Monday, October 22, 2012

More Fall Colors

Today, Mom, Dad, and I went to Grandpa's woods to check out the fall colors. Although, it's not Grandpa's woods anymore. It was sold after he died. All that's left in the family is the farmhouse and a few acres that belong to my nephew. Mom got permission from the owners for us to go walk in the woods. But I'll always think of it as Grandpa's woods. We (all of us grandchildren) grew up there.  
Grandpa's garage sits just east of the
barn behind the farmhouse. Grandpa
always sat there, no matter the weather.
He loved watching the corn or beans
grow during the summer and just
 be outdoors the rest the year.  You
can see a bit of the woods in the

In the spring, we'd wander through the woods searching for all the different kinds of wildflowers - white and red trilliums, Dutchman's britches, Jack-in-the-pulpits, and sweet peas to name a few. It was always an adventure. We never knew what we'd find. One year, Mom and I found a wildflower we couldn't name. We hunted for hours in the library trying to find what it was. It was a small, round ball that opened on one end showing a purple, velvet-like interior with stamens.  It was like a magical world unto itself.

In the summers, all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and  grandparents would have picnics almost every weekend at the pond. We ate blackberries, raspberries, and goose berries 'til we were sick. When it was warm enough we'd swim and play on the rumpus raft. We'd also fish. Grandpa had the pond stocked with bluegill, perch, and catfish. We'd have a fish fry over the camp fire!

The edge of the woods on the way
back to the pond. The giant oak
was always one of my favorite trees,
although it wasn't quite
that mighty when I was younger. 
In the fall, the colors were just brilliant - so many  maples, oaks, hickory, black walnuts, hedge apples, and buckeyes. Buckeyes were fun to collect, while Grandma would make cake out the of hickory nuts.  Grandma and Grandpa, their siblings and parents use to have a sugar camp, making fresh maple syrup. Yummy!!

In the winter, we'd get a treat with the maple syrup. Grandma would make a candy by pouring the syrup over fresh snow! Delicious!!  Back at the pond, when the ice was thick enough, we'd ice skate. We'd have a bonfire to keep warm. One year, my cousin got to close to the fire and actually caught the toe of her skates on fire! They became my skates the next year! Hand-me-downs!

I have so many fun memories of these woods. It was nice to walk through them today!

This is the view of the pond we'd see when first coming upon it.
It is so beautiful today! The water was so still
that the reflections are almost perfect. 

A view of the pond looking north.  To the left of the tree in the
foreground, was a small walkway where the rumpus raft
was tied.  After getting on, we'd pole out to the middle
to play and swim.

Fungus and moss on a fallen log. 
Fallen leaves.

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