The colors are muted, but the heavy gray sky and the advancing storm seems to make them almost more intense. We've been having a brief respite in the previous rush to winter, with a brief, moist and warm spell. As I sit here on this chilly and oh-so-rainy afternoon, there are people wandering the hillside below my office, looking for that perfect Yule tree to tag. I know that many times people are so heavily scheduled that they have only a small window of flexibility - but really?
Earlier this morning my daughter and her best friend accompanied me to breakfast and beyond.They are both total hams, and I enjoy them immensely. Lisa reminds me so much of Gilda Radner - a comedienne who personified the idea of "getting out of your own way" and just throwing herself into the sketches. Lisa is like that. The two of them have so much fun together, and they make me laugh too.The perfectly kept farms in our area are rolling it in for the season. Many have re-sown the fields with winter crops, and the rest will lay fallow until spring. Almost all of them are incredibly well kept and neat as a pin. Considering all of the equipment and mess that farming requires, it is nothing short of amazing.I had to pull over and take a picture of this yard that we passed(and also a soybean field beside it) that was just covered with these mushrooms. They do not look friendly. Cool looking, though.There were these llamas on the one hillside as we drove along. We were treated to lots and lots of sweet animals while we were out... including a little red steer that had managed to get loose and was just having a good old time eating whatever the heck he wanted in a meadow. Miniature horses were at the one farm, sheep, goats, and lots of horses and cows were out today, along with the usual chickens, ducks, and geese. The swans were missing from their usual place in the pond, however.
The reason we were out was the goldenrod.
Because the weather got cold and then warmed up again, there was a sort of second crop of Solidago. I've been reading about the medicinal benefits of this plant and wanted to tincture some, but somehow missed out on the perfect time. These plants had new growth, and the flowers weren't fully open yet, so that led us on a search.The girls waded across a swampy area to get to this patch. They were having a great time. I don't think I've taken Lisa along on any of our foraging tours. It seems that was a shame that we'll have to work on fixing!They were even both willing to try a groundcherry!
The weather changed as soon as we got home, and the skies opened up to let the buckets of rain fall. It was good to be out there among the plants!