Fall in Colorado

It’s fall, and it’s gorgeous. I’d forgotten just how gorgeous Colorado falls could be, and I’m definitely enjoying it while I can, because who knows how long it will be until I get to see a proper fall again!


I may be biased, but I think Colorado scenery is some of the prettiest for fall. Blue mountains, blue sky, and blue lakes contrast so nicely with the yellows and reds of fall.


So even though I’ve traveled all over recently (it feels like it, at least!), it’s been so nice to come home.


Sadly, the leaves left quickly when a giant windstorm came up and blew them all away. But we sure enjoyed them while they lasted!


There’s just something about the mountains that is so beautiful against the sky.


I hope you’re enjoying fall wherever you’re at, though I’m guessing it’s not as gorgeous as this!  Now if I can just pack in a little snow before I move to the tropics!



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Fall, in Pictures

Ginkgo in Autumn
Ginkgo trees really are beautiful in the fall

Yesterday the weather here was absolutely beautiful. Yellow leaves look like stained glass windows against clear skies–and yesterday the sky was completely blue. Nature is so much more beautiful when you only see it glowing occasionally and the rest of the time it’s cowering under smog.

Unfortunately, I had to teach yesterday (yes, it was Sunday, and no, I had no choice), but we enjoyed what time we had to rejoice in the beauty of the clean air.

Early morning lighting is the best.
Early morning lighting is the best.

Our neighbors on the ground floor have the most beautiful roses. They’re growing in front of a patch of bare cement, and the window to their apartment is covered with rusty bars and looks ancient, but the roses still thrive. They’re blooming even more now that it’s almost winter.

Roses in China
Beautiful roses in front of our (decrepit looking) apartment building

Roses and cathedrals both serve similar purposes–they point the eye upward.

The front of our apartment building.

In other news, I’m all done grading papers until tomorrow, when I will have 60 midterms to begin grading. Let’s hope I pick interesting topics so I won’t be bored by reading everyone’s paper!


Roses and ginkgo
Our view from the east.


What’s your favorite part of fall? Glowing colors, cool air, fresh breezes? Or the more mundane parts of life, like school and getting to wear fall clothes?


Fall…and Apples….and a Recipe for Tastiness

It’s fall! We’ve had a few days of beautiful weather with no pollution, lots of golden leaves, and fall fruits. And you’ll be glad to know that even though it’s China, trees still turn yellow and gold and red and purple here. I know you were all worried about that.

The view from our fourth-story balcony. The tree is a Gingko tree, which is supposed to have amazing fall colors. This one looks a little sad, though.

The Chinese seem to value fall and beauty more than people in other countries. There are always Chinese pulling out their phones to take pictures of a beautiful tree or flower. They love beautiful things.

A still- green Gingko tree.
A still- green Gingko tree.

It’s also apple season around here, and every street vendor has baskets full of different varieties of apples. When it’s apple season, you can’t just let all those beautiful apples go to waste or even be eaten raw. So, although I can’t can anything (mason jars don’t seem to exist here and I don’t have any canning equipment anyways), there’s still a time and place to make applesauce and baked apples and other apple-y good things.

But, since I’d already made all those aforementioned things and still had apples, and since I now have a toaster oven to bake things in, I tried to make apple crisp.

So I sliced up my apples and put a little brown sugar and vanilla salt on them. Chinese brown sugar is extra dark and molasses-ey, so it made them extra good. And no, I didn’t put any cinnamon or nutmeg or allspice in–for one thing, I’m too much of a cheapskate to buy cinnamon for 20 Y for a little bottle, even if that is only around $4.00.

Don’t they look good?

Then, once my apples were ready, I mixed up a little flour, some butter, some regular sugar, and more vanilla salt (salt is pretty essential). I crumbled it on top (which I didn’t take a picture of since I’m a bad food blogger), and stuck it in my teeny weeny toaster oven. Yes, just one of those plates fits at a time.

See how yellow my butter is? Fresh from New Zealand!

The good part about having a teeny weeny toaster oven is that things cook in half the time. 20 minutes later, Jared and I were sitting down to yummy, salted-caramel flavored apple crisp. It’s really the best sort of apple crisp you’ll ever have. It tasted just like a caramel apple, except even better.

Jared approves!
Jared approves!
And he wanted to get a picture of the cook too.