Monday, October 02, 2006

Autumn Time!

It is beautiful Autumn here in Massachusetts; daytime highs in the 70's with cool nights and the gradual coloring of the foilage. Harvest festivals abound! On Saturday we went to one at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield. Molly had clued us into it as she was entering the pie baking contest. While we were in AK she baked her 1st ever pie and entered it in a contest and WON so now she's on a mission. We met up with her, John, Gaelen and Eden and spent an enjoyable few hours wandering the grounds. Ambiana loved the baby cows, she squealed with delight whenever she saw one and wanted to pet and pet and pet them.

We thought this was the coolest fungi we had ever seen. It was on a tree at the Shaker Village. Besides fun fungi there were post and beam building demos, a blacksmith demo, weaving demos, bunnies and pigs in the round barn and lots of pies and crafts.

As it was a Harvest Festival there was a hay jump which Gaelen loved! We actually saw Gaelen 3 days in a row. On Friday we went out to his Steiner School for a MichaleMass celebration. Each of the 3 kindergardens baked a loaf of bread in the shape of a sheaf of wheat and presented it to the parents. It was nice to see his school, his clasmates and meet his teacher. It turns out our contra friend Hartmoot is the groundskeeper and has 2 kids in the school and we were pleasently surprised to run into him there! Molly and John know him as well and he even lived across the lane from them for awhile.

Click Play to join us at the Harvest Fair & Apple-pickin'!

After the festival Gaelen joined us for the rest of the afternoon and we went to a beautiful hilltop orchard to pick apples. We rode a haywagon out to the apple trees with a big bag to fill. There were 5 different varieties of apples to pick and of course we had to try each one. Ambiana was a big help...

...and it seemed each time we turned around Gaelen had another apple in his mouth! He had lots of fun trying them all and telling us which ones were "delicious" and which ones were "disgusting". We picked 20# and then treated ourselves to yummy cider donuts. Colleen has been busy canning apples, making and canning applesauce and freezing apples for apple pie filling.

Sunday was a super rainy day and I got to spend 2 hours with Gaelen exploring the overflowing banks of the Green River which we swam in back in August. It was raining buckets on us for awhile as we ran down muddy paths and fjorded the overflowing banks. It was a brief deluge though and then the sun came out and we saw a big bright rainbow. It was a super fun weekend full of fun and Gaelen.

On the Ambiana front she has begun to crawl on all 4's. She is a bit tentative and will only do it when she is super mad at us for not coming to pick her up :( Still it is another milestone in her growth and we realize our little girl is growing up and life is about to change again for us!

Click Play to see Ambiana make her 1st crawls!

The Holyoke Water Power Co. drained the canals across the river this past week for maintainence on the hydro-electric units. I spent a morning with Ambiana walking the lenght of the 3 canals to check out the stonework and peer into the tailrace tunnels thru which the water runs and at one time turned the turbines which powered the now vacant mills.

I counted 156 shopping carts and 75 bikes on the canal bottoms!