Open Thread: Fall Colors

Rocky Mountain National Park this week. Colors aren’t at peak yet, we’ll go again in a week or so.

An update on Authors in Our Midst and Writers chatting. I had some requests, so I’ve moved the time to 3 pm EDT/2 pm CDT/12 pm PDT. We have a new release from our own Dorothy Winsor, so even if you’re not a writer, stop by and ask her about it.

I’m heading out to do a final weeding before tucking the gardens in for winter. What’s on your plate today?

Open thread


70 replies
  1. 1
    Jerzy Russian says:

    I love that park, although it has been awhile since I have been there. Meanwhile, I am getting ready for baseball. Last day of the season, and all games start at the same time.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    I hope we get that kind of color here this year, but so many of the leaves have fallen, either from the absurd heat or the even absurder levels of rain and humidity.

  3. 3
    opiejeanne says:


    And YAY for Dorothy Winsor’s book!

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    If you’re reading this, Goku, you should not skip the next Authors in Our Midst post. There are published and even successful authors among the Jackals, and they will have much to share about the business of writing.

  5. 5
    opiejeanne says:

    We’re taking my sister to lunch down in Upland (hot!) then coming back up to our cabin in Blue Jay and doing laundry and packing to get ready for the trip home. We’re going to stage the place a little bit because we have a realtor that we’ve given a key and the right to show it if she has someone right now who wants it. We’ll sign the contract in the spring and really spiff it up, wash the curtains, paint the deck and the garage doors, replace a couple of ugly boards in the deck, haul away some of the stuff that doesn’t need to be here so it looks more open, clear out the closets, etc. I’ve already packed up the elderly Compaq so I can take it home with us on this trip, and I’ll strip out the photos and documents before disposing of it.

  6. 6
    debbie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Chapter 11 (via the links above) had some great resources/links.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    This poor fella got lost and decided to visit the suburbs.. The wildlife dept is trying to find it to return it to the mountains.
    This picture is only a mile or two from my house.

    I tried to snip and copy the picture, but it didn’t work.

  8. 8
    opiejeanne says:

    @Amir Khalid: I kept quiet last night because I thought the thread was dead but I wanted to yell at him that while you can take notes before you start, at some point you just need to start writing. I am still taking notes while I’m working on the novel, and everything grinds to a halt when I suddenly realize I need to do more research.
    It’s an historical novel, and I have recently been reading a doctoral thesis on the banking fraud committed in Missouri by the Confederacy and its supporters. It gave me a chunk of information that helped me figure out what to do with part of the story.
    This morning I thought of something to help him get started: describe the physical place where the story begins. That’s an easy way to involve the reader, and it’s not too difficult to then immerse yourself in that world. Once you’re living there in your head, the rest should fall into place a bit easier. And you can always edit that bit out if you like once you’ve gotten some momentum.
    Also, not every word, sentence, and paragraph has to be brilliant and shine like a diamond. When you’re stuck just write something; at least that helps me. I can tear that out later if it’s unimportant to the story, or just bad. One chapter I needed for continuity took me five edits before I was halfway satisfied, but most haven’t been that awful at first blush. Maybe when I go back for the first official rewrite they’ll be really terrible, but by then I’ll have a clearer idea of what I want.

  9. 9
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Wednesday we head southwest to Pagosa Springs for three days.

  10. 10
    opiejeanne says:

    @debbie: I’ll take a look after lunch. I want to be back in time to participate in the writing thread this time.

  11. 11
    Barbara says:

    @Amir Khalid: I skipped most of the prior thread, but as someone who writes a lot during the course of my job I concur that sometimes you just have to start writing. Many people like the idea of having written something, but hate the actual practice of writing. From what I have deduced, nearly every successful writer has to learn how to make writing a habit. In addition to having something to say . . .

  12. 12
    opiejeanne says:

    @opiejeanne: Oh wait, 3pm is noon here. Drat. I’ll be late to the party, as per usual.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @debbie: My lot is almost an acre but is fenced. There’s 11 acres behind me and the folks that own that property recently lost a cat to a bobcat. If that bear is hungry, I doubt that the landowners behind me would mind a visit from the bear.
    I feel bad though, because the bear is in danger of getting hit by a car.

  15. 15
    catpal says:

    Pretty fall picture. Thanks to all here for some of the non-politics posts especially Pet Pics Much needed lately.

    Tech question – any recommendations for computer backup like WD Passport or other? Thanks.

  16. 16

    Yesterday I went on a meetup with the local photo group but something a bit different, no landscapes, but shooting with a model. A good learning experience. I installed Mojave on one of my Hackintoshes last week and the default wallpaper gave me an idea for a new Milky Way location for next year.

  17. 17

    @JPL: Here you go. FPs can do it, but commenters can’t.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: He’s a GA bear. A few months ago, one was tranquilized in Atlanta near a the bus depot. They will occasionally come down from the mountains to find food, but it’s not often. I just going to assume that it won’t climb my fence.

    @TaMara (HFG): Thanks. I hope they find it soon, because I really want them to be able to return it to the mountains.

  20. 20
    oldgold says:

    Ode to Autumn – John Keats

    Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
    To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

  21. 21
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    Sports people, has anyone asked Kavenaugh’s peer coaches, trainees, former players, etc. about his temperament and fairness? Or drinking? I’ve been having flashbacks to movie scenes like when Costner gets in the umpire’s face and calls him a cocksucker. “you gotta play this game with fear and arrogance” the man said. Then there’s “Doubt”, and Meryl Streep tells PSH “I talked to the nuns” and he just about passes out. Talk to the women.

  22. 22
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    From Bull Durham, obviously.

  23. 23
    Michael Cain says:

    30 years ago we planted a honey locust in the backyard to — eventually — shade the deck in the summer. It now towers over the two-story house and does the shading job well. What we didn’t know was that every three years the tree would feel a desperate need to reproduce. This is one of those years and the tree is loaded with seed pods. Last time I collected 20 of the big leaf-and-lawn bags worth of pods. Looks worse this time.

  24. 24
    MagdaInBlack says:

    My parents had a cabin on a small lake (Off Lake ) in Ontario, nw of Fort Francis. Occasionally a bear would wander thru, usually when blueberry season was bad.
    Local entertainment was to go to the dump ( where many lodges dumped their fish cleanings) to see the bears.
    We also spent time much further north, in Saskatchewan : Lac La Ronge : and never saw one. More space to be bears, fewer people to encounter.

  25. 25
    jacy says:

    Ah, one of the many, many things I miss about living in Colorado is the fall leaves.

    For me today, I’ve got to sit down and really do some work because last week I spent too much time pissed off and got nothing done. But at least I got a nice Friday night on the town (beer tasting at the local craft brew store then a nice walk and dinner at the White Star Market where we got chargrilled oysters from Jolie Pearl and a pho bowl with the delightful name of Oskar’s Wild from Chow Yum Phat, then snuggles on the couch to rewatch Barry, which was even funnier the second time around) and then the kids were all here for game night Saturday night, which quickly descended into pants-peeing hilarity so much so that it took us nearly two hours to complete a game of Firefly-themed Clue. I love my kids. So at least I feel a little recharged. Everything doesn’t suck.

  26. 26

    @JPL: I gathered that the bear was in GA, I don’t think that Bruins are all in Boston or Southern CA.

  27. 27
    Mary G says:

    @Fleeting Expletive: I’ve been wondering; there was no social media at the time, but wouldn’t some of these future masters of the universe have taken photos with a Polaroid or cheap Kodak of the choir boy? I know he must have found as many as he could during the run up to his current position, but somebody must have one somewhere. Hopefully that somebody has a pissed-off wife.

    There has still been no public explanation of his finances, either, and that concerns me.

  28. 28

    @Mary G: It’s occurred to me that the absence of social media is one of the things that saved them. You know they’d have been posting all sorts of crap.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    Simply beautiful 😄 😍

  30. 30

    @rikyrah: They are really nice, a friend that we used to to tailgate with at the Rose Bowl was posting similar pics from Colorado last week and I was thinking “why was he in Colorado?”. Friday, I checked the schedule to see when the Bruins were playing and it was at Colorado, then it all made sense(they travel to one game a year).

  31. 31

    I’m excited to move somewhere with fall!

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    For history buffs, found on Amazon Prime is a five-part documentary, The Hitler Youth, about Nazi indoctrination and manipulation of the young. Quite informative, if grim, although dances around the question of complicity (overt or covert) among the general adult German populace when that occasionally pops up. Includes much historical film footage you probably have never seen.

    What’s on your plate today?

    Necessary and overdue but not at all welcome mowing.

  33. 33

    @Major Major Major Major: We have fall here in CA, you just need to get outside the city.

  34. 34
    Gbbalto says:

    Please, Cole, get rid of the little commercials on mobile that sport an x button that not only doesn’t work but just replays endlessly. Symbicort. fuck you!
    Will donate directly if you get rid of that shit.

  35. 35
    Gbbalto says:

    The fuck you was aimed at the dishonest advertizer

  36. 36
    Martin says:

    @Mary G: I think the strategy here isn’t to uncover every little things he might have done wrong. It’s easy to cross a line with that strategy.

    Instead, I think the strategy is to find that sensitive spot and poke it hard enough that Kavanaugh tilts, which is what we saw on Thurs. He’s not going to fail confirmation because he yelled at a ref or drank too much or even assaulted a 15 year old. He’s going to fail confirmation for lying about those things. We don’t expect judges to have been perfect when they were 17, but we do expect them to be honest when they are 53 (particularly when lying is a felony) – and that’s what the Dems are really focused on.

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Finch is allowed outside without a leash after dark, and I always tease the boy who walks him that I’m afraid of the lions, tigers and bears. Of course he replies Oh My. I sent him the picture today, he mentioned that’s only one out of three.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    @JPL: isn’t not is.

  39. 39

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: when you’re talking about something as large as California, ‘here’ does not refer to the entire state.

    ETA you know, the ‘here’ in my implied ‘there is no fall here’ 😑

    If you said “I’m excited to move somewhere with better traffic!” I wouldn’t say “well there’s plenty of open roads in Mendocino.”

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Who knows what the weather will be when you move. When I gave birth to my son it was snowing outside Sept. 28th. Of course that was decades ago and we lived in Ridgefield, CT at the time.
    When do you move?

  41. 41

    @JPL: We have lions, tigers, and bears less than a mile from here(LA Zoo). We also have bears that come down from the local mountains, but that’s mainly in the foothill communities, though Glendale does reach into the foothills we’re not in that part of Glendale now.

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    @Michael Cain

    20 of the big leaf-and-lawn bags worth of pods



  43. 43
  44. 44

    @Major Major Major Major: I tend to have a more expansive definition of ‘here’ than you do.

  45. 45
    lollipopguild says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Bear! Big, big BEAR! John Candy-The Great Outdoors

  46. 46
    hilts says:

    Colors aren’t at peak yet, we’ll go again in a week or so.


    Do peak colors normally appear this early in your neck of the woods?

    Does anyone know of a website containing a map of the nation that provides approximate dates for peak colors by state or region?

  47. 47

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I feel like I’m usually fairly specific that I’m complaining about the Bay Area. Maybe that feeling is inaccurate!

    ETA My sense of ‘here’ is also informed by not having a car

  48. 48
  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    “Heartless, godless, killing machines!”

  50. 50
    JPL says:

    @hilts: It changes now every few years. When I first moved to GA thirty years ago, I would finish all the raking before halloween. Now I’m still cleaning leafs after Thanksgiving. It’s going to be in the high eighties well into October.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @JPL: Just to mock climate deniers, last year we had ten inches of snow Dec. 8th

  53. 53
    hilts says:

    A sublimely kickass peak foliage video.

    Has anyone come across other cool peak foliage videos?

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    by not having a car

    Did you have to obtain a special waiver to live in California like that?


  55. 55
    hilts says:

    @Barbara: @NotMax:

    Both excellent links, thanks!!

  56. 56
    divF says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    And your leaving just as the wet season arrives here.

    I’m spending the afternoon making 15 lbs. of Carne Adovada, plus red sauce and green sauce from the Hatch chiles I picked up in Sante Fe a week ago.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    Yes, outside SF. “It’s the law”

  58. 58
    divF says:

    @divF: dammit, your = you’re

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    Oh dear lord. Encountered adovada on my lone Santa Fe visit and have longed for it ever since. No matter how many “New Mexico-style” restaurants I try, nothing on the left coast replicates it.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    hilts says:


    When I first moved to GA thirty years ago, I would finish all the raking before halloween. Now I’m still cleaning leafs after Thanksgiving. It’s going to be in the high eighties well into October.

    That’s quite a disparity you’ve experienced over time. How’s the humidity by you at this time? As a New Yorker, I’m just glad summer is finally over and I can breathe normally again.

  62. 62
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @Major Major Major Major:Fall colors in the Bay area are mostly around November, depending on the micro-climate you’re in. 10 Colorful Places to See Fall Foliage Near San Francisco

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @hilts: This summer/fall it’s been high. Normally we will see some sixties for lows at night and they have been few and far between this year. I imagine that our humidity level will be higher and our lows are higher. We won’t break records on the high side though.

  64. 64
    JPL says:

    @JPL: In other words, it has really sucked. Raven can attest to that, since he got light headed at the GA game yesterday.

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    Farther afield, Highways 88 and 395 in the Sierra take you to some nice aspen groves–nothing as extensive as in the Rockies but fantastic during years fall lingers long before the first big storm. And once the clouds part after that first snow-bearing storm, the high Sierra from the east side are breathtaking.

  66. 66
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Fleeting Expletive: “What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep” seems to be the motto. Omerta. It’s telling that fellow Yale students have spoken up, but not one fellow GP student. Not one.

  67. 67

    @trollhattan: I’ve never been that far north in the eastern Sierra, but it’s on my to-do list.

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    I think that some feel they have to have the entire project in their head before they can start. They want every word to be crystal and perfect. And almost none of them are. That’s why one has to arrange them to tell the story. I’ve been working off and on, mostly off, my novel for about 10 yrs. Life just keeps getting in the way. Maybe one of these days……….. I did purchase Scrivener because what I had been using was a program called Freemind, which is an open outlining program, which replaced a program that has been defunct for about ten yrs. But it is not a writing program and that kept throwing up road blocks. Maybe one of these days…….

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @Chetan Murthy:
    Maybe no one from GP wants to get arrested themselves. That could easily explain the lack of talking. We already know of his sidekick and he’s not talking.
    What did the feds have to do to get the mob guys to talk? They weren’t all that forthcoming until their goodies were in a wringer.

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    Mono Lake and Body will be great locations for your eye.

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