Since our favorite season is fall, and our favorite month in the season is October, we try to spend a lot of time outdoors, weather permitting. Earlier this week I was in a bit of a funk, so my husband decided that we ought to sneak out for a mid-day hike at Eagle Creek. So we pulled out our plaids...
...and started hiking. I was pleasantly surprised to see that some wildflowers are still blooming, even with our frosts.
Many leaves are still green here.
Some areas don't show even a hint of color!
But fall is creeping in, nonetheless.
Most of the park trees are in the process of being transformed. We love to see the transformations on the different types of trees....
...as well as their unusual bark, like that of this white birch. Some birches peel completely, but this type just has rolls of little curlicues.
We hiked by the lake to get to our ultimate destination, one of the nature parks here at Eagle Creek.
The Ornithology Center is really wonderful. Not only do they have insect displays...
...but really interesting displays of Indiana birds in action, as well. Song birds...
...and loud, bossy birds, like this blue jay. Blue jays were prolific in the countryside where I grew up, and I had quite a collection of blue feathers. But I haven't seen one in years.
They had dozens of birds, preserved in natural habitats, in the act of their daily lives. Flying, like the jay above, or squawking, like this brightly-colored bird.
I was really happy to see that they had a barn owl. Barn owls, with their heart-shaped faces, are one of my favorite birds. I had a book about them as a child and read it to tatters.
And my old friend, the goldfinch.
Besides the displays, they also had several look-out posts stocked with birding books and binoculars. It was a great way to spend an afternoon!
We brought home loads of leaves...
...and spread them around the house. Autumn love!
This month began auspiciously, with a very special birthday. The little girl who spends her days sleeping in odd positions...
...chasing her tail through the slots in my old wooden chairs...
...or holing up in strictly forbidden places...
...turned one on October 1st!
We decided that Bosewichte's birthday was September 30th, so we had a double party. Well, they both got wet food as a treat, but refused to wear party hats or sing to each other. I guess Todd and I are more festive than they are.
To celebrate, I made a pie. Not that I need a special reason to make a pie. This is the recipe that I mentioned a week or so ago...the apple pie recipe that will stop your heart! You've got to give it a try. It's really easy and the best apple pie I've ever had.
Adapted from allrecipes.com
Makes one pie
one double pie crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup water, minus one tablespoon
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
6 medium-sized Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt your butter in a sauce pan, and then stir in your flour and cornstarch to form a paste. Add water, sugars, vanilla, and spices, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
Get your pie crust rolled out and into your pie pan.
Put your sliced apples into a big bowl and then pour the syrup on top.
Mix well, toss 'em in the pan...
...and then top with second crust. Cover crust edge with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 - 25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and apples are soft.
Let cool so that liquid can congeal...if you can wait that long! We usually can't.
This is perfect it's-your-cat's-birthday food. Or, really, it's good for any occasion. I'm sure you can find an excuse!