October 12, 2010

White Dog supervised Steve as he put the rack and the bike on the back of the car; Quinn helped me pack up the picnic. We were heading to Fourth of July Canyon with Dragon, Candace and Gregg to belatedly celebrate Candace's birthday! The surprise gifts were stashed in the "way back" where they couldn't be seen until just the right moment and the cake was gently secured to keep the caramel icing intact...and then we were off.

One of the thing s we do miss from the Midwest is the explosion of maple leaf red during the Autumn color change. Maples are just not native to the Southwest and even though Sumac make a fair approximation and we have lots of incredible golds and yellows and even purples, we just get wistful for Maple Red. Fortunately there is a remote canyon about an hour and a half south of us that has stands and stands of maple trees (maybe from lumbering days?) so each year we play a game of tag with Mother Nature as we try to get there at just the right time to "get our red fix."

It wasn't peak but the colors were heart filling and the day perfect. We hiked. Then picnicked on spicy cilantro chicken salad, and spinach greens with beets and pecans and bleu cheese, and crunchy veggie straws, and pretzels crisps with white balsamic fig spread. After, White Dog and Quinn thrilled Candace with her present...a bike basket for Dragon (and safety harness) so that he could ride along with his mom. She was speechless with happiness.

After the ride, there was cake, yes for everyone. Rich moist yellow cake with caramel icing topped with a swirl of apple butter (thanks for the idea, Khyra). It was like a taffy apple without the stick. All we could say (all of us with mouths full of happy celebration) was "It doesn't get better than this!"


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Great post!

Nice pikhs!!

Tasty foodstuffs!!!

PeeEssWoo: Woo are welkhomed fur the apple butter idea - ours turned out great - I think Mom plans to make it again!

Teddy Bear said...

Sounds like a pawfect day for a celebration. The colors of the trees are very pretty.

Teddy Bear

Hansel said...

Wow it looks beautiful!!!! jealous.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

What a nice surprise for Candace! And that pup looks pretty content to get a ride in the basket.

Our leaves are very late with the color change. Our maples are just starting to get color on the tips. Hopefully it won't get too cold too quickly and we will still have some pretty color.

But the color here pales compared to New England.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Mack said...

We love fall - those pics are just awesome! And that cake sounds pretty darned delicious!

Brian said...

I will bet the leaves were so pretty everywhere, sounds like you had a fun day!

Sagira said...

Fall is so beautiful the leaves are so colorful.

Sounds like it was a pawsome day! :)

Jacqueline said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Candace!...Sounds like a lovely, fun day and a festive celebration filled with great friends and good food=that cake sounds wonderful!...And it looks like you guys found the purrfect birthday gift as well!...Hope everyone enjoys a happy week...xoxo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

Ginger Jasper said...

What stunning pictures. I loved the sound of your picnic, all that yummy food. Candice will get so much pleasre from that gift. Hugs.. GJ x

The Thundering Herd said...

We are enjoying a little color around here right now.

Kari in WeHo said...

I just love the changing of the leaves :)


Suka said...

hey Siku Marie and Mighty Quinn,

Long time no bark! I sure have missed you pups! What a super post! The photos are beautiful and you seemed to have had a perfect day. My human is drooling more than me over the description of the food (except for the chicken, I will take all of that, thank you very much!).

So happy to be back and so happy to read that you pups are thriving and enjoying the amazing outdoors!


TwoSpecialWires said...

That sounds like a perfect belated birthday celebration! In EVERY respect. We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed reading about it.

Much love
Jake and Fergi xxoo