Yellow Brick Road

Fallen leaves make a yellow brick road

Fallen leaves turn some of the paths into yellow brick roads. Maybe it was a golden, fall path that inspired L. Frank Baum to write The Wizard of Oz.

Chickens in the woods

The chickens aren’t impressed with the yellow brick paths. They are more interested in finding the grubs and worms hiding underneath the blanket of leaves coating the forest floor.

Today’s blue skies are not your typical November skies around here. Normal November skies are thick, woolly blankets of dark, wet clouds streaming overheard, accompanied by wind howling, rain pelting, trees snapping and falling with branches trying to grab your throat and take you with them.

November 23 will go out as a very calm, sunny month, with crisp, freezing mornings, and spring like afternoons.

Frosted pine needles.
Frosted black berry leaves.

This morning’s frost is gone, melted away by the sun. So much of nature’s beauty lasts but seconds or minutes, a few hours at best. Like those exquisite, elaborate mandalas Buddhist monks spend hours and days making only to brush them away as soon as they are done..

Will Wonders Never Cease?

NASA contrail

Simple minds get pleasure from simple things. On October 29 I looked up and saw this curved contrail up in the sky. And in the lower left of the picture you can see another curved contrail. You see something like that and you stop what you are doing to investigate. At least I do.

The contrails were those of NASA flights which took off from Everett and were making a figure eight flight path from Everett, WA, all the way to Central Washington and back. They flew this pattern for many hours before returning to Everett.

It does make me wonder what they were testing and why the figure eight flight patterns instead of simple loops.

Mount Baker in late October

October finished out with days of warm sunshine. I took this photo of Mount Baker on October 30. I grew up with forested hills and mountains around, and the ocean nearby. Which is why I can’t live on flatland. If I can’t see mountains around, my soul withers away. But with wondrous Mount Baker nearby, I can breathe and live.

Snow Geese and Swans are back. So it should be much colder than it is. After the frosts in October, unseasonably warm weather returned.


The chickens enjoy the warm weather, though they’ve pretty much stopped laying until early spring. I’m working on converting grass to wild meadow. Where I got some wild meadow seed said to rip out the grass. I’m letting the chickens do a first pass at that. They are skilled at converting beautiful grass into bare dirt. All you have to do is get the right ratio of chickens to grass footage, and in short time you will have bare dirt to plant your meadow seeds.

Big nashi.

And look at the big Nashi 梨 (Asian pear) I picked today. 567 grams! 20 ounces. One and a quarter pounds. I think it is the biggest one I picked this year. There are still a few on the tree so there may be one even bigger.

When the baby fruits form, there are usually 3 to 5 in a cluster. I left only one per cluster, removing at least 75% of the baby fruits. And this is the result. If I left only 3 baby fruit to mature, would I get pumpkin size fruit? There must be limit to how large they can get.

The hard frosts we had in October seem to have made them sweeter. This one sure was sweet, juicy, and nice and crunchy. November isn’t bad when you can pick sweet fruit like this.