December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Scenes of Autumn in my Neighborhood

Hola everyone!

I'd been meaning to get out early one weekend morning and get some photographs before the leaves are all gone, but circumstances and weather didn't cooperate until yesterday.  On my weekend trek to the Pick 'n Save supermarket I grabbed my digital camera and set out.  Some of the photos are better than others, but I'm posting nearly all of them because, as they saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Yesterday morning's weather dawned crisp and clear.  There was a definite chill in the air but the sun was warm and the winds didn't pick up until after I got back home as the skies clouded over.  It was pretty chilly when I was cutting the grass out front, let me tell you, brrrr!

Right out the door, the view down the road to my right:

This young red maple is just beginning to be kissed with changing leaves, promising at least a week or more of beautiful color as I walk this way five days a week to and from the bus stop to go to work.  I turn left at the corner, above, and head due east until 81st Street.

Coming up toward the intersection 81st Street and West Coldspring Road, which runs east/west.  This is the view looking southwest.  When I get to this corner, I make another left and head east down Coldspring Road.  Isn't the sky beautiful!


As I make the turn on to Coldspring Road to head east, I turned around and snapped this photo.  All those different colors -- golds/yellows, reds/oranges, lots of different shades of green, a touch of burgundy wine, and that sky.  The greys of the roadway and sidewalks.  Potholes, LOL!  I'm only sorry I missed the peak colors last weekend.  When I see these colors together, I wonder how anyone can have just white, or just grey, or just taupe, or just greige, or just - blah - throughout their entire house!  Mother Nature is showing us what we should be doing with Her colors!


This is another view west on Coldspring Road.  That is a very old farmhouse on the right.  It was in pretty sad shape until a few years ago, when it was purchased after the real estate bubble burst.  Slowly but surely, the new owner has been rehabilitating this venerable home.  It has many add-ons and attachments as one would expect a farmhouse to have grown over the years.  Today, no more farms in this area, but we are fortunate to still have scattered about these reminders of our past. 

This spot is one of the highest in Milwaukee County.  Going west, Coldspring Road slopes sharply downward for a few miles, and then gradually climbs again toward the county line running north/south that divides Milwaukee County from Waukesha County in the west.  You can't see it in this photo, but the treed ridgeline of 124th Street, which is the north/south county line, is visible from this corner.  Coldspring Road is one of the oldest roads in the area.

Heading east toward the Pick 'n Save off of 76th Street and Coldspring Road, a pretty view:

Framing the picture on the left is the trunk of a massive silver maple that has not yet begun to change colors.  Just beyond, also on the left, is an ancient crabapple tree that somehow survives year after year.  It's part of an old homestead on the left that was divided into a new part of my subdivision some years ago after, I assume, a death.  Until then, 81st Street did not exist. The land was treed and wild, with a lovely old brick home fronting Coldspring Road (to the left off the road behind that massive silver maple).  During the dry season, folks in the neighborhood would take a cut off Coldspring Road and head to Leroy Avenue, the next road north.  I did it myself, for years (I've lived in this subdivision 23 years).  During the wet season, there was a pair of ducks that nested in the pooled water that gathered in a low spot near Leroy Avenue, and people steered clear, not just because of the pond formed by snow melt and spring rains.  For some years after 81st Street was installed (about 10 years ago), those ducks (or their descendants) still showed up and nested in a culvert area where water still pooled, until that lot was also sold and a house put up.  I miss those ducks!  Fortunately, the lovely brick cottage was purchased (or inherited?) by a young couple who have since had a couple of children, and it's been lovingly cared for over the years. 

A little further east along Coldspring Road, looking across the road toward the south.  That ranch house for sale, it's got a GREAT backyard -- wooded, private, a gigantic deck running all the way across the back of the house and a three-season screened gazebo.  They're asking $199,900 for it.

A close-up of one of the trees.  I so wish I'd been able to capture the way the sunlight was bouncing off those leaves, and how some of them were translucent sparkling jewels.




Above, three of the red oaks left in the neighborhood. They are magnificent, towering over the other trees and distinctive in their golds and light mahogany colored leaves.  Lots of fat squirrels around, as you can imagine, LOL!  My subdivision is named Red Oaks, but nary a red oak survives within its confines today.  This property (belongs to the lovely lannon stone "Milwaukee tudor" on the right) is one of the few that still has native red oak trees. 

A few steps later I turn left across a short landscaped area into the Pick 'n Save parking lot.

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