Everything is On the Run

November 1, 2014

My daughter running through fall leaves, 1991

My daughter running through fall leaves, 1991

Fall Wind
by Aileen Fisher

Everything is on the run —
willows swishing in the sun,
branches full of dip and sway,
falling leaves that race away,
pine trees tossing on the hill —
nothing’s quiet, nothing’s still,
all the sky is full of song:
“Winter’s coming. Won’t be long.”

Advertisements

Everything Falls

October 30, 2014

“It is the fall.  And everything falls — not just the leaves.  The temperature falls as the earth again tilts away from the sun.  Darkness falls more quickly as the days shorten.  Plants droop and dry up and break apart.  Trees fall into dormancy and stop growing.  Their leaves and seeds fall into the cool air, and then to the ground, where they will rot and root and become something new.  This is the season of decay — a word that means “to fall away” — to return to your constituent parts, to what you are made of.”
— Tom Montgomery Fate, Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father’s Search for the Wild

 

Watercolor sketch of fallen leaves

Watercolor sketch of fallen leaves

Circle of fall leaves, watercolor sketch

Circle of fall leaves, watercolor sketch

I was captivated by how these leaves were changing color from tip to stem

I was captivated by how these leaves were changing color from tip to stem

Watercolor sketch, circle of fall leaves

Watercolor sketch, circle of fall leaves

 

 

From A Child's Calendar by John Updike

From A Child’s Calendar by John Updike

October
by John Updike

The  month is amber,
Gold, and brown.
Blue ghosts of smoke
Float through the town.

Great V’s of geese
Honk overhead,
And maples turn
A fiery red.

Frost bites the lawn,
The stars are slits
In a black cat’s eye
Before she spits.

At last, small witches,
Goblins, hags,
And pirates armed
With paper bags.

Their costumes hinged
On safety pins,
Go haunt a night
Of pumpkin grins.

Multi-colored maple leaf

Multi-colored maple leaf

Watercolor sketch of maple leaf

Watercolor sketch of maple leaf

Watercolor sketch of maple leaf

Watercolor sketch of maple leaf

 

Mid-October

October 19, 2014

Watercolor sketch of maple leaf

Watercolor sketch of maple leaf

Another watercolor sketch of maple leaf

Another watercolor sketch of maple leaf

IMAGE_7697

Mid-October
by David Budbill, from Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse

Almost all the leaves
are down.  Rain.

Clouds make a fog
just above the trees.

The world colder
more empty every day.

My favorite
time of year.

Colossal chestnuts, Jello Mold Farm

Colossal chestnuts, Jello Mold Farm

My adventures in eating continued with roasted and boiled chestnuts.  This was a good year for chestnuts at Jello Mold Farm.  The nuts were bursting from their spiky green cases.

Chestnut tree, Jello Mold Farm

Chestnut tree, Jello Mold Farm

IMAGE_7371

IMAGE_7373

IMAGE_7374

IMAGE_7375

IMAGE_7368

IMAGE_7370

Diane had harvested some chestnuts that were drying on her kitchen table.  She invited me to fill my pockets so that I could try roasting them at home.  I had never roasted chestnuts before, but I had tasted them one Christmas season when I bought a packet warm from an outdoor vendor.  Diane suggested boiling them as well.  So when I got home, I made two batches — roasted and boiled.  The roasted ones tasted slightly better, but they were hard to peel.  The boiled ones peeled much easier.  Chestnuts make such tasty snacks!

IMAGE_7377

Roasted chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts

Boiled chestnuts

Boiled chestnuts

Chestnuts ready to eat

Chestnuts ready to eat

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

Watercolor sketch of chestnuts

Watercolor sketch of chestnuts

Decorated envelope, letter to a friend

Decorated envelope, letter to a friend

Quinces from Jello Mold Farm

Quinces from Jello Mold Farm

I like feeling adventuresome, and sometimes my explorations take me into the realm of a new (to me) food.  Diane and Dennis at Jello Mold Farm have several quince trees, and the ground was littered with windfallen fruit.  I’d never eaten or cooked with quince, and Diane invited me to try it.

Quince remind me of hard pears.  I simply peeled mine, cut them into chunks, and simmered them with water, sugar, and a little ground ginger until they broke down into sauce.  I used a bit more water than I would have with applesauce, and I had to cook the quince longer.  The sauce is delicious.  It has its own flavor, which is not quite like anything I could compare it to.   I think it would go well with pork.  I’ve been eating mine on top of plain yogurt.

IMAGE_7634

IMAGE_7635

IMAGE_7636

 

Autumn displays at Gordon Skagit Farm

Autumn displays at Gordon Skagit Farm

It has now become something of an annual tradition, this daytrip to Mount Vernon’s Gordon Skagit Farm.  (You can see my posts from previous visits here and here and here  and here.)  It has become my favorite way to celebrate autumn.  Each year Eddie Gordon displays his new work — large paintings showcased outdoors on the farm.  This year’s paintings included several magnificent mountain landscapes.  One barn features haunting scenes on darkened stage sets.  Bins of pumpkins and squashes and gourds are filled to overflowing.  I didn’t even visit the corn maze or U-pick apple orchard this year.  I love this place!

As usual, I took far too many photos to show in one blog post, so I will string them out.  Tomorrow’s post will be an online gallery of Eddie Gordon’s paintings.  And Saturday’s post will feature the paintings and sketches some of my women friends made on site, inspired by Eddie’s artistic offerings.  So stay tuned.

Entrance sign to the Gordon Skagit Farm

Entrance sign to the Gordon Skagit Farm

It was a foggy morning in the Skagit Valley.

It was a foggy morning in the Skagit Valley

Bin of turban squashes

Bin of turban squashes

Woodland gown made from natural materials

Woodland gown made from natural materials

More high fashion near the barn

More high fashion near the barn

IMAGE_7600

IMAGE_7601

Vintage International Harvester truck, decorated with pumpkins

Vintage International Harvester truck, decorated with pumpkins

IMAGE_7593

IMAGE_7595

IMAGE_7594

IMAGE_7567

Bottle gourds

Bottle gourds

IMAGE_7574

Staged in the haunted barn

Staged in the haunted barn

Spooky scene

Spooky scene

Indian corn

Indian corn

Thanks for this recipe!

Thanks for this recipe!

Kids visiting the farm

Kids visiting the farm