I love autumn, all the colors and the amazing dried things it gives birth to. Each fall I love to wander fields and roadways collecting goodies. I always "cure" them in my oven for an hour at the lowest setting. This kills anything that could really ruin my day when they hatch in mass...in my house! LOL can you imagine if you made a Christmas gift from such and when the person opened it Christmas morning, a horde of unwelcome guests fill the room? Or if it's full of dead ones that hatched and died waiting for Christmas morning's opening??? LOL
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little visit South for the fall! These beautiful pictures are courtesy of my oldest daughter.
These are Magnolia pods. You can actually see the pod in the middle of the flower when it blooms. It changes and is all that's left in the fall. They don't smell very nice in my opinion, as flowers or pods, but this year I dried them with the beautiful red berries still on - for an entire day in the oven. To my delight, when I took them out they smelled like fresh pineapple! Days later they still do. So beautiful and now smelling so sweet! I plan to use them mixed with other fall goodies as vase filler this year.
This is the magnolia blossom. See the pod starting in the middle?
When the pod is entirely dry it looks like this freebie I gave away in 2008. I'm just posting this image to show you how it looks. It's in the Pods 'n' Berries Kit in the store now.
Cotton is so beautiful. (I don't dry it in the oven and have never had bug issues. Concerned they might catch fire.) Over the years I have had many a special time wandering fields and taking pictures. Each stage is amazing. I like to call the fall fields, Southern Snow. I raised my family just a hop skip and a jump from this cotton gin. Still live only minutes from it now, but in the city. I remember their Papa taking his rusty old green truck to the gin to collect the fermenting cotton seeds to spread on his huge vegetable garden as fertilizer.
When we moved away from the gin, our next house was a little neighborhood in the country surrounded by cotton fields. It was so beautiful, but the defoliant they spray each fall kept us all sick till cold weather each year. Not good. When the girls have lived away, I send them a cotton boll or two in the fall for their home-sickness. We have a deep love and appreciation for our ever dwindling cotton fields. Each year there are fewer of them. So sad.
These were damp with rain when I collected them, so I have left them on the counter to dry. They are fluffing out more every day! My cotton field in the kitchen!
I also collected Mimosa Pods. While I was out scavenging nature, I came across a huge part of a tree that had broken and fallen, so I was able to reach tons of clusters of the pods. Normally they are way to high up to reach. You just have the individual pods that fall in your yard and make problems! Now I have clusters! They are fragile and I haven't found a good use for them in the past, but I have a big bag to experiment with this year!
Here's a blooming Mimosa tree. This is a page from the first book I published, Surrounded By God's Glory.
This is a pic I took in the Smokys of how they look just before the pods fall. See how far up?
This is a preview of the Mimosa pods I gave away in 2008 and are now available in the Pods 'n' Berries kit in my store. I'm posting this preview only to show the pods.
This is another page from, Surrounded By God's Glory. The top four pictures show what a crepe myrtle looks like in the spring and blooming.
In the fall, they shed their bark and it hangs like lizard skin from the branches! It is fragile and I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but I collected a bunch this year to experiment with. I'm thinking I might soak it in water and wrap around a candle or vase. They might be cool just in a glass cylinder or laying in a tray arrangement of goodies. It's just wonderful to have God's fall blessings here to see what I can do with them!
Here the arrows show some of the bark hanging:
It's not the right time now, but the crepe myrtle blossom clusters become really cool dried goodies too. I gave this away as a freebie in 2009. It's in the Pods 'n' Berries Kit in the store now. I'm just posting this preview so you can see what they look like.
If you'd like tons of cool pods, berries and fall goodies to use on your scrapbooking pages, these are just some of the fall related kits are available. There are tons more in the store. Just click the store button at the bottom of this post or the pretty blue round one at the top of the right column on the blog. You can just use the Buy It Now Buttons to purchase any of these.
Thanks for dropping by and be sure to get outside and enjoy the beautiful, fragrant, crunchy under your feet autumn God is giving us!
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