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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

AUTUMN HAS ARRIVED!



My favourite season has made its appearance, albeit a little late this year with its colours and flowers that bloom only in autumn. We have two "mum" bushes in our front gardens that every year around the end of August begin their change from green leaves to the addition of profuse amounts of raspberry coloured flowers with bright yellow centers. They are just now beginning to get some buds on them, so I hope this means that winter will be late this year and we can still enjoy the colours in the gardens for awhile longer.


Another lovely bonus to autumn is that it happens to be the time each year when I take my vacation. I can hardly stand myself, both Autumn and Vacation in the same breath!

I am already on my last week at home, each year I have a rough time believing just how fast 3 weeks goes by when you're NOT at work! I have been getting some rest, but I also have managed to get a lot of work done around the house. My den, in particular, is FINISHED! Finally! I promised "before and after" shots of that, which I will include in my next post.









Something else I have a love for is my photography hobby, and again this vacation I have been able to make a couple of trips out into nature with my camera. Almost 2 weeks ago my best friend Michele took a day off work for a "Pal Day" and we headed to 2 of our parks in the river valley, in the midst of our city.

We first headed to William Hawrelak Park , where the first 2 photos were taken. The lake with its fountains is not only pretty to look at, but is also home to many types of ducks, birds and Canada Geese. The day was rather hot and we broke into a sweat in the blazing sun while heading for the tree-lined paths on the river. Once there, it was a blessed relief from the heat in the cooler shade.

Then we headed across the freeway for a walk along the river at Emily Murphy Park. As we both snapped away with our cameras, we had a great visit and lots of fun. Michele's birthday is Thursday, and we're going out for her Birthday Dinner tonight on the eve of her big day. Michele if you're reading this, Happy Birthday, I love you!

In all, Edmonton has over 460 parks. The 48-kilometre long city stretch of the North Saskatchewan River Valley has 22 major parks. No wonder it's become known as the "Ribbon of Green". It is also the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America. *grin* I love where I live!








This past Sunday, Shilo, a young girl I work with picked me up and we went west of the city to the acreage she lives on. She has a penchant for photography as well, and we headed out on a few minute's drive to an area called "Chickakoo", with several small lakes and lots of horse and foot paths. It's gorgeous in there, and we happily kept our shutters clicking away as we walked with her big gentle dog "River".

Although this time the day wasn't hot, there was an unrelenting wind and the sun was overly bright, making for a lot of "washed-out" shots. Still, it was a pretty day and a really lovely time spent together. We went back to her place after and made sandwiches and iced tea, and had a visit with her horses, cats and dogs.







This is that particular moment during Autumn where I find conditions perfect. There are still plenty of leaves on the trees for colour, but lots on the ground as well. I love the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as I walk, and there is that wonderful scent in the air from them that only happens at this moment in the season. It's so fresh, and I wish there were laundry products that had that exact scent.

Shilo has ridden her horses and walked in this pretty place often, seeing as she lives so close by it's perfect. We were talking about maybe catching it again during the winter months. I bet it's beautiful then too, especially when there is a soft new snowfall on the branches and bushes.











There were lots of people there while we wandered the paths, but we only came upon a few now and then, as it's so big. I could get easily lost in there! At one point we came up to one of the lakes and there was an older couple sitting at the picnic bench with a picnic lunch, watching a young couple at the water's edge who's dog was having a swim. It was a perfect setting for a Norman Rockwell painting.

The only thing that was a bit unnerving were the quantities of wasps. They are really bad this year in Alberta, perhaps elsewhere too. As I have an uncommon fear of them I said a few prayers before we headed out, and although I saw tons of them, for the most part they left me alone. Normally they chase me!!








I have missed the company of my photography-partner-in-crime, my sister Pammie, on these outings this year. Normally on my vacation her and I grab cameras and head out to a few places, cemeteries most of the time. But this year she is working all through my vacation. We'll have to try and get out somewhere before winter hits. She loves Autumn too.

Next up will be Halloween, as it isn't far off now! Whenever the leaves start to change I always think of pumpkins, witches and ghoulie things that go 'bump' in the night. Pammie and I will once again have fun decorating our front yard for the kids. But that is still more than a month away yet and with the hot temperatures we're still getting (unusual for this time of year here) it still feels like August.

I hope you are all enjoying the season, and taking care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

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