Fall Colors - Beyond The Sunset

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

I continue to be amazed at the length of Fall's season this year! My harvest is almost over, as the cold weather (30s and 40s at night) has really slowed growth. Yet I still have zucchini, green beans, and tomatoes growing in the garden! We had a light frost about a week ago, where temps got down to about 29 degrees in my garden. However, I really think having the shower curtains hung where the frost breeze can't hit my plants has made a huge difference.  I still have blooming flowers, zucchini growing, and green beans too! I am giving the Lord praise for this bountiful harvest! 

I picked this bouquet the night before the expected freeze. Thankfully, with the help of my hanging shower curtains, the frost just nipped the leaves, and everything is still alive! I'm so grateful! 

My Brandywine tomatoes have been stars this year!
They have been as big as my hand! Lots of green tomatoes ripening still... 

My zucchini has been amazing this year as well. They are a large variety that offers lots of flesh, and few seeds, while getting huge! I saved these seeds from last year, it is an heirloom variety with Baker's Seed Company.  This is the variety that is STILL producing in my garden (in spite of the freeze, nipped leaves, and cold weather!) 

Frost on my tomato leaves - however, these tomatoes are still alive. The leaves burned a bit, but are still green. I'm quite happy overall that we have made it almost to the middle of October without a killing frost (down in the low 20s). 

These cooler days mean special memories made around our bonfire pit! 

Our "Little Girl" loves to sleep in my lap before bedtime or when I drink my morning coffee. Her position is so hilarious to see! 

Continuing on our low-carb way of life - I made a salad recently that was keto-approved.  I used broccoli, cauliflower, a red onion, two pears, bacon, and cheese, adding a sour cream dressing with a bit of stevia in it to sweeten. Yes, it was delicious! 

My greenhouse with an abundance of tomatoes slowly ripening in it. This has been a very bad year for mice in our area - it seems like everyone is talking about it.  They just scurry when I walk into the garden, and even with two cats who daily bring in dead mice, we are still being overrun. Our neighbors are saying the same. Yesterday I went to check on my tomatoes, and all the ripe ones, plus many of the green tomatoes had been eaten by the mice! So I've had to box all the tomatoes and bring them into my porch area. You can see I have a bucket trap in there - I caught a few in the beginning, but apparently, the word is out, and they are avoiding it now. I hesitate to use poison because of the cats. 

Part of my potato harvest - they are sitting out to dry before I will store them for winter use. 

My husband recently celebrated his birthday - we switched his candles around, and that made him happy! How did we all get this old? Half a century sounds old! {smiles} 

We enjoyed a bonfire and a wonderful meal at a friend's house for Dan's birthday. We just love their firepit, and we have plans to make one for our backyard! 

We took a ride on Sunday afternoon on our quads - oh it was gorgeous! 
Fall colors abounded in every view! 

The setting sun over the western mountains... my heart sighs in great contentment to be in this place, soaking up God's gift to us. 

One of the viewpoints on our ride... glorious! 

We gathered elderberries on our quad ride, and I was busy all day Monday making elderberry syrup. 

We did a taste test, and oh my, it was wonderful! This is an immune support whenever flu/cold bugs are moving around. This is the recipe I used: 

Elderberry Syrup
6 cups washed elderberries (stems and leaves removed)
6 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Mix elderberries and water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer under a boil for an hour. Turn the heat off and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain the elderberries. Clean the stockpot, and pour the strained elderberry mixture back into it.  Add sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Let simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into sterilized pint-size jars, and process according to standard water bath guidelines. 

Because we are 2000+ feet above sea level, I process mine for 15 minutes in a water bath canner and then let them sit for 24 hours.  After 24 hours I remove the bands, wash off the jars, label, and store. I am very thankful for this natural immune blessing that we will be able to use in the upcoming winter months. 

I took this picture last week as the setting sun spread such glorious colors over our local dam. The magnificence of God's palette never ceases to amaze me! I took a video of the mesmerizing scene as I sat and watched it, and have made it into a music video which I am sharing below. 

I hope you enjoy the video, and that your heart is encouraged that someday heaven will be a beautiful place that we will never have to leave.  I shared this verse at the end of the video... 

Revelation 21:5
And God shall wipe away 
all tears from their eyes; 
and there shall be no more death, 
neither sorrow nor crying, 
neither shall there be any more pain: 
for the former things are passed away. 

In light of all the world events that are taking place - sorrow, unbelievable tragedy, heartache, and trauma beyond what we can comprehend - my heart is aching for those who weep, whose lives will never be the same.  My prayers continue moment by moment for the needs of those with hearts broken by unspeakable tragedy and trauma. 

In light of the many questions about the current events that are happening - my heart has been led to Zechariah 14.  If you have questions or wonder about the events taking place in the Middle East - take a moment to read this chapter. It brings a lot of clarity into the situation and gives us hope beyond what we can see and understand now.  

As I watched the beautiful sunset unfold in front of my eyes this week, the colors were bright and glorious but then began to fade, and darkness slipped into their place.  Someday though, the sunset will never fade, sadness will never have its place in our hearts, and our eternal joy will be found complete in our rest with Him. I look forward to that day, beyond the sunset, O eternal joy! 

Keep your eyes on the Lord, 
Let not your hearts be troubled, 
Pray without ceasing, and
Look up, for our Redeemer draweth nigh! 


  1. Happy birthday to your dear Hubby Marilyn .may you both see more joyous years ahead together amen!
    i don't watch news since two years almost so i was unaware of what happened in middle east ,war so old continue to spring up from ashes time to time sadly ,my heart is praying for all who are suffering because of bad politic unfortunately politician has been toying with world since they started .
    sorry for mice trouble they seem world issue believe me . glad you had such nice harvest.
    breathtaking sunset and all images Glorious!

    1. Thank you sweet friend! I always look forward to your comments, and love your heart for your family and the Lord. It is so awful what is happening in our world. It has been a wonderful harvest season, I am so grateful! Blessings to you dear friend!

  2. Happy Birthday a little late to Dan! That last photo. Just WOW! God is so good and paints the most glorious paintings for us to enjoy. Your garden will keep you fed and happy all winter long. I can't believe you are still harvesting produce in mid-October. Wonderful!
    We're praying for the people of Israel. God's chosen. Soon and very soon we will see our Lord Jesus.
    Blessings and hugs,

    1. Thank you sweet Betsy! Dan had a wonderful birthday this year, and we have had the most amazing fall weather! Now, winter is arriving - brr! Not quite ready either! So much to pray about, so many concerning things. Our hope is in Jesus! Blessings to you dear friend!

  3. how nice you are still getting goodies from your garden, ours is done, and I think the hummingbirds have left also. Wow that is terrible about the mice, we had a real hard time with ants this year, if it isn't one thing it seems it is another. Gorgeous sunset!

  4. Happy Belated Birthday, Dan! May you enjoy another year of God's blessings!
    Marilyn, I still am amazed by the bounty of your garden, and that it still continues to produce its harvest. Your are amazingly industrious, my friend, and it certainly has paid off. Sorry to hear about the infestation of mice, though. That hasn't been an issue here, but what has been this summer is the glut of insects, especially mosquitoes. We couldn't go out in the yard without repellent on unless we wanted to be bitten.
    Have a blessed week!

  5. Encouraging verses to end your beautiful post with. From where I sit 53 is a nice young age. :) You are hard workers with a wonderful harvest to enjoy. God's palette is glorious!

  6. Beautiful post and photos Marilyn!
    Blessings to you and your family:)

  7. Happy belated birthday to Dan! Kevin and I feel the same. How did we get this old this fast? ๐Ÿ˜Š But praise the Lord we are all still here in the land of the living and as well as we are. I'm so thankful your garden is doing so well!! All the food looks so yummy! May the dear Lord continually bless you, dear friend.

  8. I very much enjoyed your post! The photos are amazing, and I will go back and read Zachariah 14. Thanks for that.
    I had mice getting in my built in porch. On you tube I saw a video where a hobby farm had that problem. The fellow mixed equal parts corn meal mix with baking soda, and placed in small plastic trays with an opening cut into it. I used Jiffy brand cornmeal mix and soda because that is what I had, and put some into a couple of pint plastic water bottles. ( the fellow said just buy the cheapest
    you find), I put them spaced out on my porch rail near where I'd found droppings. I have not seen any since, and the bottles look untouched. It did work. I don't know if cats would bother this or not, but you could place the containers out of their area. I never found any dead mice, but they have not returned. Annie

  9. Beautiful pictures, Marylin! The colors are amazing in your part of the world and you certainly know how to capture them. Happy fall my friend!

  10. A bountiful harvest indeed. Too bad about the mice. The cats must be busy for sure. I hope the frost stays away for another few weeks!

  11. Wow Marilyn your bounty is just amazing! You are so industrious, as one other commenter said! I remember putting green tomatoes on all of my window sills for them to ripen, and would have fresh tomatoes at Christmas! You can also put them in brown paper bags, and store them in a cool dark place, and they will ripen that way. How nice that the frost didn't kill everything! I'm sorry about the mice. My problem this year was ants! My cat food bowls would be crawling with them and I tried several different remedies until I finally found one that worked. My cats would love those mice. They sit by the neighbors' fence by where they have chickens, and just wait for the mice to come through to their side! It's their daily recreation!

    The last photo you posted of the most stunning sunset I think I've ever seen(!) is truly spectacular! There are no words to describe it properly! I loved that song as I love B.J. Thomas. His voice is so recognizable I would have known even if you didn't show who was singing! The words were very comforting too.

    I don't think we've had a frost here yet, which is surprising. We usually have one around Sept. 25th. One night got down to 34 I think.. but we have had an abundance of rain, which we need, and some snow in the mountains.

    Blessing to you and your hubby and family! hugs.. Marilyn

  12. Hi Marilyn,
    I always learn so much from you. :-) Thank your for sharing your garden tips and tricks and recipes.
    Praying along with you,
    P.S. Happy Birthday to your sweetheart.
    xx oo

  13. Happy Birthday to your husband, Marilyn. That was funny that he switched the candles around. The elderberry syrup sounds wonderful, and that will taste so good on pancakes and other dishes you make. I've always wondered what the elderberry tastes like. Your salad looks creamy and delicious, and I love all the ingredients you put in it. It looks like you are stocked up with many vegetables for this Winter. That zucchini is huge! Oh my, that was a bit unsettling hearing about the mice in your garden and area. They are the one critter that I have a fear of, so imagine me walking into the garden and seeing them. Your bonfire photo is so pretty, as are all of your sunrises and sunsets.

    It's always a pleasure to see what's happening around your neck of the woods, Marilyn. And I wish you blessed October days. Thank you for the verse at the end, it's beautiful.


  14. Happy Birthday to your husband! What a lovely autumn post you shared. I always come away from my visits with you with so much information as well as a sense of calm. Your photos are beautiful, too! Have a cozy weekend!

  15. Praise God for a bountiful harvest! And happy belated birthday to your husband!
    Wow! Such beautiful colors in the sky- I just love sunsets....What a joy to one day experience no more endings, no crying.
    Thank you for sharing, Marilyn!
    God bless,

  16. Happy Belated Birthday to your husband. Your garden sure has been bountiful this year and the mice seem to know it too! Thank you for your beautiful post and pictures as always!

  17. It is always amazing to see your "crops" harvested. I would not have thought tomatoes were a mouse food, but they do seem to eat anything, don't they. By today you may have had your killing freeze, we are finally getting much wanted rain and do not expect our first frost until Monday of next week. But some of our mornings have been in the high 30's and our trees too are turning and dropping. Thank you for encouraging words for Precious vet trip. I dread this and she really gets stressed so much more than my previous cats. Little Girl looks lovely and skinny compared to my plump girl. Have a wonderful Fall. Lynn and Precious

  18. Marilyn, your photography is sooooo good! And your gardening skills as well. A woman of many talents! Love your cat.

  19. that bouquet shows us that purple and orange were just MADE to be together! and i love the idea of switching candles around. i'll be keeping that in mind for my husband's birthday next month.

  20. What a full and wonderful life you're living. I enjoyed seeing what you're up to friend!
    Be blessed,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  21. Such a lovely post, your photographs a joy to see.
    Belated happy birthday wishes to your husband.
    Enjoy these Autumn/Fall days.

    All the best Jan

  22. Lovely to see the amazing fall scenery and sunsets, Marilyn. Your garden has been very abundant - it must be so gratifying to harvest after all your hard work all spring and summer. I have noticed a lot of mice here in W. Washington, this year, too. We had to move the compost bin away from the house, as we had a couple of them move inside! Caught them quickly, thank goodness! I want to wish you and your husband a belated Happy Birthday! You are still young from my perspective! Sending you hugs and blessings. x K


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