Hints of Fall

I am starting to see hints of fall in the items seen at the local farmers’ markets.  Baby butternut squash are my current favorite.  They are the perfect size for a single serving.  I can’t wait for the current heat wave to break so I can roast one of these lovelies.

Hints of Fall

The moon late at night has been orange.  Hard to capture but this shot reminds me that All Hallows Eve will be here soon.

Mysterious Moon

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Travels

This past weekend, I managed to talk a friend into wandering around a few rural parts of northern Virginia in a hunt for two new to me wineries.  We never actually found either of the two wineries I wanted to check out.  Google Maps said the one was about a 90 minute drive.  But it seemed like we kept going and going and going down this two lane road into the woods.

I will say that the little we saw of Mount Weather through the fences was stunning.  The trees lining the two lane road we were on meant that it was nice and cool for that portion of the drive.

After a while, we decided to head back towards the main road and find the cider place we had seen several signs for instead.  After all, this was meant to be an adventure.

I forgot to take any photos of the brand new hard cider place we visited in Bluemont, Virginia.  But I would highly recommend taking a day trip to go visit Wild Hare Hard Cider.  We sampled the two ciders they had available and I ended up bringing home a bottle of Windrush.  I plan to drink part of it once the weather cools down and use the rest to cook with.  Maybe as a glaze for some butternut squash.

After visiting the cidery, we found a micro-brew place called Dirt Farm.  Yes, it really is called Dirt Farm.  The only beer I tried was good but I am not sure I would go back.  It was the drive up to the tasting room is why I am not sure I would go back.  You literally are driving straight up a mountain on one lane farm road.  Coming back down it was a bit nerve racking since the other lane was a hard packed dirt and pock marked and you prayed no one was coming up on the paved lane.  Down hill traffic has to move over to the unpaved lane.  But the view was stunning.

Looking down the mountain.

Looking down the mountain.

We headed over to Middleburg, Virginia, after this to find another cidery that had been mentioned to us.  Mt. Defiance is not just a cidery but they also distill spirits as well.  We only did the cider sampling and again, they were good but nothing mind blowing.

But time for a late lunch so instead of staying in lovely Middleburg, we ended up in one of my favorite places to eat – Beans in the Belfry.  I bypassed a yarn shop to go to Beans.  I am not sure if it is the fact that this is an old church that has been creatively repurposed or the food or the combination.  But I love this place.  The food is always well prepared, fresh and local.  And yes, my friend loved the place as well.

MochaStairs to ....

And yes, I did drag her to another cidery but pictures and more details about that one after my next visit there.  It is local and I enjoyed their offerings enough that I plan to go back again.

But we finished off the day with a trip to South Mountain Creamery for an ice cream cone.

Nothing like a Deere

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Cool Water

A view up Carroll Creek on a hot August day.

A view up Carroll Creek on a hot August day.

A view up Carroll Creek on a hot August day is refreshing so long as you can ignore the gnats and bugs that seem to want to surround you.  The creek is very tempting to dip your toes in if you are brave enough.

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Farmers’ Market Bounty

This is the time of the summer when the farmers’ markets are super colorful with the stunning colors of assorted hot peppers.  The colors of these peppers offer a wonderful palette for stranded colorwork inspiration.

Color Palette

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Leafy Lace

Even in nature, there is lace to admire.

Even in nature, there is lace to admire.

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Summer’s Bounty

Summer Bounty

Apricots waiting their turn to be turned into jam.  Peaches and nectarines to enjoy.  And a medley of cherry tomatoes to just enjoy.  Summer produce has finally started to come into the farmer’s markets locally.

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Summer FIelds

The state has been letting the drainage ponds become naturalized over the past several years and it is nice to see all of the flowers and native grasses growing in them now.  And the bees are loving the flowers.

Wildflowers Busy Bees

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