Monday, September 28, 2015

Mushroom Monday: Texture & Pattern

Mushroom season may be dwindling, at least here because we've not had rain in quite a spell. But here are some lovely shots of the incredible textures and patterns that fungi showcase.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

“But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” ― Stephen King, Salem's Lot  

Friday, September 25, 2015

The British Isles # 19: Northbound Ramble & Ramparts

After a few days rest from the road, we began our trek north into the Highlands of Scotland. We first stopped into Linlithgow Palace near Edinburgh. It is quite evident that this is more of a palace than a fortress. The size, the grandeur, the ornamentation says stately, royal. And Linlithgow has had a royal presence since the 1100's, however the palace that still stands is from the 16th and 17th centuries. It was here that Mary Queen of Scots was born. Luckily there were many covered corridors to duck into and out of the rain.

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace Courtyard

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace
Next we traveled to the formidable 15th century Blackness Castle on the Firth of Forth. This castle is most certainly a fortress and has even been used as a prison.
Blackness Castle on the Firth of Forth

Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle
Interiors Blackness Castle
Aberdour Castle was more ruined that others we visited on this day, dating back to at least the 12th century. There were dark rooms to explore, still, and some very old painted panels as well. It reminds me that it is a good idea to have a tiny flashlight to explore the many dark chambers of some of these castles. The orchard, terraced gardens, and dovecote behind Aberdour remind me that so many of these castles operated like self sustaining communities.

Aberdour Castle circa 1100 AD

Aberdour Castle

Dovecote and Terraced Gardens at Aberdour Castle

Aberdour Castle
Lastly, in the gray afternoon, we made it to St. Andrews were we visited the ruined Cathedral. Construction on what is called Scotland's greatest cathedral began in 1160 and continued until 1272. In the Middle Ages, this was the center for the Catholic Church in Scotland until the Protestant Reformation in 1560. Up the coast just a bit, lies the ruins of St. Andrew's Castle which we just viewed as we walked by and then the famous St. Andrew's Gold Course, the famed birthplace of golf, where I stopped to buy some obligatory gifts for my father and brother, both golf enthusiasts. It was rainy, foggy, windy, and about 45 degrees out and there were golfers still on the greens.
Ruins of St, Andrew's Cathedral 

St, Andrew's Cathedral

St. Andrew's Cathedral

St. Andrews Coastal Walk looking out to the North Sea

Crumbling Ruins of St, Andrew's Castle

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Merry Autumn

Wishing all a beautiful beginning (tomorrow) to that most fleeting season of Autumn. Look! She has already decorated with spider silk garlands hung with tiny beads of sunlight and golden brown mushroom everywhere in the wild wood. Take time to enjoy the season - it passes in a flash.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mushroom Monday

These are popping up lately in marvelous clusters, usually near dead, decaying trees and stumps.

Possibly the Ringless Honey Mushroom

Possibly the Ringless Honey Mushroom

Not sure what this cluster is. I differs quite a bit from the Ringless Honey above.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Journals to Fall For...

It should not surprise me that my newly bound journals are such rich Autumn incarnations, such warm colors. They seem straight from a baker's oven in clouds of scents like cinnamon & nutmeg, clove & apple. Alas, though these journals are about the size of baked goods, they are not scented. Wouldn't that be a delectable creation? All of these little gems are up on the shelves in the Traveling Chariot Shop.  Click on each photo to go directly to the listing. Five more days....then Fall is truly here.

Medieval Tales $16
Acorn Traveling Tiny $14
Walnut Writer $19
Rust & Rivets $24
Gypsy Caravan $19

Thursday, September 17, 2015


An index of leathers that I have available for journals, specifically my custom order Address Books:

4. Green Black & Silver - a soft leather with layered colors

9. Grey Ombre - a soft brushed leather with dark grey and white in a subtle tie dye effect, matte finish

 8. Khaki Green - a brownish green khaki leather, smooth and little glossy.

7. Olive Green - a thin, soft olive green leather, matte finish
10. Leaves - Leather is warm red-browns with a printed leaf motif in a glossy black. 

5. Blue & Brown Ink Spill - This is a really unique leather. Colors here look pretty accurate and they always remind of spilled ink. This side is soft and brushed with matte finish

6. Backside of Blue & Brown Ink Spill - this is the backside of above, it is darker by far, less contrast and smoother, a little shinier sheen to it, semi gloss. Also lovely

3. Brown - a soft, warm chocolate brown leather with a little sheen to it. Very weathered look to this one.