Sunday, November 7, 2010

Leaf Peeking: One Of Ten Things I Like To Do

Autumn in Pennsylvania is stunning! Even this year, following a long, summer drought, the leaves are not disappointing. H.H. suggested we go for a car ride - 'leaf peeking' as the locals and tourists call it. I readily agreed, grabbing the camera, of course.  Laura invited me to play the blogging game of listing '10 things I like to do' and as a fall drive is something I love, I decided it would be first on my list. As we toured the immediate countryside, I snapped a few pictures (all the pictures in this post were taken that day) while considering nine more 'likes' I would include. I realized I really enjoyed photography, which surprised me. I started taking pictures just to record the events in my garden. With the advent of my blog, I tried to improve picture quality as I acquired an audience. Although I don't have a top-of-the-line camera (only a point and shoot), I am often rather pleased with the results.

So the ten things on my list are:

1. Fall leaf-peeking in Pennsylvania.
2. Photography.
3. Giving gardening programs, for example at garden clubs and my local university. I use Power Point or Apple Keynote for my slide shows and I like preparing the programs just as much as presenting them. This is linked to my enjoyment of photography, as the pictures I use are all my own.

4. Visiting my homeland, England. Much as I love my adopted country, there is no place like home. As I write this, I am 'across the pond' visiting my mother. Yes, I still think of this as home and get homesick when I am away too long. But paradoxically, when I am here for a while, I start feeling homesick for America!

Our neighbor, Roger, was taking a fall drive, also.
5. When I am in England I love to go to garden centers with my dear friend, Carole. English garden centers are so different from those in America because they have coffee shops! Or maybe they are tea rooms, but they serve coffee. When I am here, I so miss the coffee I have become accustomed to in the United States. My mother serves instant coffee, ugh! So at the garden center I can get my coffee 'fix' and catch up with my friend's news, while surrounded by flowers. Lovely!

Dude and Billy greet us on our return from leaf peeking
6. I like spending time with my miniature horse, Dude. He likes spending time with his best buddy, Billy Goat. Animals give such unconditional love to us.

A glimpse of the upper field on our farm after the corn was cut.
7.  Every year, usually in June or July, I enjoy giving tea parties in my garden. I usually give two or three each year. One is our annual church garden party and another is a get-together with the master gardeners with whom I graduated.  I look forward to these events enormously. I also do small tea parties for close friends. It's my way of showing off my garden and at the same time practicing a beloved English tradition. I make scones, tea sandwiches, and trifles. Not very nutritious, but delicious!

8. I love watching old films on the television's classic movie channel. I can watch some of them over and over again. My favorite is Casablanca; and I like anything with Katharine Hepburn. A great way to relax after an exhausting day gardening!

I live on this road which bears the name of our farm. The barn has been here for longer than our house

We found these heart-shaped mushrooms near the old barn.

Milkweed. I'm hoping for lots of monarchs next year.
9. Grandchildren coming for a weekend with Nana and Pappy is such a joy! At our house they have their own bedroom, furnished especially for them. The rest of the house tends to be English-country style, but the boys' room is strictly Americana. It was a fun room to decorate and it is double fun when occupied by lively young boys.

10. I really enjoy seeing my children and grandchildren sitting around my dining table at Christmas! It does not happen every year as they are scattered around the country. My son and his family live in Phoenix now, and I don't think they will want to come east to our chilly climate - their weather is so pleasant at that time of year. But I have lovely memories of family Christmases and look forward to many more.

Well, as I read through my ten 'likes' they seem to be centered around gardens, food, and family ... with an emphasis on food! Oh dear, now you know a little more about me, you can draw your own conclusions. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I am honored that Laura chose me. Thank you, Laura. In return, I should ask ten bloggers to list their ten favorite things to do. I hope you will forgive me, but I am just going to give an open invitation, dear gardening friends. Let me know if you decide to take the challenge.

Happy Gardening!
Pamela x


  1. Dear Pam - Nice to have you back on our shores for a while. Hope all is well.
    You've blended so well into the USA landscape and still retained your Englishness - this makes your 10 things an interesting mix of the past and the present with your love of family showing throuhgout :)
    Seeing Fall scenery through your lens is glorious and hallelulaj! square haybales instead of black plastic wrapped swiss rolls.
    thanks for sharing
    p.s. the Times article is a superb write up on you!

  2. I enjoyed reading this post about ten things you like. It's only right that family, gardens and food should be right there at the top. I hope you've enjoyed your time back in England and I hope that you've found your mum in better health than you did when you last visited.

  3. Dear Pamela, I love the thought of you 'leaf peeking'. That is such a wonderful way of describing that most absorbing of autumn activities. And, as you say, you do have some beautiful autumn colour in your area to go and look at.

    I was also most interested to read about your holding a garden party in the summer, complete with scones and tea. A little piece of England transported across the Atlantic. I am sure it is an event much looked forward to each year by your neighbours!

  4. Hi, Pam, Such gorgeous fall colors! I really enjoyed reading your 10 things and learning a little bit more about you! :) I hope you are having a nice time in England. I've been there twice - once for 6 months when I was 6 years old! And then for a few days when I was 18.

  5. I love your fall photos. Also the one of your neighbour going for a drive. I hate the cold but I remind myself that living in a place with seasonal extremes is what allows us to enjoy such beautiful colour in autumn.
    Some of our garden centres here in Australia also have cafes attached. It has become quite popular.

  6. I am from Pennsylvania originally. 30 years in PA. My uncle is a retired home builder in the Poconos and I have spent time there visiting and skiing.

    No where, even New England where I had some schooling, has prettier leaves in fall. Even, dare I say, Utah, which has some real beautiful mountainscapes and glorious color. I know I am partial, but I think you may make others believe it is true from your gorgeous photos. See you are home too.

  7. Oh Pam, this is such a wonderful list and a bit of a peek into who you are and what you hold dear. I'm amazed at how many bloggers have discovered the joy of photography. Isn't it great? Love the photo of the old barn along side the road.

    Have a wonderful day!

  8. What a great post! Lovely pictures, I'm of course a little envious of your fall color, but we all get what we get.

  9. Pam, I absolutely loved the post, in between controlling my envy at your idyllic life and surroundings. Each picture more spectacular than the last, although the one at the top of the post truly gladdens my heart -- talk about a show-stopper. Your list shows you're a person who can make the most of these blessings!

  10. Afternoon tea sounds wonderful Pam with strawberry jam and clotted cream on those scones. Your friends must love to attend your garden parties.

    I think your autumnal photography is stunning.

    Have a lovely weekend :)

  11. Dear Pam,
    So entertaining to read your list! I wish I could attend one of your tea/garden party...sounds delightful. It is good you get to enjoy a visit with your mom, how special!

  12. Dear Pam, I enjoyed your photos and also learning a little bit more about you through your list. I might just take on your open invitation, since it's the time of year when garden topics are getting scarce. Funny you should mention tea vs. coffee. Since living with an Englishwoman in a shared apartment during college days, I've become a tea addict. I think it's a delightful English custom to have tea for any and all reasons. I bet your tea parties are a delight, too.

  13. Just had to say - I'm English and don't like tea at all! As for garden centre coffe shops near us several have cafes too where you can have lunch

  14. Beautiful leaves! We don't get a big fall show (at least not on the trees; perennials are another matter) in central Texas, so I really enjoy seeing blazing trees on other blogs right now.

  15. I love the photos. Tea parties in the wonderful, I wished I lived next door to you, I would love it as we chat away about everything..especially gardening.

    Here's wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  16. I love giving powerpoint presentations to gardeners, the only problem being the whole speaking in front of people. That part puts knots in my stomach.

    Nurseries such as you describe are rarer than unicorns here! I guess I'll have to go to England....

    Christine in Alaska

  17. Hi Pam,
    I enjoyed reading your list of things you like to do, and seeing the wonderful photos that illustrated them.

    Your tea parties sound fun! I recorded Danial Radcliffe, the Harry Potter actor, who was on the CBS Early Show for my daughter. He said if any more was written about Harry Potter, he'd have to have a hard think about it. I don't know if I've already told you I like it when I hear English people say they are going to "have" something when they are going to do something. I think it's cute. Do you or your family talk like that?

  18. Pam, I enjoy all those things too. We must be sisters of the heart. Have a nice trip with your mum.~~Dee

  19. Hi,

    I came via "Oxygen for the soul".

    I am from India. I loved those pictures in your blog. In 2007, when we were in Tennessee, we had to wait many weeks, before the leaves turned copper in the mountains.

    I would like to link your blog to mine.



  20. WELCOME HOME PAM, I hope your stay in the UK and the journey home was good. I'm sure there will be lots to do in your garden, but you will catch up after you have got over the travelling and settled in again.
    Your photo's are gorgeous and your surrounding countryside is stunning. It was lovely to read about the 10 things that you love to do. The summer tea parties sound so good. I hope your mother is OK.
    Have a lovely week.
    M xx

  21. Beautiful photos! To me Penn. only has summer memories as that is when we always visit my brother. I really need to get up there in the spring, and judging by your photos the fall as well.

  22. Wonderful photographs! It sounds like you really do enjoy your family, and who doesn't like food around at all times? There is nothing like gathering your whole grown family together for holidays or any day. I am very fortunate that my married son lives just a few blocks away with his wife and new daughter. I am so enjoying them. It is very fun to watch your children become parents. Seems he was paying attention when we were doing the parenting. My other son still lives at home, he's in college in town so I have him around, well actually he's always out with the friends. It would be out of the ordinary if he wasn't, I guess. Thank you for showing your lovely property and beautiful fall photos.

  23. Pam, I throughly enjoyed reading this post and seeing your beautiful photographs. Lovely to learn more about you too. I would love to sit in on one of your presentations and your summer tea party too. ;>)

  24. Hi Pam, your suburb photos especially the first photo made me the more envious of my not having seen any Autumn scene yet in person. We only have the dry and wet seasons, so you can visualize our perennial green colors throughout our lives. Whew!

  25. How lovely it is near your home in the Poconos! Isn't it funny that I was so near?

  26. I had never heard of "leaf peeping" or "peeking" until I saw a TV episode of the show "West Wing." They have the president give a radio address about it (and ensuing comedy as he debates with his staff about the name "leaf peeping"). Now, I always call it that! But I did it before I knew it had a label, who can help themselves? Your area looks ideal for it.