Every fall we try to go apple picking, and we include my sister's kids in the adventure. It sort of became a tradition a while ago, and when we go I take photos of the four cousins all together. Sometimes the photos come out well, other times not that great, but it doesn't matter really, as long as we go.
This year we went on a recent Sunday, which was also the day the Thomas and Friends cake was due. It was a drizzly, cold, slightly foggy day. But that didn't stop us from going, of course.
We went to a farm in Smithfield - one of dozens - that we had gone to several years ago. Got a plastic tote bag for each kid, and the guy working there showed us a map and told us where the choice apples were right now.
"Follow the dirt road til you get to the power lines," we were told. So we headed down the dirt road (once we'd located it) in search of apples.
There's a small family burial plot in the orchard - it's designated as Historical Cemetary #49 in the state - many of the original Knight family (who still own this orchard, I believe) are buried there.
I love these old, small, family plots. Not sure why, exactly. Just something about them that appeals to me. Especially on overcast, drizzly October mornings.
Oh - and there was (on a sort of related note but not really I guess, but oh well, here goes the segue anyway) this tree stump that was all wet and dark from the rain...and every time I saw it out of the corner of my eye, it looked like a large black dog sitting there.
Doesn't it? Kind of? Well...maybe you had to be there, and in my Octobery state of mind.
Anyway, the kids and Bill picked plenty of apples and sampled a few to make sure they tasted appropriately orchard-fresh.
Here's Calvin trying one. Unfortunately, I think he was eating one of Julia's apples.
As you can imagine, that didn't go over so well with Miss Julia.
So he tried to give the apple back to her. What was left of it.
The apples themselves weren't much to look at - a lot of discoloration on the skins and weird shapes and these tiny black dots that - according to the guy we got our bags from - were because they had sprayed some sort of organic polish on them and the rain messed it up.
Looks like it could use some sort of deep cleansing mask, doesn't it?
Anyway, I've run out of things to say about the apple picking. I'll just leave you with a few more pictures from that afternoon. And if you want to see the whole batch, you can go here to my flickr site.
This is Alex sampling an apple. You'll notice he's kind of gnawing on it with one side of his mouth. He's got a loose tooth - top left front one - and it hurts to bite on that side.
Natalie and a teeny, tiny apple.
Julia insisted on carrying her own bag the whole time.
Calvin. He is taller than his father now. And quite pleased about it, too. Of course.
And one last one - all four of the cousins.
They all keep getting taller....