forecast: happiness


yesterday started with yet another downpour. i have never seen such rain; last year we were in a drought. honestly though, ive liked the rain. it fits the mountains. the verdant foothills are rich in color against the gray skies and with the diffused light the landscape is a cinematographers dream come true. but by afternoon, the clouds broke a bit and allowed some light in and i was fortunate enough to catch this early high achiever blast out a breathtaking red.

the rain has her own fans though. this little branch hosted a tree fungus performing its duties in the process of decay.

the hens and trout accompanied me on a forest nature walk. have i ever mentioned how difficult it is to get a decent photograph of a chicken? im sure Dani can back me up on this point. this is an attempt to capture Vera in pursuit of an unfortunate moth.

The barred rocks are examining somebody's find. still, for 3 seconds.

last year at this time of the season, Betty and i went to Burt's pumpkin farm and amicolola falls on a mini-day trip. you can tell it is last year from the blue skies. i havent seen this in days...i would say weeks but there was this one perfect day about 10 days ago.

indian corn and some kind of dark green pumpkin at Burt's.

amicolola falls

the view from the top of the falls.

back at Chickory, the forest sheltered me in a blanket of color hinting at the colors to come. sometimes i lay in my bed in the morning and look out the window where the trees are so thick there is only one tiny spot of sky to be seen. it reminds me of a grand cathedral looking through rows of gothic arches until you see the brilliant stained glass window. my love for this place is so profound that tears come to my eyes frequently and easily. i might be the most blessed person on earth. it sounds corny, but it's true.

is there any greater blessing than to arrive at the entrance of your home and feel excitement at the sight of it?

boxer, who is coming here in 20 days will *hopefully* be greeted by the peak of fall color. if it keeps raining like this, probably not. today it is going to be very windy so many leaves heavy with water are going to fall. tomorrow it will be in the 40's in the morning! i love that. tomorrow night is a big night in Blue Ridge. the opening of the southern appalachian juried art show opens (my piece of the hound and hen in a night garden is in it) and then there will be the grand opening of the Blue Ridge Brewery. That's a big deal because only this year did the county finally give the people a chance to vote for beer and wine in a restaurant. and it was an epic battle.

not much is going on in the garden. the winter rye i planted as a cover crop is coming in nicely. i love how it looks and feels. like a cool moist carpet.

you know? i think "nutty" likes it here too.

have a great weekend everyone. and thank you for your kind words and prayers for my mom. xo


  1. I am certainly envious of your lifestyle, although somehow I don't see me raising chickens. Living in the area and taking pics of the flora/fauna, yes. Although my grandpa raised fightin' roosters, so it might be in my blood after all! We've had mighty might rains too, but clear today so hopefully wonderfully clear skies are heading your way.

  2. I feel your pain. I've been stalking crazy a$$ Silky for a week trying to get a picture. She's getting her winter fluff in and she's just downright adorable lookin'.

    Looks beautiful in your neck of the woods. I can do without the temps being in the 40's though. Brrrr

    Have a wonderful weekend. :)

  3. chickory
    is a blessing

    you have way more
    fall color foliage than us --
    we usually see only golds & yellows, and never those brilliant reds and oranges -- this year it looks like we're going straight from green to brown as an early cold snap & snow have pretty much killed everything outright

    best wishes with the show & your weather

    × × ×


  4. I'm enjoying the color right now and will revel in anything and everything that is there for me a few weeks. I can't wait. It looks so different from my world... well, I guess right now you're getting what we get 90% of the time; rain! Doesn't matter, I love your forecast. xoxoxo. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. the colors are getting nice here in Minnesota, too...
    What's going on with your mom? I must have missed that!
    Be well.

  6. How beautiful both the scenery and the quick little chickens. I like an animal that's too busy to stand still when there's food to be eaten.

    TROUT! How are her eyes doing?

    Keeping your mom and you in my thoughts.

    So, no sun here for a week. Hoping for Sunday.

  7. would you look at the smile on that dog's face!
    And the colors! WOW!
    We got some colors going on here, but, I'm suspicious, to be sure.
    Sometimes good color for a bit and then, one windy day, all gone like it was never Fall at all. Just straight out of Summer into a cold Winter.

    Good luck with them leaves...
    maybe duct tape some to the trees for Boxer?
    A shoe box with the very prettiest?
    Maybe just a heck of a lot of photos, gal.
    The two of ya will have fun with or without the leaves.

  8. Loved this posting K9...Good Luck with the art show ! Is the new brewery providing the beverages for the art show? Your beginnings of fall look very promising and I smiled big at the greener than green winter rye. Hope happiness abounds throughout your weekend.

  9. hey, chickory ..
    good luck with the show!! i think it's just wonderful that wineries and breweries are popping up all over the place. and even better if the product is good. you know your woods and views are gorgeous. just like my neck of the woods .. :)
    i loved the running photo of vera. i'd say that surly is a chick on a mission. 'nutty' probably loves it wherever you are, but her favorite place for you to be is probably those woods of yours.

  10. What is that red? I see one too higher up the mountain, it just burst out of nowhere after the recent Pacific storm moved east. I love the way it startles. Such a brazen misfit.
    The land, the Falls, the hens, Trout, the job, the trip, Mom, clouds and silver linings? Mothers are happiest when their daughters are living fulfilled.
    You will take the prize at the show.

  11. pamokc: i wouldnt have imagine myself as a poultry wrangler 10 years ago. but i had a little gallery up here and i could see the feed and seed store from my window. i started going over there and cooing over the baby chicks, and well, you know the rest of the story. point: stay OUT of the feed n seeds. ;-) i heard somebody at the post office talking about how what was bombing the moon going to do to the weather. good question! not more rain i hope.

    dani: i love how you put the dollar signs in. yep. oh i bet that silkie looks as soft as a baby duckling. i saw some frizzles yesterday -so cute. but i insist on clean legged varieties. i think i am going to set up a photo booth for the chickens for some formal portraits. you have a good weekend too!

    /t: weve had some falls like that too. its in the 40s this am and wet. i miss the sun! they are saying we are getting snow flurries the western tip of my county where i am it always happens. something about how the land lays. i loved your buck photos. gorgeous!

    boxer: i have to think very carefully on how i want to spend the precious time i have with you. i think friday will be a big hike and then a fun outing that evening, but saturday i think well spend a lot of it around chickory. the "little things" tour.

    my forecast went a bit south after i posted. see comment to shamu.

    publius! good to see you. i tried recently to comment at your page on the boys bedtime but my comment wouldnt post.

    my mom is in the final stage of life where she goes from one crisis to the next, each one leaving her weaker and more vulnerable. eventually she will tire of having "procedures" done to her body and lay down and rest. thank you for asking.

  12. shamy: ive noticed that your weather has been the same..i look at the radar on the computer seeing what is ahead and i look all the way back to the middle of the country.

    trout. trouts eyes are okay for now..but it is taking more and more drops to keep them healthy. its worrisome but i am already doing all that can be done. there is an experimental surgery where they go in and fix the tubes that drain the eyes water which relieves pressure but i cannot afford it and thats the end of it. and its no guarantee either.

    she also sliced her foot again. this time a back one didnt cut through a tendon thank God but cut deep into her pad. so she had to have stitches. i was lectured by the vet about allowing trout the run of the countryside. and she is right to a certain extent. but no fencing can contain her and it would be impossible to shock fence this property.

    it is what it is. this is a part of hardening up. i already squared it in my mind that it was risky and that trout could be killed any number of ways. what i have is a country hound. she is a rescue so i didnt research the breed before hand. one day, i will get another labrador who will stick around and be a homebody. trout is not and never will be that dog. trout is like having a wild animal for a pet.

    What i plan to do is to buy the curved needles, sutchers, and antibiotics and start doing my own repairs. if it is just a flesh wound, i am going to handle it myself.

    boney: i was thinking about getting some silica gel and preserving some leaves to take down to my mom. i will save some for boxer. i hope your colors dont blow away! moxnx! LOL

    fishy: my brother in law said the deer will really enjoy the rye. dag - thats why i didnt plant the buckwheat. oh well. no -the brewery is just having a grand opening tonight. the art show is somewhere else. thanks fishy!

    foamy: there is no place that feels so right in my spirit as the forest. i was born in the rolling landscape of north florida in an oak hammock heavy with spanish moss. i have always had trees as my protectors. ha! there will be a lot of foam tonight.

    nina: i dont know what that red is. i will have to research it and report back. mothers are happiest to see daughters fulfilled. my mom taught me well she loved the natural world, every living thing, the little beauties and art. she taught me most of what i know about gardening. she was a brilliant rose gardener and she could bring any creature found on the brink of death back to life and returned to its environment. i know that she beams to think of me in this forest. thank you.

    the prize? i doubt it. the judge does realism and not very well. this show will be rife with very literal traditional paintings. last year the grand prize (two grand!!! damn i could use that money) went to a pastel of an old red truck filled with pumpkins in a north georgia landscape. it was very well done i have to say.

    i will just delight in having a piece in the show. it will be the window to the other world.

  13. i was born in central florida in the land of lakes .. :)
    i like my lakes and rivers .. :)
    .. and woods ..
    .. oh, and mountains ..

  14. Such fabulous photos dear chickory, you have captured so many beautiful aspects of your world; if I lived there I would never want to leave.
    I can quite understand your feelings for such a beautiful place, it has it's own spirit, such a wonderful array of trees, leaves, textures and colours...something of wonder in every direction...that gate looks so welcoming and yes I would feel the excitement of 'coming home'.
    Trout looks well, I'm so happy about that and your hens certainly have a great place to free range and scratch around for forest delicacies.
    Good luck with the art show. ♡

  15. Trout is dog first, your beloved animal second and I so respect how you let her live her life. I keep an arsenal of first aids for my dogs/cat and last week flushed my cat's eye and added ointment. He's fine now and I did not have to make an emergency trip to the vet. xoxo. Your forecast is still happiness because you are living an authentic life.

  16. What lovely photos. I felt the same living on a farm in Hood River but things happen and the farm had to go away. How wonderful for you to feel such joy and appreciation for what you have. I love coming here to peek into your world!

  17. foamy: oh yeah, i think i remember that. land of sink holes. ;-)

    dianne: the hardest part is to be separated from V. if i didnt absolutely believe that preparing a sustainable homestead was critical i probably would not spend as much time here away from him. but i think this time apart will be worth it eventually. it is beautiful and that is my consolation. sometimes the only people i talk to are animals!

    boxer: thank you. it has not been easy to arrive at this decision but it is the only workable way. a fence cannot contain her. when you see her run -well, you already know! i appreciate that you understand. i cleaned up yet more glass today. i was overwhelmed/

    run lori run: hi! good to see you. the farm went away? i hate that. but i am so glad you enjoyed your visit here~

  18. I'm loving the Speedy Vera photo! I'm always surprised how chickens can MOVE.

    Goodness, your place is looking gorgeous in all this fall weather. Love that vista from the falls down into all that people-less nature.

  19. Just sending you a 'hello', and I'm thinking of you! :) Pam

  20. I think I too would like it there. Plus, it would help me disprove the theory that happiness and this Pug can indeed co-habitate.


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