Sunday, October 23, 2016

It's Autumn, and I Like It!

Most everyone seems to have a favorite time of the year. Some people like spring because everything is fresh and new after a long winter. Some people prefer winter because of all the opportunities to participate in winter sports. Most of my friends seem to prefer summer, for it's warmth and long daylight hours. They love the beach and things like that. I do not. My favorite time of the year is fall. Partly because it signals the end of summer (which happens to be my least favorite season). But mostly because I just like pretty much everything about it! Cooler weather, frosty mornings, trees changing colors, harvest time, apples and pumpkins, hoodies, hunting season, the smell of wood smoke in the air... Ah, glorious fall...

As I mentioned before, I am well aware that not everyone shares my fondness for the autumn season. But I figured I would still be able to find some sort of fall-celebrating poem to share alongside of my fall photos here on the blog (and there are LOTS of photos...). I'm sure there are some out there, but after I glanced through poem after poem that talked about everything dying in fall, and the wind singing a funeral song for the trees (or something along those lines), and the way the poets felt sad because it was fall and the glory of summer was gone... I kinda gave up. So instead I searched for happy quotes about autumn and those were easier to find... so here you go! :)

"I loved autumn, 
the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there 
just for the beauty of it." 
- Lee Maynard

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." 
- Lucy Maude Montgomery

North Fork, Shoshone River, Wyoming

Pilot and Index Peaks, Absaroka Range, Wyoming
(It's pronounced Ab-sor-ka, by the way.)

Tentatively identified as Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar, Yellowstone National Park

"Autumn... the year's last, loveliest smile." 
- William Cullen Bryant

Bison, Yellowstone National Park

Lewis Lake, Yellowstone National Park

"Fall is awesome." 
- Me

Willow Flats, Grand Teton National Park (next 4 pictures)

Find the bull elk in the picture above.

Find the cow elk in the picture below.

"Autumn is a second spring 
when every leaf is a flower."
- Albert Camus

An inviting trail, Oxbow Bend area, Grand Teton National Park

"Autumn carries more gold in its pocket 
than all the other seasons." 
- Jim Bishop

Aspens in the fall (my favorite!), Oxbow Bend area, Grand Teton National Park

"I like fall. I don't like it. 
I actually love it. I like leaf piles." 
- Mountain Girl

Oxbow Bend (Snake River), Grand Teton National Park
(next 4 pictures)

"Um... like a frog bouncing into the water." 
- Little Mr.

Random photographer (Ha ha... hi, mom!), Cunningham Cabin area, Grand Teton National Park
(next two pictures)

"I like fall because of 
the cooler temperatures and the hunting." 
- PJ

 Magpie, perfectly timed

Mormon Row homesteads, Grand Teton National Park

"Otch! Ush. O yah." 
- Little Miss

String Lakes area, Grand Teton National Park (next 4 pictures)

"I like it because you can 
do art projects with fall leaves." 
- Biker Dude

Lewis Falls, Yellowstone National Park

Lewis River, Yellowstone National Park

"Delicious autumn! 
My very soul is wedded to it, 
and if I were a bird I would fly about the Earth 
seeking the successive autumns." 
- George Eliot

Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

 Yellowstone Grizzly! If you want to see more pictures of bears, and of Yellowstone, you'll have to check back here next week! 'Til next time...

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; 
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons; 
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning."
- Daniel 2: 20-21 (NIV)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Back in Business

I have been a bad blogger.

It has been over a year since my last post. I don't have any real reason for it - just took an unscheduled break, I guess. I have had many ideas for posts over the last year. Even started writing a few. Even had one that was all written and edited and ready to go and I just didn't get it posted. I have missed writing, though. Now that the busyness of summer is over, school has started, and the weather is steadily changing as we head deeper into autumn... it seems like a good time to "get back on the horse", so to speak.

We recently took a couple of trips up to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, plus my parents and my brother and his family came out for a visit (Yes, all at the same time. We had FUN!). With all that, plus the regular day-to-day stuff, I have given my camera quite a workout over the last couple of months! Um... yeah... We're talking nearly 1,400 photos since the beginning of September. I may have a problem. I may need help - help buying a new memory card (or two)! Haha!

On our first trip down to the Tetons this year, I wanted to find the Moulton Barn. You've probably seen it before, even if you didn't know what it was called. Calendars, posters, screen savers... the barn with its unique shape and the mountain range rising up behind it is an iconic image of the Tetons. I've wanted to get down there and get my own photos of it for a while, but it seems like every trip we run out of time to actually find it. We used to (as newlyweds) head through Yellowstone and down to the Tetons on day trips and feel like that was totally doable, and that we generally had plenty of time to see and do what we wanted to. Traveling with four young kiddos changes things up a bit!

This time, however, we found it! We looked up directions online, and it was actually pretty easy to find. And there was a lot more than just the one barn to look at, too. There are actually several old homesteads remaining at that spot. All together it is called Mormon Row (as it was a Mormon settlement), and it's located on Antelope Flats Road outside of the Moose Entrance to Grand Teton National Park. The area is actually nicely developed with a couple parking areas, a bathroom, and a nice walking path. I was a bit surprised by it, actually. The pictures I'd seen of it made it look much more rustic and remote. Just goes to show you that a picture can be deceiving! There's even some sort of guest cabins or something back in there too.

Here's that old, iconic barn:

We didn't go down there just once this year. We actually returned for a second time while my family was in town visiting. Here's the same barn just a few weeks later:

I love fall.

Here are a few other snapshots from the area (combined from both trips):

We have started our third year of homeschooling this year, and we used our first trip down to the Mormon Row homesteads as a school field trip. We spent a good bit of time walking around the area and talking about what it would have been like to have lived on a homestead. The homesteads here were built around the 1890s. After we got back home, the kids drew a picture of a homestead. The older kiddo also wrote a short essay about what life would have been like for him if he had lived on a homestead back then. It's always a bonus when a vacation day can double as a school day. :)

On our second trip we also checked out another old structure - the Cunningham Cabin.

This cabin was built in the 1880s. Imagine waking up to this view every morning!

There was a nice little walking path to check out. Not to mention the gorgeous views! And there happened to be a small herd of elk just across the way that we watched for a while, too. (You can see them below.)

A couple of gorgeous days in the Tetons! I've got more pictures to share, too. But they'll have to wait for another post. Be sure to check back soon!