Acorns, Hickory Nuts & Walnuts

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Brrrrrrr……. The temperature this morning was 28 degrees and the wind was howling all night. It won’t be long and we will need the wool blankets and hot chocolate! The Autumn Colors are later thas year than normal.

mountain view trees with green colors

View from our deck

This picture was taken today, Saturday, October 26th from our deck. As you can see not much change in the leaves just yet but I can tell you the leaves have started falling. With the cold nights that are forecast the leaves will be at peak in about two weeks. I am hoping for the beautiful rich colors of autumn, shades of yellow, red, and orange.

red oak acorns

Red Oak Tree Acorns

Acorns, hickory nuts and walnuts are falling, the squirrels and turkey are feasting on all the acorns and hickory nuts.

hickory tree nuts

Hickory Tree Nuts

Looks like the squirrels have been eating the hickory nuts, the green one has squirrel teeth marks.

walnuts on ground

Black Walnuts

The Black Walnuts are starting to fall and the hulls are turning black. It’s almost time to start gathering up the walnuts!

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Red Velvet Cake

 

Red Velvet Cake is one of my favorites but I have alot of favorites! I have a Cream Cheese Icing recipe that is to die for, it is soooo good! So last night I decided to make a Red Velvet Cake.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing!

cream cheese icing recipe

The Cream Cheese Icing makes this cake pretty special. I added some red velvet cake crumbs to the top for decoration.

red velvet cake

Awh…Mmmm! it is so good! ;-)

 

 best ever cream cheese icing

Cream Cheese Icing

Good Cream Cheese Icing is to die for!!! If you like cream cheese icing you will want to try this recipe,  it is that good!

The recipe makes 4 cups, prep time is about 10 minutes.

2 – 8 oz cream cheese, softened ( do not use low fat )
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 -16 oz box of powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with electric mixer until fluffly; gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Stir in vanilla. Place in the fridge until you are ready to use.

This icing is create for almost any cake or cup cakes. It is really good on a carrot cake!

What’s your favorite cake? And do you like icing?

  

Beautiful Color

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american beautyberry

Photograph of the native American Beautyberry berries

Along with all of the other native plants on the mountain comes the American Beautyberry. It can be found in the open areas along the tree line. This time of year the clusters of purple berries are at peak color and nearly ready for the birds and deer to start eating them. The berries can be eaten raw, they are sweet and suitable for human consumption but I  sure wouldn’t eat many of them as they are astringent. The chemical substance that will shrink or contrict boby tissue.

american beautfyberry

The purple color is so brilliant and beautiful!

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Small Waterfalls

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 mountain waterfall

I have read many articles about a cave on our mountain that was used during the revolutionary war and a revolutionary war grave site. I have made many hikes across the mountain in my attempt to find both of these. This time I decided to hike across the Southside of the mountain about one-third down from the top. Since there are no trails I had to use my compass to stay on track. My hike was about 2 miles round trip in some really rough terrain and dense trees.

south carolina waterfall

After hiking for about 35 minutes I found myself in a huge ravine that impossible to get across so I followed it down the mountain hoping to find a away across. Then I found a large spring, water was bubbling out of the ground everywhere. As I continued to walk down the ravine there were numerous springs that had formed a good size creek. I continued to follow the creek and before I knew it I could hear water falling. It got louder as I got closer and finally I could see there were two waterfalls.

waterfalls

It appeared many, many years ago someone had built a wall with a 10 foot long channel that pooled the water that then lead to the first fall. The water from a creek like this was often used many years ago to make moonshine. This water is very cold and crystal clear. I climbed down to see the waterfall and below the fall was another small pool of water with another small waterfall.

waterfall on paris mountain

The waterfalls are on the South side of the mountain, I checked my compass and the falls are facing exactly 180 degrees south.

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High on Siler Bald

Hilton Head Large Birds

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blue heron

Blue Heron

We love to vacation at Hilton Head every summer. During our vacation I am always looking for the large blue herons, egrets and anhinga. There are alot of fresh water ponds near our condo and the heron and anhinga are always hunting for food in these ponds. I will often see a few Alligators’ in the ponds along with large turtles.

anhinga

Anhinga

This Anhinga dove into the pond before I could get a picture but I got this picture as he was swimming across the pond. Once the Anhinga dive into the water for fish, they will sit in the sun to dry their wings and will not dive back into the pond for more fish until their wings are dry.

anhinga

Anhinga

Our family has been visiting Hilton Head Island at least once or twice a year for over 35 years. There is alot to do for the entire family!

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Deodar Cedar

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deodar cedar tree

I purchased two Deodar Cedar trees in 3 gallon containers at the end of the season last year. Both trees were slightly taller than 2 feet tall and in good condition with a caliper of about 1 inch. After getting them planted and mulched I just kept them watered. This Spring, I mulched them again and started fertilizing them once a month using organic fertilizer. Each time I would give them a 5 gallon bucket of 1/2 strength of fish emulsion they would grow nearly 2 inches.

The Deodar cedar is an ornamental evergreen tree that can reach 70 feet and up to 20 to 40 feet wide. They do well here in upstate South Carolina. Our hottest months are July and August and the deodar cedar does tolerate drought and will take full sun as long as they get water regularly.

deodar cedar needlles

As you can see, they are fairly fast growing and have branches that are sweeping toward the ground. It has a dense canopy, the needles are pointed and are 1-2 inches in length green or silver blue-green in appearance. When we have snow the Deodar Cedar tree really stands out!

Previous post:  Fall Blooms 

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Fall Blooms

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blue and white hydrangea flower

As I walked in the garden this morning I couldn’t help but notice a few late fall flowers blooming. Since we are now having cool mornings with temperatures in the 50’s I didn’t expect to see any flowers. This hydrangea is on the south side of our home and has done well there. It has grow nearly 4 foot high and 4 foot wide.  This was the only flower!

beautiful daisy flower

My wife grows daisies, they have bloomed all summer….. again this was the only daisy flower on this plant.

fuisha-flower

We have 8 of these plants in the garden and in the Spring they are full of flower, love the fushia color.

white flowers

I am not sure what the name of this plant it, it is a volunteer, some sort of wild flower.

purple wild flowers

This purple wild flower is a volunteer as well, another native wild flower.

beautiful red rose flower

Our roses have done well this year!

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