Monthly Archives: October 2015

October’s passing

IMG_7000 Morning fog and the plaintive cry of the lone goat down by the pond – he’s the white spot down there. I think he mourns loneliness these days. I haven’t seen his buddy for about a year.

IMG_6998We have leaf lawns like old brown/gold shag carpets in every view.

IMG_7003 The deer are almost invisible now except for white tails as they bound across the yard. This one paused for quite a while before slowly going over the hill and down through the sluggish morning traffic.

IMG_7007  And then, all is glorious!

I found another poem by George Copper that speaks of the season. Here are the first two verses:

“Come, little leaves,”

Said the wind one day,

“Come over the meadows

With me, and play;

Put on your dresses

Of red and gold;

Summer is gone,

And the days grow cold.”

Soon as the leaves

Heard the wind’s loud call,

Down they came fluttering,

One and all;

Over the meadows

They danced and flew,

Singing the soft

Little songs they knew.

Since I first encountered Barbara Mahany’s lyrical writing in Slowing Time , I’ve been a visitor to her table. Her current post on the coming darkness of the long nights of winter ends with this thought: to “… wrap ourselves in the whole of the long night’s offering, the invitation to burrow deep inside our souls. and bring on the night candles, the flame, and the blankets.”  She writes of the long winter cozy that I do love with more candles, more soup and stew, more blankets and comforters, more reading and yes, more time outside. In the dark.

I’m moving a jacket up to the kitchen so I’m more agreeable to respond to the drawing to step outside to watch the dawn create silhouettes of my tree friends. Stars and planets visible without the canopy of leaves.

You’re invited out into the wonder! IMG_6993

October Sheltering

Our bluebird friends are visiting their old nest box again. Other birds are invisible to me as they chatter and investigate trees for holes and shrubs for cozy places for winter nights.

The squirrels are frantic, running here and there with acorns and black walnuts from across the street, burying them, then futilely patting leaves on top.

The deer are dressed for hunting season in deep, drab coats. They wander the yard aimlessly having eaten all the apples and pears they could reach or their squirrel friends tossed down to them.

Overhead the geese fly and chat about moving south or staying in place.

I imagine that you, dear reader, are adding cozy touches to your home and securing it against the winter to come. I’ve dressed the beds in layers of blankets and comforters, added afghans and quilts and pillows to couches and chairs and made a number of batches of applesauce – my wintry comfort food! This week I also pulled out my old potpourri crock pot to warm up the house with cozy scent.

2015-10-22 Spices, apple peels and core, water and time = delicious scent.

A scent I didn’t know I missed came to me the other evening as I opened the door – wood smoke. Someone had a fire going in their home. Now I miss the scent of burning leaves and wood from old fashioned barrels and pits and stoves as I venture out in the cool of the day. Our long ago neighbor cooked and heated her home with wood.  I remember there was always a curl of smoke from the chimney and the scent of hearth on the air.

One of my long term projects is finally finished and adding a cozy touch in the guest room and a smile to my face whenever I look in.  yo-yos   My years long project of scrappy yo-yos is finally sewn together! It was my birthday gift to myself to complete it. I remember when I was very young that we had a yo-yo coverlet.  The fun of it and the weaving in and out of little fingers stayed hidden in memory until I saw this style had a revival of sorts. Mine is only bed warmer or foot cozy size although my sister pointed out that I can always add to it!  560 little circles gathered and stitched together. yo-yos  I rather enjoy the repetitive hand sewing as a winter activity. The nostalgia of it drew me to the book shelf and my favorite childhood story book. story book   It is certainly the worse for wear having entertained quite a few children since I received it as a gift and lived for a while in a dark attic before coming back to me. I don’t have many things from my childhood so I am delighted to have this book. The illustrations are wonderful.

Take a peek.    story book   Yes, the naughty Gingerbread Boy. There are many classic stories in it but my all time favorite is a mysterious, creative and delicious adventure which is probably totally responsible for my need to always have butter on my pancakes. I loved this little family!   IMG_6869

 

 

 

October’s annual party

farm

Many mornings seem to burst through foggy hours, other days, it is a slow revealing. This nearby farm is always a lovely sight. No horses visible in this frame, but they are usually wandering the fields adding to the rural beauty. The other amazing thing not seen is the morning traffic. It was there, of course, which gave me the opportunity to focus on the view with my camera.

dogwood

The winds are invisible as well, but they seem ever present, blowing away the dust and heat and bugs of summer. The trees yield to the wind and shake off their leaves – their past – sometimes blighted, sometimes chewed, always worn out as they prepare to settle into a time of rest and rejuvenation. And too, I love the change of light in autumn. I’ve gone to the reservoir two evenings this past week to revel in the sunsets.

sunset 1

It was great pleasure to have picnic dinners roadside to such beauty while the wind rustled a symphony from leaves and branches. Geese were the trumpeting chorus!

sunset 2

I do hope you have a special place or at least a view of the wonder of all that is autumn.

A day for musing

A quiet day, much of it spent almost nose to the ground picking up wood shaken from the trees in wind and rain. I’m mindful that this is minor damage and very grateful that our saturated ground was spared the hurricane hit. But it is a tiring chore.

So I’m sharing a brief September trip to Ithaca, home of a dear family member. As I have noted a number of times, I’m smitten with the bird cams sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology located on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

During a leisurely breakfast, we watched the live-streaming of the historic inauguration of Cornell’s new President, Elizabeth Garrett, the prelude to Homecoming Weekend. Although there were many events planned on campus, we managed to evade them all and see the things really important to Elaine :) The field light post where the hawklets were born and fledged was the first stop…

lamp post

It was lovely to stand and look around at the sights we watch on the bird cam. Then it was off to Sapsucker Woods to see the cams at the feeders and on the pond. feeders    sapsucker woods pond

It was a brilliant late afternoon and a luxury to sit on the well placed bench with family and enjoy this peaceful place.  Later we were off to the fabulous Zaza’s to celebrate my upcoming birthday. There, after a wonderful meal,  I met my new dessert love – Affogato al Caffè – “Freshly brewed espresso poured over creamy vanilla gelato”, and, available as de-caf! Such a satisfying day!

sapsucker woods pond

Misty morning view

There was a strange soft fluttering in the tree, like delicate lace waved by a fairy. My imagination runs rampant in early morning mist and in the time before coffee. web

The real thing is magical. web

Perhaps it was a fairy, there is no sign of the spinner of such fine thread nor the lace maker of this scalloped wonder.web

Hummer friends

HummerThe 13th of September, we noticed something a bit odd, a female hummingbird perched on a chair outside the kitchen door and later I saw this one. It was if she was saying farewell, rather than just waiting to have a drink. Mystery. How do they know how long to stay? Where will this bird go?

It is always a bit sad when they leave. So tiny to leave such large emptiness behind.

And then… the notice came… Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology has a new bird cam on-line…  migrating hummingbirds!

Here in the East, we have only the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. This cam is located in a remote research site along the known hummingbird migration path and a dozen species can be seen at the feeders!

If these magnificent small wonders interest you, have a look.

Identity Issue

coyote

June, 2008

Through the kitchen door, I saw this strange “fox”. Neither grey or red, I wondered if they cross bred. A chance conversation last weekend had me search for the photo I had taken. Coyote? I think so. There have been sightings just a few miles from here in recent years.

A short on-line research indicates that the resident groundhog is in jeopardy if he returns. Perhaps I will plant a garden next year.

October’s Opening Day

table sceneMornings are dark and rainy ones are especially so. It’s time for lighting candles in the early hours. The rains, storm driven, arrive daily. But in the showery time, I stepped outside the door, camera tucked under sweater, to be and to see.

hydrangea   mushroom                            seed pods  Seed Pods of the Hardy Begonia.

A few years ago, my sister gifted me with a plant. Survival was a challenge as the deer immediately discovered this new delicacy. Somehow, it survived and bloomed and scattered seeds. Last year I moved it farther into the shade and most of the plants survived and thrived in spite of occasional deer visits. I featured the lovely blooms of the Hardy Begonia in the September photo.

Then  IMG_6597  Today  Hardy Begonia

Behind the scenes  IMG_6787  the brilliant veins are visible.

But it is those tricorn seed pods which hold my attention now. Will the scattering seeds survive and thrive to continue populating this stretch of wild garden? We will have to wait till next mid-summer.