Sunday, October 19, 2008
Guess what we did today?
After waking up this morning, we discovered that we had a gorgeous day ahead of us. So, we decided to take a day trip to Nebraska City home of Arbor Day. It's located some 45 miles southeast of our city. Not at all too far to drive. It was a beautiful drive going there. The sun was incredibly warm for this Autumn Day (it warmed up to 72 degrees today) and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. Just picture perfect.
The first thing that we did was go on the "Tree Adventure." It's a self-guided nature hike through a forest. Along the trail, you would see animal footprints in the concrete. You're invited to guess which animal created the footprints. A few feet down the path, you would discover the answer. Then, some 30 feet later, you'd see another set of footprints. We saw a ton of trees, from birch, maple, oak, hazelnut, ash.....it was so beautiful and peaceful to be in the forest.
Yes, I've decided to grow some funky ears. LOL! No....these "cones" are supposed to magnify the sounds of the forest. (Just like the tin cans and rope that you played with as a child). It was so cool hearing the rustling of the leaves.
We climbed the canopy tree which was 1,044 feet above the ground. I hate heights, so I couldn't stay up there for very long. Do you notice me looking away from the camera? That's because I was getting nervous as we were climbing up to the top.
Hands down....this was the best part of our day:
It was time to pick apples!!! This area of Nebraska is known for its apple orchards, and Arbor Farm had one of the best orchards in the area. We decided to pick Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples, which are cooking or baking apples.
Sean and Lucas decided to start with the Red Delicious apples first. Here they are, picking apples for the first time. Actually, this was a 'first' for all three of us. We've never been apple picking before. The lady who gave us our bag told us that just about all of the apples near the bottom of the trees had already been picked over, but there were some gorgeous ones near the top. I figured that was quite alright since those apples at the top were probably getting the most sunshine and they looked a lot bigger than the apples on the bottom branches.
Here are two of the Golden Delicious apples that Sean and Lucas picked from the tree.
I had to give it a shot, also. I have to admit, it's not as easy as it looks. I think I was too afraid of bruising the apple, so I wasn't tugging as hard as I probably should have. It was lots of fun trying, though.
We filled our bag with at least ten pounds of apples... a total of 15 apples. I plan to bake a pie tomorrow night with the Jonathan apples that we picked. The farm also gives you the chance to take a tree home with you. It's a pine tree. Because they encourge ecologic awareness, the Farm would like to see each visitor or family plant a tree when they returned home. Since we already have two pine trees, one giant oak, maple, birch and locus tree, we weren't too sure whether bringing another tree home was a good idea.
What's a farm without a scarecrow? This one was a 'friendly' scarecrow inviting visitors to come in late October dressed in Halloween costume.
You could pick your own pumpkins, but they harvest them for you. They don't actually let you pick your own from the vine. It was lots of fun seeing little children rummage through the pumpkins.
We finished out the day with some hot dogs, cheeseburgers, apple pie a la mode, and wine tasting. Sean and I sampled some red and white wines that the farm produces. We also shopped for Christmas presents in the store.
All in all, it was a spectacular day; and we are all very tired. Thank goodness we had leftovers in the refrigerator. I was too tired to cook. LOL! I could do this kind of thing each weekend. We are so fortunate that we have a farm like this near our city.