Treasure Found on a Misty Autumn Morning Walk

Most mornings, after I feed the animals, I go for a walk down the driveway. Today I brought the camera, so it wasn’t as much for exercise as it was for pleasure and to gather treasure.

I look for botanical treasure because I use it to decorate my Forest Folk creations. There’s an example of what I mean at the end of this post. Sometimes I find things as soon as I step out of the house, but this time it took a little more time.

This morning wasn’t particularly cold but it was overcast and misty, which makes perfect weather for taking photos that show the beautiful colors of autumn. Some years are really gorgeous here in the Ozarks.

The view from underneath Gloria's limbs.
The view from underneath Gloria’s limbs.

The Order of Things

So first I fed the dogs. Badger always checks the first bowl I fill and then runs to check the next one. He’s making sure I didn’t hold out some leftovers for Bobbie Sue.  She sometimes has trouble chewing the kibbles, so on occasion I do slip her a little something tender. Well Badger caught on to that.

The cats and chickens are waiting their turn to be fed. The picture above is on the way to the hen house. Almost always I gather treasure beneath that oak tree. Usually a tuft of moss or a slab of mossy bark will fall out of it overnight and wait patiently on the ground for me to find it the next morning.

Nothing eye-catching this morning, though. I fed the cats in the shed loft after putting horse and chicken feed into the buckets. Next it’s on to the horses after throwing the scratch to the chickens.

Beautiful Autumn colors at the horse gate this morning.

After giving the horses their food, I leave the buckets on the side of the driveway and head toward the mailbox.

Heading out to Walk

Badger and Bobbie Sue leading the way down the driveway for my treasure hunt.
Badger and Bobbie Sue leading the way down the driveway for my treasure hunt.

I didn’t plan to walk that far today, though, because I had the camera and it would have taken me far too long for that reason. I’d have to stop and take too many pictures and I had things I needed to get done back at the house.

Here’s some of the things I saw along the 1/2 mile route to the camper and back up to the house.

The oak leaves are turning red.
The oak leaves are turning red.
A closer view of the oak leaf. I like the shades of color and the black dots. This is one I think I'll draw when I get some time.
A closer view of the oak leaf. I like the shades of color and the black dots. This is one I think I’ll draw when I get some time.
Maples are turning gold.
Maples are turning gold.
And maples are turning red.
And maples are turning red.
It was both a fortunate AND an unfortunate meeting in the moonlight. Something had dinner here last night.
It was both a fortunate AND an unfortunate meeting in the moonlight. Something had dinner here last night.

There’s a healthy population of both predator and prey animals here. It’s a great study in perception to reconcile the death of one making life possible for another. The same scene can be interpreted different ways by creatures looking at it from different perspectives.

Rocks and Dead Flowers and Native Clay

There are so many rocks here and some of them are too large to haul back up to the house with me. I’m sure Rob’s glad of that.

I love the leftover flowers that leave behind interesting shapes.

Along the landslide there was more clay oozing out of the cut. This layer of clay in there is probably why the hill keeps sliding. When it rains, it gets slick and the section over it just slides down into the driveway again.

Clay oozing out of the landslide.
Clay oozing out of the landslide.

But it does offer a treasure to me in the form of raw material for sculpting the heads and parts of my Forest Folk! I didn’t need to gather any more of this today, though. Rob brought me plenty in the first load.

Baby bear track or a little bigfoot.
Baby bear track or a little bigfoot.

Most of the clay we have around here is the color of this driveway. That dark clay is unique to that spot and I’m not sure there’s more anywhere else. I haven’t looked for it since I probably have a lifetime supply right there.

Found the Treasure I Was Seeking

Finally found the treasure I needed.
Finally found the treasure I needed.

It wasn’t until I was on the way back to the house that I found what I needed. The small twig with the vine attached is the most prized treasure. It’s going to make a fabulous wand for a Forest Folk.

I also found a twisty stick that I’m not sure yet how I’ll use and more seed fluff from the fireweed that hadn’t let go of all of it yet. That fluff makes the hair on the Forest Folk. If you haven’t seen them yet, take a look over at my Etsy shop. I think you’ll love them as much as I do.

I hope you enjoyed today’s treasure hunt!

And that you weren’t disappointed by the size of the finds 🙂 It’s the little things like that perfect vine wrapped twig that makes each of my works unique and appealing to me. That’s why when I find something like that, I feel like I’ve just struck gold.



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

October Color at Wild Ozark

Here’s a couple of photos from this morning I thought you’d like. I love fall here in the Ozarks. Late October color is often quite nice. That’s when it begins to start turning noticeably.

In the morning as the sun rises over the eastern mountain, the trees westward light up. Each day from about now to November promises to hold great views.

I’ll add more as the season wears on.

October color in the Ozarks can be quite spectacular. Here's one of the maple trees along the driveway.
Maple leaves along the driveway.

 

A red sweet gum leaf by the gate.
A red sweet gum leaf by the gate.

Not Just the Leaves

Sunrises and sunsets are often spectacular in October, too. Here’s one from 10-20-17. It started out with a delicate gold wash across the landscape. Before I had the camera ready, though, the colors had deepened to a gorgeous amber glow.

Sienna Sunset, October 20, 2017. SOOC, no filters. The moment was fleeting, but I was glad to have captured it.
“Burnt Sienna Sunset”, October 20, 2017. SOOC, no filters. The moment was fleeting, but I was glad to have captured it.


About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Hornet’s Nest & The last of the fall color at Wild Ozark

A hornet’s nest to decorate with has long been on my wish-list. Around here, they don’t survive very long in the wild because cliff or chimney swifts tear up their nests to make the plaster for their own nests.

There was a big one in the plum tree on the other end of the horse’s field I had my eye on. When I went to check on it the other day, it was completely devastated.

Gloria looking glorious

Then one day while I was on the balcony upstairs I noticed a cluster of what looked like dried leaves right there in Gloria’s branches. You probably can’t see it in this pic, but this is Gloria. And it’s a beautiful picture, so that’s why I’m posting it.

Beautiful foggy morning. I call the tree "Gloria".
Beautiful foggy morning. I call the tree “Gloria”.

Another Hornet’s Nest

The bundle of dried leaves was hiding another hornet’s nest. I had never noticed until the leaves began to fall. We watched it several days and never saw any hornets going in and out. It must be abandoned?

Rob with the hornet's nest
It was abandoned, thank goodness. Rob tried shooting the limb to make it fall but that didn’t work. So he had to use the pole saw to cut the branch. It was way up in the tree, just barely low enough to reach with the pole.

What now?

We put it in a contractor bag, tied it shut tight, and will leave it out there until we’re sure all the larvae (if any are there) have hatched. All this time I thought the hardest part of getting a nest was not getting stung. But it seems the hardest part is getting the nest before other critters get it.

The last of the fall color

This year hasn’t been a spectacular one for color, but it’s still very pretty.

Fall color on the eastern hill.
Fall color on the eastern hill.

What else has been happening on the Wild Ozark front?

I’ve been really really busy revising and polishing the first book of my Bounty Hunter rural fantasy series. And working on a new fiction website. I claimed the domain name ruralfantasy.com, which I was super-excited about. Also took up a different pen name for my fiction, and it’s a silly one but catchy, and I like it. Anyway, the new site is a long ways from being finished and the revisions of the story are higher on the priority list.

That’s why you haven’t seen a post lately, or this month’s newsletters yet.


 



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 21- Down the dirt road in October

I’m not real good at trees and landscapes yet. I can do single items like leaves fairly well, but the larger view pushes outside my ability. Maybe with practice I’ll get better.

Wild Ozark Nature Sketching Day 21- Down the road in October
… stop and take a few photos (finished the thought on the back side of the page).Wild Ozark Nature Sketching Day 21- Down the road in October

 



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Nature Sketching Day 14

At this time of year it’s even harder than usual for me to make a quick trip to town and back. If I bring my camera with me, it’s a guaranteed impossibility.

Today I had to stop for photos of the Felkins Creek valley as the sun was setting.

Wild Ozark Nature Sketching Day 14-Evening Light on Hillsides
Nature Sketching Day 14-Evening Light on Hillsides

 

Thank you for visiting and sharing this moment in space and time with me 🙂



About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program; an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods