Etcetera #14 {Green Sand, a Wedding, and Making Apple Butter}

Hello, dears!

Yay, it’s time for another random post! If you’re new to etcetera posts, here’s what we do: every few months, I collect a bunch of miscellaneous photos I haven’t shared and pack them into their own post. Basically this is a big mashup of mini adventures and pretty pictures to hopefully brighten your day as well as preserve memories that I can look back on. (My goodness, this is a long-sentenced intro.)

For some of these photos, we’ll have to go back in time to the days of green grass and fall leaves, but I figured you guys wouldn’t mind some sunshine. πŸ™‚ Sound good? Let’s do this!

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The great duckweed harvest

If you walk down to our pond in summer, you’ll likely find the water green instead of blue. :[] It’s apparently the perfect habitat for duckweed: a miniscule, prolific pond plant that floats on the surface of the water. That hasn’t deterred us much from swimming there anyway, but a green pond isn’t preferable. So one afternoon when the wind blew all the plants to one side, we decided to fix it.

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My brother rigged up a scraper blade for the skidloader (see above left), and Mom, Megan, and I scooped the green onto the bank with a shovel and old butterfly net. Wind had piled the duckweed that formerly coated the whole pond into a mat on one little corner, literally several inches thick. Yikes.

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In the end, we loaded the bank with large piles of what felt and looked exactly like neon green sand. SO weird, guys. It was hard to believe that the stuff was alive! I had a grand time smushing my bare feet into the soft, bizarrely colored “beach.” πŸ˜€

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Also, Megan found a tiny salamander – or newt, I think – hidden under some green water. We used to keep one like this in an aquarium.

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Wreath Making

More recently, the ladies from a church planting group we’re a part of came to our farm to make wreaths! We set up three big work tables in Dad’s shop, as well as a couple of others to hold an abundance of cedar, holly, spruce, white pine, berries, pinecones, etc.

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Maggie, our yellow lab, found a new friend. πŸ˜€ (I love this picture help.)

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Carmen also brought Nellie the goat down and adorned her with leftover Christmas ribbon. :’D

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And here are (some of) the wreaths we made! At the end, we hung them up on Dad’s tool wall to survey the results. And how did they look? BEAUTIFUL.

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This is my wreath. It’s slightly boring, but I decided to go for simplicity and a nice, full form. I’m happy with how it turned out! (You can see it in the previous picture to the top right of the yellow broom. πŸ˜› )

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Landscapes

Ahh, now for some pretty nature pictures. I took quite a few sunset/moon pictures recently, like this one I snapped after wreath making.

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I loooove this set of pictures! One night the setting sun frosted the clouds with neon pink. SO PRETTY. (Also observe another moon above the barn. ❀ )

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More tiny moons! I guess I collect them. πŸ˜› These two were taken on the same night – I just edited them very differently. The right photo is what the sky actually looked like, and then I had fun playing around with the colors and exposure on the left one. It’s rather grainy and blurry, but something about the color scheme makes me happy. It reminds me of a movie, like maybe “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”

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GUESS WHAT. ANOTHER TINY MOON. Oh, but this doesn’t count because it was also taken on the same night as the previous two, after the sun fully went down. Fun fact: I took this through a window, which is why you can see two tiny moons. One is a window reflection.

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Ooh yes, now for two interesting trees. I’ve realized I inspect trees a lot when we’re driving, subconsciously wondering how I would paint them or looking for tiny details. I saw this twisty tree at a Thanksgiving celebration and couldn’t resist taking a picture!

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GUYS. Is this not the most perfect, symmetrical tree you’ve ever seen?? Like, it looks fake or something! We saw this while looking at a building we might meet in for a weekly Bible Study soon. Apparently this “double oak tree” used to be a landmark, and I can see why!

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People Photography

Okay, enough trees. Back to faces! My brother and sister just graduated (!!!), so Mom wanted me to take some photos for the graduation announcement cards. Here are two favorites from Logan’s pictures. Even though the right one is a slightly odd angle, I’m so pleased with the crisp, quality look!

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Megan graduated a semester early, which required a whole lot of impressively diligent work on her part. *celebratory confetti* Maggie wanted to congratulate her too. XD

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These pictures are from the twisty-tree Thanksgiving celebration. πŸ˜‰ My best friend Aria‘s parents invited Megan and I to Thanksgiving at their house, which was SO kind of them! Megan had to stay home and finish up last-minute school, but I had such a good (and tasty) time with friends that feel more like family by now. ❀

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An even more exciting event: my friend got married – at our farm! I’ll have a few more photos at the end, but here’s a mirror one I sneaked from the Great Room while Aria was taking pictures too. Bethany looks rather quiet and serious here, which is rare if you know Bethany or were there for her beautiful, radiant wedding. It kind of reminds me of the quiet picture from Aria’s wedding, at the end of this post.

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More Pond Pictures

For some reason I also have a lot of non-duckweed pond pictures. Doesn’t the pond look so nice and clear in this one? (Click here to see the “before.”)

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One day when my cousins were over for making apple butter (again, more on that later), it was so warm that they and my siblings up and decided to jump in the pond! IN NOVEMBER. :’D And… well, you can see how that went:

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BAHAHA they came up shrieking, let me tell you! No one was surprised. :’D But they said it made the air feel nice and warm after that.

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We sometimes go fishing at our pond, but don’t usually catch much. At least it’s a peaceful and beautiful occupation. πŸ™‚

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Maggie is SO annoying when we go fishing because she tries to catch the hook and bait when we pull up the line. BAD PUP. At least she looks cute. πŸ˜€

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Ending with a lovely fall reflection photo. Ahh, this makes me happy.

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Fall Festival

Another fun event we went to recently was a fall festival at our friends’ house! A bunch of people gathered at their homestead to play games, eat food, and dance under a big tent. Another friend and I got to be “event photographers,” which was great, because it gave me an official excuse to take tons of pictures of cute kids and fun happenings. πŸ˜›

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They set out haybales in various places outside for the kids to climb on – a very popular decision.

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They also had a bunch of games for families and kids to participate in, including this relay race my brothers were in. All the races were so fun to watch, haha.

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Contests included family tug-of-war, relay races, regular races, and a three-legged race… except it was more like a ten-legged race because they did it with huge teams. Now THAT was fun. It was so sweet to see adults, teens, and little kids all participating together. That’s partly why I love this picture. ❀ ❀

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They also had a wood splitting contest for boys, girls, and adults. Dad won the adult competition, YAYYY! He got a blue ribbon and fuzzy cap for a prize. πŸ˜€

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That evening we were blessed with a breathtaking sunset. Ahh.

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We’ll end this section with a bonfire picture and more good memories from that evening. ❀ Such a lovely day!

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Etcetera

Now we finally get to the “more on that later” pictures. πŸ˜‰ First up is Bethany’s wedding! I sadly don’t have many photos, since I was busy helping or serving food most of the time (which was quite fun!), but here’s a collage of a few details – plus Aria photographing the details. XD They decorated the barns behind our house SO beautifully, with string lights and fall gourds, tulle and burlap. It was gorgeous.

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Here’s another fun collage, this time from my grandparents’ 50th anniversary celebration. We wanted to go on a trip somewhere, but because of pandemic restrictions we had them and our cousins over for a smaller celebration. Granddaddy suggested we make apple butter, so we did. πŸ™‚ It was a neat process and yielded a delicious result (about 80 pints!).

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I didn’t want to post all those collaged photos individually because this post is already long enough, but I couldn’t resist adding this one by itself. My cousin Leisha with Lavender the rabbit.Β  ❀

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Wow, this was a while ago. Some friends… side note: how many times have I used the words “some friends in this post? XD Anyway, some friends hosted a series of small dances outside at their house, and we brought glow sticks to one of them! I got some neat abstract light pictures with my camera and tripod. The kids obliged me by being energetic and twirling their glow sticks to make these. πŸ™‚

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These zinnias enlivened our herb garden this year. We’re hoping to grow a BUNCH of flowers below our garden next year and sell some bouquets at a roadside stand. I’m so excited because FLOWERS. AHH.

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I kept almost deleting this picture because it’s random and kinda pointless, but that’s what an etcetera post is for, right? XD Besides, I like it. If you zoom in, you can see a glittering swarm of gnats. I love how the right perspective and lighting (a.k.a. golden hour) transforms annoying bugs into magical fairy dust.

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We’ll end the post with a classic Christmas tree photo. The random ornaments are the most fun to hang, but I have to say, there’s something so lovely about the simple red and white globes.

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Phew! We made it to the end. Thanks for coming along for the ride, or rather for the scroll. πŸ˜› I hope this assortment of small adventures and pretty things brightened your day and helped you enjoy this beautiful world a little bit more.

Do you have a favorite photo or category from this post? Have you ever made wreaths or apple butter? Which of the fall festival contests sounds most fun to you?

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

P. S. To find more posts like this, search “etcetera” on my blog search bar, or click here for the last one!

50 thoughts on “Etcetera #14 {Green Sand, a Wedding, and Making Apple Butter}

  1. Omg,omg,omg these are STUNNING!!
    Your wreath isn’t boring at all. It’s so beautiful😍. THE SUNSET/MOON PICTURES ARE BEAUTIFUL🀞πŸ₯€πŸ€©. Playing around with the picture ended up BEAUTIFUL as always😁🀞! Megan looks so beautiful once again as always.
    THAT SUNSET IS BREATHTAKING INDEED. Those pink flowers are top notchπŸ‘ŒπŸΌ. Mehn you’re so talented. Is it me or does Nellie keep getting cuterπŸ˜…? No,its probably me…

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  2. Oh WOW! That “green sand” looks so weird! XD The glowstick photos were fun! My brothers used to take photos and videos of glowsticks, and I always thought it looked cool. πŸ™‚ We had some friends (there, now I’m using that term! XD) who used to make apple butter ever year, and we would go over to watch. That was always fun! Oh, and that ten-legged race sounds crazy! I’d almost be afraid of breaking a leg! (But I think I’d enjoy doing it anyway! Lol!) Also, those trees are so cool! I love the diversity of God’s creation!

    Congratulations to Logan and Megan! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

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    1. I KNOW, doesn’t it?? And yep, they were fun to take too! (Hehe, it’s just such a helpful term, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰ ) That’s so neat to have an apple-butter-making tradition! Or I guess apple-butter-making-watching. XD Haha, the ten-legged race actually worked surprisingly well, since most teams thought it out and went, “right leg, left leg,” etc. so they were all synchronized. It was impressive. I knooowww, same here!
      Thanks on their behalf! XD (And thanks for taking the time to read and comment, dear. ❀ )

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  3. I loved this post and catching up on Beery life. I forgot to ask your mom how the wedding went! What a beautiful spot! And the green “sand”. That was something else. I love that you have continued the wreath tradition at your new home… Miss you all.

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I enjoyed your comment. πŸ™‚ Yes, the wedding went amazingly well and we all enjoyed the result after the prep work that went into it. So special. Yes, the green sand was something else indeed! I know, I immediately thought of the wreath making nights we used to do at Christmas. We miss you guys too. It’s been too long. Hope you’re all safe and healthy!

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  4. Fear not, Allison! I have seen longer sentences than your introduction sentence (see Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 1, first paragraph). I did not even notice it was long until you mentioned it–a sign of good craftmanship!

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    1. Haha, well THANKS. Honestly it’s not that long now, I guess. The first rendition was something like, “If you’re new to etcetera posts, here’s what we do: every few months, I collect a bunch of miscellaneous photos I haven’t shared and pack them into their own post – a big mashup of mini adventures and pretty pictures to hopefully brighten your day as well as preserve memories that I can look back on.”
      HAHA and then I was like, “WHOA, HOLD ON.” XD Huh, I didn’t remember AOGG had that long of sentences! I do remember the first sentence of War and Peace was, like, a paragraph long. I guess not unusual for that book in general. XD
      This has been a fascinating conversation, hehe. Thank you. *bows*

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  5. Loved all the pictures!!!! I really enjoyed looking through them all. That green stuff?! Oh my goodness, that looks SO strangely satisfying!!! I kinda just wanted swim in it! xD
    And those sunset are beautiful. ❀
    Thanks for this awesome post!! πŸ˜€

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    1. Yay, I’m so glad to hear that! ❀ HAHA I KNOW, RIGHT? It really was strangely satisfying! And I guess we literally HAVE gone swimming in it before. XD But not, like, solid duckweed. That wouldn't work so well. πŸ˜›
      I love the sunset ones too!
      Thanks for reading it, Rosy! ❀

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  6. That duckweed was CRAZY! I love the picture of your feet in the green. πŸ™‚

    The wreath-making looks so fun! And the picture of the little girl with your dog…<3

    I love all the landscapes, especially with the tiny moons! And the trees are both beautiful! (That double one is SO COOL).

    Congrats to your siblings on their graduations!

    Wow, you friend getting married at your farm is so cool! And the pictures are beautiful (as always…)

    I LOVE the second-to-last picture with the gnats and golden hour! Don't delete it, it's beautiful!

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    1. It really was! And thanks, hehe! Me too.

      Wait I was about to type the exact same response to that paragraph. :’D

      Thank youuu! I love tiny moons. (I KNOW, right??)

      It was so so special and beautiful. ❀

      It makes me happy to know that the gnats were not wasted. XD Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for the lovely long comment, Samantha!

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  7. EEEE!! Those sunsets are GORGEOUSSSSS!!!

    I’ve never made apple butter before, and I’m not that big of an apple fan (unless it’s just plain old apples. Those are great!), but my mom has been obsessed with making wreaths this year, and she does a great job! She’s actually surprised me with how perfect the color aesthetics are on some of them XD

    I love looking at all your pics! You’re a very talented photographer!

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  8. I loved seeing all of this so much! It all looked like so much fun! πŸ˜€ You capture memories so well in your photos and captions! I especially liked the apple butter part, we used to make a ton of that and can it and it was SO GOOD πŸ˜€ ❀

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed! Hehe, the green stuff WAS quite satisfying. πŸ™‚
      To be honest, the original picture of the bonfire wasn’t that great, but after a lot of editing you could see everything more clearly!

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    1. I did too. ❀ And I got the blurry glowsticks by using a long exposure on my DSLR. If you leave the shutter open for a few seconds, you can capture all the movement that happened in that space of time! And YES, the sunset was incredible indeed!

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  9. Ah, this was so fun to read! I loved seeing all your autumn photos – and wow, swimming in November?! *shivers* It sounds so cold!!!

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    1. I’m so happy it was! HAHA I KNOW. My siblings are crazy. XD But to be fair, they didn’t really swim, per se. They mostly jumped in and got back out as fast as they could. And then the girls got back in again another time. *shakes head amusedly*

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  10. This was so lovely! I’d love it if you could make some sort of beginner photography tips(or maybe you already have, lol) because I’v been experimenting some with my camera lately. I’m starting to do some similar posts like this on my blog because honestly I enjoy reading this style of posts so much.
    Also, your family looks like they do such cool stuff! I’d love to see photography ideas for when you aren’t doing much.
    *says the girl who just compiled a bunch of decoration, vacation, baking, lights, and town photos in less than a month*

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    1. Well thanks! Ooh, good idea. I did make a sort of photography tips post, but I’d like to do another one (maybe an online course of some sort!) eventually. Here’s the post: https://afarmgirlslife.com/2019/03/29/cultivating-a-photographers-eye/
      My tips are mainly to observe the world, play around with editing, and take LOTS of pictures. My style has changed (dare I say improved? XD) quite a lot since I started this blog, after taking thousands of pictures. I’m so glad my posts could inspire you to write similar ones because I love reading them too!
      Haha, we are able to do a lot of fun stuff because of wonderful friends, which is such a blessing. But of course my blog posts capture highlights – we have plenty of boring days too. If I’m taking pictures on those days, I generally do nature photography. ❀
      HAHA WOW, that sounds pretty exciting to me!

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  11. I loved reading this post! It was so fun to see all the pictures of you doing things with friends and family. I would love to make Christmas wreaths sometime, but I don’t think I ever have. We have lots of cedar and pine trees for materials, and I actually did decorate my room with some basic greenery! Your wreaths looked great, by the way. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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