Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Nature

Hello Friends,

I’ve been missing here for a bit, but we are back! It is the beautiful autumn season here in Western New York, and I have some pictures to share.

Last week my parents made a visit to the splendor of Letchworth State Park and captured some glimpses of its colorful display.

Won’t you come along and see the falls with us?

We will head down this road to see what awaits….

These historic stone walls add such a loveliness to the view. Here is a grand old oak tree that has lived here for ages, overlooking these hillsides blanketed with color. I wonder what stories he could tell? Long ago this area belonged to the Seneca Indians. This park has a fascinating tribute to Mary Jemison who was captured by the Senecas when she was 12, and she chose to stay and adopt the Indian way of life, marry an Indian husband and raise her children here. This was her view back then.

This is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East” with the Genesee River flowing down the 17 miles of its length.

Come this way and we will see the Middle Falls, one of three major waterfalls nearby.

Here at the Middle Falls is a lovely picnic spot and close to the edge is where the water flows over. See below, there on your left is the cliff drop.

The water drops over 100 feet from here into the gorge below.

This Middle Falls is the widest of the falls, at nearly 300 feet wide.

This shot gives you a view of the picnic area we were just looking at. Zoom in on this next picture and you will see my dad still sitting there on his bench. 🙂

Notice the misty air that keeps these stones damp by the falls.

After soaking in the beauty here, let us hike up and see the Upper Falls.

Spanning the Upper Falls is a newly built arched trestle bridge. It replaces the previous bridges for the trains to cross over. This bridge is a total length of 963 feet across, and rests 235 feet above the River.

Let’s take a closer look.

These Upper Falls are so beautiful, its hard to guess that the drop here is only 70 feet.

These stone steps lead higher to the top of the Falls.

And here is where the water goes over. This Falls has such an interesting “S” shape, where you can see the top and the front of the falling water all at the same time.

And now for a close up view of the Trestle Bridge itself. And lest you think that is not very big, look close to see the “tiny” rail along the top.

As a farewell to the Letchworth Falls, here is one of the lovely little side falls, one among many that line this huge gorge.

“Someday when I grow up, I want to be a mighty waterfall too!!” says he.

Maybe this one is Penny’s favorite.

Here at home, Penny has a few autumn pictures of her own to share with you. The yellow leaves of our locust tree add a bit of bright beauty to this pile of dried leaves in our yard.

We have been busy with harvesting grapes and apples, raspberries and potatoes here on our farm.

Below she is riding the breezes in the branches of the tulip poplar tree, clinging to the seed pods left by the summer “tulip” blossoms. It was a windy day, I’m gad this shot is in clear focus. The cold winds are coming! Farewell to the glorious sunny autumn days, we have enjoyed you immensely!

On a rainy day, the dogs enjoyed a hike to the back fields. Just look at those happy smiles.

Ooo, running water to splash in! We love mud!!

Back indoors, we welcome this damp, chilly season with a steaming cup of hot tea. Here Penny is stirring sweet and creamy chocolate peppermint tea, yum, yum! Always surrounded by apples in this season. I love it!

Autumn days are celebrated with this autumn rag quilt I made years ago, so soft and warm, and my brand new pumpkin socks.

The cover photo of this post is of Penny on a big white pumpkin that I grew in our vegetable garden. Isn’t it beautiful?

Autumn is a season of abundance and gratitude. As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, lets get our “thanks – givers” warmed up. This is a great time to start a gratitude list, and keep adding snippets of things in your life that make it beautiful, and speak of God’s love to you in a thousand little ways.


 

The colorful autumn days have come and gone so quickly this year.  We are now coated in heavy white snow, but here is a collection of autumn pictures from Penny’s adventures in the last month or so.  It is so fun to be reviewing these now.  Happy, thankful days.

 

 

Today, I’ll take you on one of my walks with Gracie out behind the farm.  We walked down this path, along with a little mud and a lot of sunshine.  We like to go exploring in the woods.  Anyone down inside this hollow log?  Hello??

 

 

A mossy log is so enchanting.  This is a good spot to sit, be quiet awhile, and think.

 

 

What a perfect shape and color of beauty.

 

 

Our dog, Gracie, loves to go for walks or fetch a ball.  Outdoors is her favorite place to be and her tail wags the entire time we are out walking.  So many things to explore and discover!

 

 

My brother grows lots of pumpkins, so we enjoy their cheery presence around the farm.

 

 

Here is one of the pallets where they sit for sale out by the road.

 

 

Rainy autumn days are delightful too, I like the character of the trunk of this maple tree contrasting with its golden leaves.

 

 

What is so fascinating about autumn puddles?  There is a restful stillness of leaves lying here.

 

 

Gentle rain patters on these red leaves.  Its almost like music to hear the rain fall.

 

 

Chilly days call for baking time; and so we’ll set about making pies.  Grab an apron, Penny!  Roll the dough!

 

 

This one is a cherry pie.  Dusty Penny stands back to survey her labors.  It is now ready for the oven.

 

 

The pumpkin pies will get an extra fancy touch of decoration this time, so we cut out leaves from the left over pie dough.  I must say, Penny, you are making quite a mess!

 

 

Oh, but isn’t it worth it?  Look at that beauty.

 

 

When all is finished and cleaned up, Penny gets to sample her very own mini piece of pumpkin pie.  Made from our very own pumpkins, I might add.  So yummy! (I ate some too.)

 

 

We celebrated Thanksgiving with so many things to be grateful for.  Our God is good.  I have enjoyed reviewing Ann Voskamp’s popular book, One Thousand Gifts, during this season.  Don’t we often get stuck on our disappointments and stresses and forget to take time to focus on God’s goodness?   When we accept whatever He sends with open arms, it transforms our thinking.  May His love shine in your heart and bring joy and freedom today.

 

 


 

Here we are, celebrating a beautiful summer.  The rains have been plenty lately and the gardens are lush and colorful.  I wanted to share a little of that with you, not that photos can do it full justice, but I hope this will add a little brightness to your day.

 

 

These hibiscus were grown by a neighbor who brought them over to us.  They are simply HUGE!!  One I measured was ten inches across!  I took a big one out and propped it up in the wisteria so I could pose Penny beside it.  It gave her a rather shrinking feeling.  What an enormous beauty.

 

 

“Oh, that we could reason less about our troubles, and sing and praise more!…

We can sing our cares away easier than we can reason them away.”

 

 

“Sing in the morning.  The birds are the earliest to sing, and birds are more without care than anything else that I know of.

 

 

“Sing at evening.  Singing is the last thing robins do.  When they have done their daily work; when they have flown their last flight, and picked up their last morsel of food, then on a topmost twig, they sing one song of praise.

 

 

“Oh, that we might sing morning and evening, and let song touch song all the way through.”

 

 

“Don’t let the song go out of your life

Though it chance sometimes to flow

In a minor strain; it will blend again

With the major tone you know.

 

 

“What though shadows rise to obscure life’s skies,

And hide for a time the sun,

The sooner they’ll lift and reveal the rift,

If you let the melody run.

 

 

“Don’t let the song go out of your life;

Though the voice may have lost its trill,

Though the tremulous note may die in your throat,

Let it sing in your spirit still.

 

 

“Don’t let the song go out of your life;

Let it ring in the soul while here;

And when you go hence, ’twill follow you thence,

And live on in another sphere.

 

quotes from Streams in the Desert  (May 5th ) – Mrs. Charles Cowman

 

 

 

 

A peek through the wisteria arbor at our sunflower “trees”.

 

 

 

Gracie in the evening rain at sunset.  I love this shot.

 

 

My quiet time lately has been in the Psalms enjoying these two books in the photo below with their comments.  Today’s reading was in Psalm 37.  “Fret not” is repeated three times in this Psalm.  Then I highlighted the thoughts, “Trust in the Lord and do good… Delight thyself in the Lord…  Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him…  Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him…  The Lord upholds you…. He is ever merciful…  The Lord shall help… and deliver…  because they trust in Him.”

Don’t let the song go out of your life, (fret not), but cling to Him.

Rest in the Lord.  He upholds you.

 

 

 

 


 

One of the great joys of Spring is the music of the birds.  It is sweet to take time to listen in awe to the harmony of the many, many songs lifted in praise to their Maker.  I took these bird pictures all from our front porch one rainy day, thrilled to see so many birds in so short a time.  Then I thought of them again yesterday when I was reading in the book  Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.  Below are quotes from the reading dated May 30th describing how we are given a special song and trained to sing in a special way, so each of us can sing a song like no other.

 

 

“And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”  Revelation 14:3

 

“There are songs which can only be learned in the valley.  No art can teach them; no rules of voice can make them perfectly sung.  Their music is in the heart.  They are songs of memory, of personal experience….

 

 

“In Heaven there will be a song that can only be fully sung by the sons of earth…  Doubtless it is a song of triumph, a hymn of victory to the Christ who made us free.  But the sense of triumph must come from the memory of the chain.

 

 

“No angel, no archangel can sing it so sweetly as I can.  To sing it as I sing it, they must pass through my exile, and this they cannot do.  None can learn it but the children of the Cross.

 

 

“And so, my soul, thou art receiving a music lesson from thy Father.  Thou art being educated for the choir invisible…  There are chords too minor for the angels…  There are  depths which belong to thee, and can only be touched by thee.  Thy Father is training thee for the part the angels cannot sing; and the school is sorrow.

 

 

“In the night He is preparing Thy song.  In the valley He is tuning thy voice.  In the cloud He is deepening thy chords.  In the rain He is sweetening thy melody…  Despise not thy school of sorrow, O my soul; it will give thee a unique part in the universal song.

 

 

“Is the midnight closing round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He’ll give you a new, sweet song.
He’ll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness lets it down,
He’ll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.

 

 

“And many a rapturous minstrel
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music
‘I learned it in the night.’
And many a rolling anthem,
That fills the Father’s home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal,
In the shade of a darkened room.”

 

 

*******

 

 

 

 


 

Welcome Snowdrops, the sure sign that Spring is on its way!

I have a collection of pictures for you of the various February happenings here at our farm.  We moved from big white snowbanks, to oodles of mud, to bits of green hinting of spring.  My Valentines project called for collecting grapevines in the cold sharp wind and shaping some wreaths to decorate with hearts and ribbons.  So pretty, with a curly touch of natural beauty.

 

 

 

Maybe you’d like to see this prickly Valentine I received as a token of smiling friendship.  It tickles me!

 

 

Typically these are called Christmas cactus, so why would this be blooming for Valentines Day?  One more thing on my list of things to be grateful for.

 

 

 

A big project over this winter was beading laces for the Fellowship of Christian Farmer’s ministry.  As you recall, we like to take part in providing these laces for the folks in the ministry to pass out at fairs and farm shows where they are each tied onto a walking stick that gets handed out for free to those interested in hearing the Gospel story that the beads represent.  You can read more about that on my site here:   FCFI  

 

 

We were happy to have completed 3,500 laces.  You can see some of them here tied in bundles of 100.  It is a privilege to be involved in supporting those who work with sharing God’s good news.  Is there anything you can do to help spread the Word?

 

 

Here is a card that is attached to the walking sticks to explain the story of the beads.

 

 

This is the little tray that I use to hold the bead supply as I work.  First a knot, then the 5 beads, then another knot.  Then into piles of 100 to bundle.  Meanwhile praying that God will bless the people who hear as well as the people who share the love of God from their hearts.

 

 

Another exciting part of February is the return of the eagles to the Wildlife Refuge near us.  My Dad took these pictures through the spotting scope he uses.  This shot shows the eagle at the top of the tree where they have built a new nest this year.  Just look at the size of that nest!  Imagine them flying in with sticks that big.

 

 

Below you will see the head of the female as she has now begun setting on eggs.

 

 

This next shot is a real classic.  The eagles are such noble birds.

 

 

And now for some adorableness.  Gracie is growing so quickly!  At 14 weeks old she is loving lots of attention and a good romp with some silly fun thrown in.

 

 

Some longer hair is growing on her tail and belly but she is still so soft and fluffy, a joy to stroke.

 

 

The book I have been reading lately is The Autobiography of George Muller.  He was the one to run the orphanages in Bristol, England in the 1800s totally on faith without expressing his needs to anyone but God alone.  His desire was to show that God can be trusted, that He does care about our daily needs and can be relied upon to supply as the needs arise.  God enjoyed the chance to demonstrate His abilities and did so amazingly.  This book has been hugely inspiring to me.

 

 

Here is a quote from his May 7, 1841, diary entry:

“The primary business I must attend to every day is to fellowship with the Lord.  The first concern is not how much I might serve the Lord, but how my inner man might be nourished.  I may share the truth with the unconverted; I may try to encourage believers; I may relieve the distressed; or I may, in other ways, seek to behave as a child of God; yet, not being happy in the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, may result in this work being done in a wrong spirit.

The most important thing I had to do was to read the Word of God and to meditate on it.  Thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed…

As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man.  What is the food for the inner man?  Not prayer, but the Word of God – not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe.  No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts…

Through His Word… our Father speaks to us, encourages us, comforts us, instructs us, humbles us, and reproves us…

Meditation on God’s Word has given me the help and strength to pass peacefully through deep trials.  What a difference there is when the soul is refreshed in fellowship with God early in the morning!  Without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day can be overwhelming.”

~ George Muller