October 24, 2012

haunting of trees

I am sitting here on the deck once again enjoying the SUPREMELY perfect October weather (high of mid 80's? Oh yeah!). My posts feel like they are getting all backed up, I was intending to add some other pictures and talk about some things that have happened over the last couple weeks (cause I'm always behind)...

All week I've been wanting to write about how fall is for taking the long way home, because last week I was taking detours like a crazy person just to look at all the changing trees.

AND THEN! As I was sitting here I started playing a THIS song/video (via one of my favorite blogs). And that was literally the first few lyrics of the song!

As if on cue after starting the song, I glanced up at my trees (which have dropped most of their brilliantly yellow leaves and now look more like those in this video) and a branch from the tippy-top of a giant maple tree fell off of the tree and crashed alll the way to the ground. We're talking a good sized branch too, not some puny twig. No wind nor squirrel provoked it to my knowledge. It just suddenly fell ...with the weight of my eye... (Creeeepy)

It was just haunting enough I took it as a sign I should most-definitely share this with you. now.



October 17, 2012

Raining Leaves

There is nothing more beautiful and fleeting as autumn foliage.

I am surrounded by gold, red, and orange hues, aglow. Yesterday I was sitting outside listening to an owl hoot and even watched it glide by silently. Way back then (oh, 24 hours ago), there were only about half as many leaves on the ground as there are now. Today the deck and garden seem to be frothing with golden maple leaves.

My pictures can never do nature justice. I've been taking them for days but they just don't turn out the same. Nature is always most enthralling in it's original state, but I continue to try to capture pictures anyway. Hoping for something to appear on the screen that is similar to what I see surrounding me on all sides. However the images always lack that luster that appears in the present.

The views from our porch are absolutely stunning. Every instant things seem to get prettier. After living in Hawaii and Colorado, and visiting other places, this is still my favorite fall. Still some of my favorite views of all. Autumn in the Midwest; there's nowhere I'd rather be.

I always wish I could stop time and let fall drag on. It's something it never does. It is always too quick, things change too fast, and it seems like it's over before you can even grasp how wonderful it really is.

A storm is rolling in as I'm typing and I know the view out our window will be much different upon waking tomorrow... a little more brown and a little more bare.

Oh Fall, you bittersweet season, you've stolen my heart!


October 16, 2012

Plankton the Scarecrow

Meet our new friend! He is the fruit of our thrift shopping and love. This is Plankton our scarecrow.

The day after visiting the mine, he was born at the Scarecrow Jamboree. My FAVORITE fall tradition... One I used to get homesick for... A neighborhood get-together of near Gilmore Girls proportions that consists of scarecrow building, chili eating, square dancing, and neighbor mingling. A block of one of our roads is shut down and we all come out to celebrate the best season of all!

{ Scarecrow Birth }
We didn't enter Plankton into the scarecrow competition. We went for traditional and simple for Tyler's first Jamboree experience. But next year... I think we're going to be pretty fierce competitors.

We hit two chili cook-offs in one weekend and I still haven't had my fill of chili! I think Plankton has though... he always has a satisfied smile on his face.


October 8, 2012

Midwest Diving: Part 1

Busy weekend here! Friday, I took Tyler to his first ever Chili Cook-Off in downtown Belleville. It was a little cold and rainy but it was perfect for some hot chili. We started at the first booth and bought a sample and every time we finished one off we'd stop at the nearest booth to get another until we taste-tested ourselves around the town.

Saturday is the day that Tyler was most looking forward to. We woke up before the sun and headed to Bonne Terre, MO so Tyler could dive the old lead mine that has since flooded and become the largest underground lake in the world.

He was particularly excited about this site because it touts it's super clear water and was even ranked by National Geographic as one of it's Top 10 U.S. Adventures. And to boot it is only an hour and a half drive from our home.It's big enough that he can dive it many times and keep exploring new places within it. 

Driving into the town and even the parking lot,  you'd never guess there was a giant mine stretching underneath the ground in every direction. The entrance to the mine is very small and unimposing (the old entrance for the mules) but the inner expanse goes for miles and there are five levels in total.  It's big enough that there was even a Red Bull Wakeboarding Competition that was held inside (Link to a video Here if you're interested. It shows a lot of the mine in the beginning.)

There were some problems with Tyler's experience; in the dive group set to go out prior to his someone reported that their air smelled funny and was possibly contaminated. So all the tanks had to be drained and refilled from the compressor. This delayed their dive approximately 2 hours.

Meanwhile, I was sleeping in the car. I tagged along thinking we'd be able to hang out when he wasn't in the water but the way they operated kept us separated most of the day.

We did have the chance to get lunch and buy some scarecrow clothes for Sunday, but then it was time for him to go back down for more diving. He was assured by the staff that they would make up the lost time so he could fit in all three dives he had signed up for, but that turned out not to be the case and he only got in 2 in the planned time frame with no refund or credit. We headed home at 5 instead of him doing his last dive because we had plans that evening and it had already been a very long day.

Despite the few hiccups Tyler really enjoyed the diving. He got to use his dry suit to keep him warm in the 58 degree water and the experience was different than his past diving. There are no fish or animals to see in the water but the formations and old mining equipment provided plenty of entertainment. He's excited to go back  for more exploration.

During his second dive I went on a walking / boat tour of the mine and got to take these pictures to share!

And this doesn't even take us to the end of the weekend...