Tag Archives: charles rondeau

First Sunday in Autumn

Autumn Landscape
Charles Rondeau (publicdomainpictures.net)

Summer is gone and Autumn has officially begun here in the northern hemisphere.  The hot breath of summer is still blazing in many places though. Once again Death Valley topped out on Saturday at 107?F (41? C) with a low of 20?F (-6? C) at both Bodie, CA and near Mackay, ID.

Bodie is today a ghost town but started in 1859 as a mining camp. The discovery of gold would lead to a boom in 1876 and by 1879 its population was somewhere between 7,000-10,000. The boom lasted until around 1880. Then the discovery of gold elsewhere began drawing people away. The mines kept producing gold and a smaller community thrived in the town for many years. Most who stayed did so because they wanted to settle down. By 1910 the population was 698. The city newspaper folded in 1912. The Standard Consolidation Mine was closed in 1913, was bought up and reopened and for a while made some profit. It was not enough to stop the decline though. In 1917 the Bodie Railway stopped running and the last mine closed in 1942. The 1920 census showed a population of 120. People would still live there until after the end of WW II, but it was mostly a ghost town. In 1961 Bodie was declared a National Historic Landmark and the following year the Bodie State Historic Park was created. Today you can visit the once boom town and see, from the existing and surviving buildings, what it was like back in the late 19th century to live in a Gold Rush boom town.

With October coming up soon, Halloween decorations are appearing along with the usual Halloween themed commercials on television. With the fall harvest comes the change in produce. More apples appear since they are harvested in late summer and early fall. Artichokes, cranberries, pears, and pumpkins are also available during this time. In areas with lots of wineries, grapes are harvested for both wine and table use. No more grapes from Chile!

Photo:David Wagner(publicdomainpictures.net)

Although Covid restrictions have eased, supply issues and higher costs means a lot of Halloween candy and other items are more expensive this year than before. This may lead families doing simpler Halloween activities. There was something to be said about dunking for apples, caramel covered apples, roasting pumpkin seeds and making lots of popcorn. And with a lot of cleverness, you can make easy decorations without having to buy them at the store. Many people are relearning how their great-grandparents got through the Great Depression by keeping costs low and at the same time keeping their families fed.

Happy Sunday Everyone!


Autumn Landscape
Charles Rondeau (publicdomainpictures.net)

Summer is now gone and Autumn has officially begun here in the northern hemisphere. Summer is still throwing its hot breath though in many places. On Saturday it was a blazing 107 in Death Valley, CA while the low was 27 at Estcourt Station in Maine.  Be sure to click and read the article about that border town in Maine. Not unlike those who live in Point Roberts in Washington state but not as bad. The town is at the southern tip of the Tsawwassen peninsula, 25 miles south of Vancouver. While you can travel by air or ferry to Washington state, you have to cross an international boundary (twice) by car.  You have to cross into Canada and then enter the U.S. at Blaine, Washington (and then in reverse going back).

Already signs of the seasons are appearing in stores.  Halloween decorations are starting to appear along with boxes of costumes, food, and related items. Sadly because of Covid-19 restrictions, Halloween will be a less festive affair in many places. Halloween parties will be discouraged, trick or treat limited (probably people putting candy out on tables so you do not need to come to door). Candy makers are not expecting sales to be as high as last year. Expect them to say it means more candy for you! I guess many will have Zoom Halloween parties this year.

That means my old favorite, the Headless Horseman, will have fewer heads to stalk for.  Not to worry though, he probably will branch out to major cities where a lot of people are out on the streets protesting these days. Haunted Houses sadly will be limited in some areas but now will be virtual. Or parents might get creative and set up scary spots in their homes. Perhaps the old treat of roasted pumpkin seeds might make a come back. Trust me. The smell of pumpkin seeds roasting will make the kids want them.

Have a nice Sunday everyone.