I had a nice break, especially during our daughter's visit. The weather was gorgeous although much warmer than usual for the mountains. After one of the wettest summers on record, we are now near drought conditions. But we take what we get.
As usual, our daughter and I spent a lot of time driving through the mountains. We were a bit surprised to find the leaf color in the high mountains about the same as it is here. That is to say, not much color except among the shrubs and the occasional tree. The prognosticators have widely varying leaf prophecies. At first most of them predicted an especially good year for intense color. Most are now saying the color will be subdued and some are suggesting that the leaves will simply turn brown and fall. A few good days of gentle rain and cooler weather would change that.
Near the 4,500-foot elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway
We were treated to the fall migration of one of our favorite visitors, the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. The males always arrive first and spend a week or so and then they leave shortly after the females arrive. We do enjoy their visit, short-lived though it may be.
A male grosbeak looks right at me, perhaps seeing his reflection in the camera lens
The females arrived along with some of the first-year males. While we are glad to see them, we know it means the more colorful males will soon leave our woods and continue on their journey.
Not as colorful, but beautiful nonetheless
The American Cardinals are permanent residents so they give us brilliant color all year.
I continue to feel pretty good and had a lot of fun with our daughter. It is so wonderful to be able to drive, shop, eat at good restaurants and cook good meals again. And I am thankful every day for being here and feeling so well. That is always tempered with a bit of reality of ovarian cancer's nasty habit of returning. I try to keep that on the back burne to bring forth only if/when required.
The first of today's quotes is from Marcus Aurelius and it is something I think about if the future turns more negative:
"Here is the rule to remember in the future:
When anything tempts you to be bitter:
Not "This is a misfortune":
But "To bear this worthily is good fortune."
The next quote is from the great Tecumseh. It's a repeat but it is one that I think about every single day and it has a very deep and personal meaning for me:
"When you rise in the morning,
Give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."
I'll leave you with a photograph I recently came across. It's our beloved Golden Girls standing inside and looking through the screen at us. They never understood why we would ever be in the yard, leaving them inside.
October 1st marked the end of the holy days of Rosh Hashanna so we wish a good year to our Jewish friends. And to all of us.
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK
GIVE THANKS FOR YOUR LIFE
AND LOVE YOUR MOTHER EARTH