…

Spooky House!

Spooky House!

It always pay to look behind you as you drive.  As I was leaving Ithaca, I caught this view from my rear-view mirror.  I had to stop and get out and take a picture of this farm house.

Looking Towards Ithaca

Looking Towards Ithaca

It  was  starting  to get dark, so I had one last chance at some fall colors… and then it started to rain.  Here is the shot before the rain hit.

Last Chance Today to Get Fall Colors

Last Chance Today to Get Fall Colors