November 3 – the warm November sun

And now it’s November, a month with a very different feel than the last one.  October has mostly positive connotations for everyone– a break from summer heat, Oktoberfest, fall foliage, an exuberant month that culminates in the final outdoor holiday of the year.  November brings to mind different associations, gray skies and bare trees, the approach of regular frosts, a holiday all about warm kitchens and gathering together indoors, that insidious Guns-n-Roses song.

So far, this November has certainly not followed that storyline.  So far, every day this month has been unseasonably warm and extremely pleasant.  It’s still It’s remained a bit too dry for my tastes, but since this year’s mostly poor mushroom season is pretty much winding down, I might as well just enjoy the sunshine.

Most of these photos are from Friday morning, November first.  Around mid-morning, I heard that the door to the chicken coop had blown shut, so I went down to re-open it.  Afterwards, I had the rest of the morning free, so I went for a bit of a stroll, past the paddock where our youngest calves live.Image

The previous day was indeed the high point of fall foliage for the year.  The previous night had been quite windy, so there were noticeably less leaves on the trees and noticeably more on the ground, although the colors are still pretty sweet.Image

I made my way along the edge of the cow pastures, enjoying the warm colorful morning.Image

As I walked, I attracted the attention of our mostly tame beefie steers, who sauntered up the hill thinking maybe I had some grain for them.Image

These beefies are all 2 to 3 years old, and will be turned into meat sometime in the next couple of months.  I wonder if they sense that their days are numbered, if so, they certainly don’t seem to show much anxiety about it.Image

This fellow was very curious about the camera, and wanted to lick it.Image

Moving on, to rockiest spot on our land.  I’ve been told that it’s the only place on the farm where you can stand on a large exposed rock and touch a different large exposed rock.  Not exactly the Boulder flatirons, but it’s what we’ve got.Image

More pretty fall colors in the lower cow pasture.Image

Forest edge, from the same spot.Image

This low-lying part of our property is a spot I like to visit at least once every month or two, as I often find oyster or other mushrooms.  On this visit, I found some dried-up old oysters, and a fresh pile of animal shit.Image

Not far away, I checked on a log where I had found a bearded tooth Hericum mushroom last year, and was pleased to discover that a new one had grown back in the same spot.  These fun mushrooms are as tasty as they are weird-looking.Image

Here’s a close-up of the same mushroom  IMG_3366

This particular log was quite fungally active– at the other end was a colony of puffballs, a bit too old to be worth harvesting.IMG_3369

and in the middle, these strange orange mushrooms, which I think might be the dreaded deadly galerina.

IMG_3368

So that was Friday.  On Saturday, I started the day driving into Louisa for my regular Saturday chores.  The fall colors I saw along the way, especially where people had big maple trees in their front yards, were just spectacular.  Of course, as I was leaving the house I neglected to bring my camera, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.  The sunset on Saturday night was quite pretty, and I did have my camera on hand for that.  Here’s the view looking east, with the clouds all lit up like cotton candy.

IMG_3374

 

and here’s the view to the west.  A really beautiful sunset.IMG_3377

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