Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn's Arrival

It's here.  It arrived the other evening in a brief, but full rainstorm.  The next morning we awakened to Autumn.  The light has changed, the temperature dropped.

I went that morning to the forest up the road.  I wanted to pick some flowers for Cupcake's birthday.  I took my mug full of oatmeal with me.  I sat on a rock in a sunbeam next to the creek and listened and worshiped and ate oatmeal.  The sublime and the pedestrian all in one moment.  But isn't that Life?

I breathed in the freshness of the rain with the scent of rain still clinging.  I marveled at spiderwebs glistening in the raindrops wake.  And I ate oatmeal and laughed out loud.  Inhaling the wonder of it all and living in the moment.  Trying to capture and distill these precious gifts and to try to figure out to to keep that sense of wonder and delight when not alone in the woods.

I walked around a bit gathering flowers and pictures, sights and smells and sounds.  I rinsed my mug out in the creek admiring the rocks under the water.  I found a wild apple tree and picked two apples.  I filled my jar with bits of Queen Anne's Lace, yarrow, golden flowers and ferns.  After just a few minutes, I decided to drive on and still what I might discover up the road.

I only drove a mile or two.  Then I bit into one of the apples.  I turned around and went back to where I had been.  I grabbed a bagged and went to gather more apples.  And then I saw them.  More and more apple trees.  I had been so focused on the flowers at my feet I missed the fruit just above my head.  A good problem to have, if you think about it.

I filled my bag with apples from two trees and plan to take everyone back, maybe tomorrow to gather more.  While our little orchard's trees are filled with bugs these wild trees are growing good fruit and so full of flavor I may never be able to buy an apple again!

Now I am sitting here taking a quick break.  I have been shucking free sweet corn I picked this morning.  The house is filled with the smell of the steaming elderberries I found growing along the corn field.  I had also seen some elderberry bushes in the woods that morning.  So when we all go to gather apples, we will pick them as well.

I was told you should pick the elderberries after the first frost, but read that once they have a white bloom to them you can pick them.  We've not had a frost yet, but they are whitish and quite juicy.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?

We had company over for dinner last night.  I made grilled chicken and steak, a giant salad, steamed brown rice and made the most wonderful Curry Quinoa recipe I found in this month's MaryJane Magazine.  Do try it if you can.  I will write out the recipe if anyone is interested.  For dessert I made an Autumn Fruit Crisp full of the wild apples and our pears.  Layered with brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and fresh-grated nutmeg and served with a bit of vanilla ice cream, it was the entire wonderful season on your spoon.  Wish I could share a bowlful with each of you!

Alas, it is time to get back to the corn.  Luckily, dinner tonight will be leftovers from our dinner last night.  I have a tendency to overcook when company comes.  I would hate to run out of food!

I hope you each have a wonderful evening wherever you are. 


Bonnie said...

Fall hit here about a week ago, October feeling in September. Yum to the apples! I need to go to our local place, I saw the sign was up, or *maybe* we'll go picking. All sounds delightful, and you are sounding more like yourself : )

Davene Grace said...

When I think of you, I think of autumn. Did I start reading your blog in the autumn? I don't remember for sure, but I am grateful for how you appreciate the beauty all around you - in every season, but maybe especially in the fall. :)

Vicki in UT said...

I don't know much about elderberries, but a neighbor has a couple of bushes and gave me a 6 gallon bucket full last week. I made jelly and syrup and it tastes wonderful, if that makes any difference. My garden is acting like fall, and our weather is a bit cooler, but we are back to the mid 80's for our highs. The nights are down into the upper 50's, though, which is an indication fall is coming.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

When we left for vacation, it was summer here. Imagine our surprise when we arrive home ten days later to find FALL!

BaileyZimmerman said...

Hi there Honey....
What a beautiful posting..full of love and poetry. It was wonderful spending time with you!!
There is a nip in the air here too.
I love it.
The only thing we've harvested here is a 100' tree....the tree choppers just hauled the rest of the poor dear away.
Our local farmer's market was up and running again on Sunday. Many of our local farmers are struggling...the heavy rains and wind damage really affected their crops!
I bought some terrific corn and really nice white peaches.....Jersey corn and peaches are really great!!
Love to you dear.....

tonia said...

Last week I followed a tip in a book I have and added a couple tablespoons of dried (reconstituted) elderberries to our smoothies. The book claims if you do this daily through autumn you will never get the flu. The book failed to mention, however, that raw elderberries make some people VIOLENTLY ill. That would be us. Oy vey. Vomiting and other unpleasantries ensued. Now my son says every morning when he hears the blender: NO ELDERBERRIES! :) Just thought I'd warn you.


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