Ever since my kids were little, I’ve taken them to “you pick” farms for the experience of knowing where their food comes from.  Apple picking has to be one of our favorites – I think it’s the time of year that’s really the appeal!

Lauren had Columbus Day off from school so the 4 of us set out to the mountains to go apple picking.  It was a gorgeous day and we all love the mountains.  Once we got to the orchard, we set our priorities in order and ate some of the fried apple pies and apple donuts.  These 2 faces tell just how yummy those treats were 🙂

Apples and apple products were everywhere!

Lauren had researched the different orchards before we decided on the BJ Reece Orchard.  Not all orchards will let you pick your own apples.

Picking is half the fun of going to the apple orchard…

And tasting the fruit of your labor 🙂

We picked Rome apples which I really like for applesauce.

It didn’t take us long at all to fill our 20 lb. bag.

The apples were so big!

The other apples that were ready to be picked were the Arkansas Black.  I use these for eating and for applesauce…

It was a little more work to get the bigger apples out of the tree.

But I had very willing volunteers to climb up into the tree to find the good apples.

We quickly filled our bags then headed back to the barn where we purchased more apples and cider to take home.

We love applesauce and it takes a lot of apples to make enough sauce for this family!

We were only a few miles from the Amicalola State Park when we left the orchard.  And because it was such a beautiful fall day, I thought the girls would enjoy the views from the top of the mountain.  We drove up to the lodge that sits on the ridge – incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains…

Inside the main lobby, there was a Ranger who was lecturing about owls.

This is a Great Horned Owl…

And this is a Barred Owl – they were fascinating…

And of course, the ledge outside was a great place for jumping shots!

Looks like she’s doing the Irish Jig 🙂

“Look Mom, I’m flying!”

“Woohoo!!  We love coming to the mountains!”

We all had a great time picking apples and enjoying fall in the mountains.  How incredibly grateful I am for the beauty that surrounds us and for the health to enjoy all the wonders of nature.