in which it's harvest season and we harvest a bunch of stuff (and ride)

It's nearly winter in the Swampland.  First, we have a few (short) days of autumn 
before 'rounding the corner to the VERY short days of winter.

The sound of chainsaws = the sound of autumn

Jim and I recently spent two days cutting up alder trees in Dory's pasture in addition to cutting up a couple of fallen cedar trees at Fish Creek late last spring when they fell in inconvenient places.

Birthday present from Jim: a chainsaw of my very own!

Common wisdom says that wood warms four times:  when the tree is cut, when the wood is split, when the split wood is stacked, and when the fire burns.  Nobody ever mentions loading the tractor bucket,

but that kept us warm too.

At home, the wood is piled in the driveway.  Soon we will rent a mechanical splitter to process the whole pile (currently about 2 cords), and then stack it to dry.  The alder we took this weekend should be ready to burn by late winter.

We have dry, seasoned wood already stacked in the woodshed,
and we've already used the stove on several cool evenings recently.

Today was a(nother) apple harvest day.

Monica in the apple tree

 Jim and Monica fermented a batch of summer cider, and it was so delicious (and the apple harvest so bountiful this fall) that we decided to make another batch.

Karen showed us how to fashion an apple picker out of an empty vinegar bottle
and an old broom handle.

Near the house, Brian fired up his home-built apple crusher, and cider-making happened with our usual party atmosphere.

Chopping, then crushing, then squeezing apples for cider.
Roo hopes for apple slices (there were plenty of extras)

straining the apple juice

We aren't neglecting the horses, either.

blue skies on top + horse ears at the bottom = best kind of picture

 Fiddle was happy to see her friends Hana and Ariana at the trailhead this morning.

Monica and Duana came too.

It was a good day to be out.

 And while we were on the trail, there was something else to harvest:

Chanterelle mushrooms!

This is the time of year when the dogs (and the carpets) get sticky sometimes.  It's okay.

Foxie likes to steal apple chunks and smear them everywhere as he eats.

Later this winter, when it's cold outside 
and we're drinking hard sparkling apple cider by the fire, 
we'll be glad we did all this work!


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