Evidence of Autumn

By , August 21, 2016

Recently, I posted on my personal Facebook page that Aly and I were enjoying an excellent homestead breakfast. The post got a lot of positive response from friends and family, but some seemed taken aback by my mention that we were listening to autumn music (see Soundtrack of the Homestead: Autumn). I may have struck a nerve, suggesting that autumn might be upon us already.

I forbore loading any replies with links to blog posts explaining our outlook (most obviously The Circle of the Seasons: Autumn). But hey, this is the blog, right? I’ll do it here!

A lovely, early autumn morning on the homestead (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

A lovely, early autumn morning on the homestead (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

We see plenty of evidence that the seasonal cycle has indeed turned to autumn, at least in our region. On the day I made the observation, we still had cool, wet weather. Since then, the days have become sunnier, but the air remains soft and sweet. Aly and I moved from breakfast to processing windfall apples from the venerable old Charles Anway tree in the Haines Sheldon Museum’s front yard (see Charlie Anway Gives the Gift of Autumn). We made a huge pot of apple sauce, and started a batch of hard cider. Our favorite autumn mushrooms pop up continually on the forest floor. Berries are ripe. Our garlic’s harvested, the cabbages come next. Many of the greens we’ve eaten through the summer have begun to bolt and go to seed. Leaves have begun to turn, even without frost. Squirrels create a steady rain of debris in the dooryard as they harvest spruce cones.

The PowerPoint in early autumn (note artichokes in front of solar array!). (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

The PowerPoint in early autumn (note artichokes in front of solar array!). (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger.)

Early autumn, when the transition starts, is so sweet to me. The combined pleasures of summer and autumn create a potent, intoxicating mixture. We definitely feel the urge to increase our preparation for the coming winter (see Upterrlainarluta: “Always Getting Ready”) but it’s early enough that we don’t feel a particular urgency. We have the luxury of pausing to enjoy the feel of it as we move from task to task.

Now that I’ve rhapsodized briefly on my favorite seasonal transition, here’s Michelle with an opposing view: (see Ghost Ferns and Witchy Woods.)

2 Responses to “Evidence of Autumn”

  1. Angie says:

    Years ago, I read somewhere “We love best the season in which we first became aware.” In other words, we love best the time of year that we were born. I don’t know if this is true in any scientific sense, but it seems to hold empirically true for many people I know. Michelle was born in August and doesn’t want the summer to end, at least not THIS early. I was born in October, that’s fall down south, so I love the early autumn. Something deep and primordial inside makes me want to do things with apples and pumpkins. On a massive scale.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Angie, I’d never heard this, but I think it could be true. I, too, was born in October! As for becoming aware, my earliest memories come from Tieton, Washington, an apple growing town–village, really–where harvest celebrations were very popular. We had a Grange Hall, for heaven’s sake!

    So, let’s get together and do things with apples and pumpkins this year! Massive scale or otherwise.

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