RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Autumn

Eating Apple Cider


I cannot believe that autumn is essentially here.  I notice it mostly in the morning when I get up.  You can feel the chill in the air.  There is a thin layer of fog as I look out my window.  Over the Sound, the fog is dense, and you can hear the foghorns from all the boats of varying size on the Puget Sound.  It is a very heavy trafficked area with the cargo ships coming and going from the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.  Add to that all the fishing and pleasure boats of varying sizes.  We also have the ferryboats from several different areas all coming and going from very early in the morning until very late at night.  A few nights ago I noticed when I had to get up in the middle of the night that I could really hear the foghorns, I looked out and we were under with a very thick fog.  I knew there were some cargo ships waiting to dock in the ports… some coming from great distances.

With fall comes harvest time.  Tom picked the apples from our trees the other day.  We each had one when he took a break.  They were so crisp and luscious.  The taste reminded me of a delicious apple cider… they were like I was eating a cider drink.  I know you do not eat apple cider, but the test was so similar to apple cider that you felt you were sipping and not chewing.  As a child, I loved to have heated apple cider with a cinnamon stick so too my children loved theirs the same.

As I took a break at the garden table a dragon-fly came by to see me, it stayed on my arm for a while… it looks like it has a smile on its face!

It takes me back to when we first moved to Washington.  It had been a long two weeks on the road from Yorktown VA to Puget Sound, Washington.  The afternoon we arrived, we found out that school was starting the next day.  You do not know how this Mother felt to know that the children would be in school all day long, especially after that long journey all cramped in a vehicle and with our little sheltie dog, Mini Molly Moo Wigglesworth, our miniature Lassie look-a-like.  She was the least of our troubles.

That first week in school here was heaven-sent.  Busy with getting things in order, such as where we would live and hoping that our household goods would arrive on the date given.  All the paper work sent home from school with the children took hours to fill out, and then there were the school trips sent for parents to give permission for your child to go on.  Their very first field trip here in Washington was to “Scandia Pumpkin Farm.”

This pumpkin farm had been in business for generations I was told.  The elderly farmer and his ancestors had all grown pumpkins on this very farm.  Each year they invited the children from the local schools to come and pick out a pumpkin in the special pumpkin patch that they had grown just for that purpose.  Each child once they had picked the pumpkin they wanted paid one quarter for it.  After choosing the pumpkin and paying the elderly pumpkin farmer poured each a cup of hot apple cider.    All the children loved their hot apple cider and were happy with the pumpkin they had found in the pumpkin patch.   This one was always a chosen field trip for me being a room mother; I always enjoyed it as much as the children.

Eating the apple the other day while sitting under the Apple tree brought back so many memories from my childhood to my children’s childhood.  We had trips similar to this when we lived in Connecticut.

We still have a few plums to pick, I had one and it was simple wonderful.  The blackberry season has now ended.  And I feel so blessed, with so many blackberries that I was able to make vinegar, syrup, tarts and froze enough to get some preserves and other things in the future.  Tom actually made a blackberry cobbler with wheat germ the other evening it was large enough for two small portions of the wonderful tastes that come with harvest time.

Then it decided to take a sun break on one of the apples, blending right in!

The apples will bring us some of our favorites… apple butter, apple sauce, pies, tarts, bread, muffins, or a wonderful tarte tatin, there are so many more uses that I can think of for these wonderful apples.

The leaves are all about to change and what breathtaking beauty they will bring along with all the wonderful flavors that come each fall.   Each is a treasure to me since childhood.

It sure is nice to be able to have the freshness of fall at your backdoor.  I would share with all of you if you did not live across the pond so to speak.  I hope that each of you have a wonderful, colorful fall and a bountiful harvest of wonderful tastes, friends, and love too….

Evidence of Autumn… Color Everywhere

Solitary Bench

Evidence of Autumn                                                                     

© 2009 ….RaeDi                                                                  

I was out on my walk yesterday taking in the scenery and checking to make sure, we had not missed any vegetables. The garden is spent for the season, a few tomatoes may still ripen, but for the most part our gardening season is over. Watching leaves fall to the ground and the audible range of the sounds of a flock of geese well before seeing them headed south were all signs that summer has ended and autumn has begun. The cool crisp air and all the colors of autumn in the leaves and the beautiful fall Mums are true markings that summer has ended and autumn is here.

When I was in grade school, I heard this song for the first time; Nat King Cole was singing it. The song was before my time, but the words seemed to speak to me. Maybe I had an old soul at a young age, but it words made an impression on me from the first time hearing this song, it still feeds my soul each time I hear it. It gives me pause, I reflect and yesterday and this morning as I walked and took in my surroundings the music kept repeating in my head. This song and all the signs that are so clearly ‘autumn’ brought about the way I felt and how I observed all that was taking place as I took my scroll around my home.

Down our lane

Autumn Leaves

Lyrics by Johnny Mercer and Music by Joseph Kosma
Written in 1945, French, “Les Feuillet Mortes” (The Dead Leaves) by poet Jacques Prevert

The falling leaves drift by my window
The falling leaves of red and gold
I see your lips; the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

On my walk this morning, I see the beginnings of our third stage of nature cycles. If I had to choose, autumn would be my choice of the four seasons. Spring her beauty, the rebirth of beginnings of the new year. Announcement is made with colors of varying splashes of an assortment of greens, diverse the colors in a range of blooming flowers, the buds that swell and open on the trees. The winds carry the fragrance that is abundant from the mixes of floral, some for beauty and some to yield our harvest at summer’s peak.

Spring the time we set aside to plant our gardens for visional display and immense pleasure, satisfaction in an array of colors and textures, from ground cover to vines that climb. Too, for those who have a love of cultivating the soil and planting gardens for produce that facilitate our dietary needs that are homegrown, healthy, organic, and freshly picked. Gardening is self-fulfillment from very hard work giving you a deep sense of pride. Each garden can range in dimension and design, from small, or large, garden boxes to just a pot in size.  Herbs, their savor, add interest and essence, adding flavor to our food, wonderful profuse bouquets in diverse flavors and aroma infusing pleasure, pure distinction each its own. At summer’s end they will be cut and hanging to dry for future use.

Summer is that time we share and seek out all forms of enjoyment, contentment from the season of sun and long days, setting time off to relax, and time for escapades. Summer the warmest season of the year sees our lives being lived in full swing, the days light longer with an abundance of time to be drawn on. All the ages from the babes, children, the youth, those who are grown(n)ing up and are midlife too, and the elders each and all holds what summer gives. Summer brings holiday travels and an abundance of time for the using… shared by all. Summer is as much a feeling as it is a season.

Angel in the garden

As fall approaches, the days get shorter, harvest time is at its peak. This time of year, we put in time and energies readying ourselves for the wintry days that are fast approaching. We see the colors of fall; colors are bright and draw you in. A special scent comes with autumn and as you walk, you feel and hear the leaves that are shed from the trees; things are going dormant, soon to sleep. Autumn mandates the start of migration of those species of birds that gather and follow their innate map sending them south. Here in the Pacific Northwest the salmon, the species of large fish, spends most of its life, several years at sea to return in mid-summer through autumn to migrate up freshwater to spawn; returning to what were their beginnings.

The dark of winter starts to get its hold; days are stunted, as the weather turns cold. Fleeting from our summers past, the lengthy hours now no more with evidence our autumn colors and harvest, over time the reflection and wintry wraps, comes with autumn’s conclusion. However, for now, I will take in the display of colors that are cast and draped, her scenery like on a stage playing out for all to see. This her time for rest from utilizing great energy needed during her flourishing season. She now makes known, a fanfare of colors exposed before her decline, leaving all bear as she settles into her wintry sleep. This season between summer and winter, her birth and her decline to rest for rebirth to come as we start our new cycles of seasons at winters end….

(I wrote this a few years ago and had a couple of requests for me to post)

No matter where I am, what I am doing or how I feel I have one companion that is always there with me… Ninnie our Pixie Bob cat.  She helps me take my pictures and loves it when I bake bread….


Autumn In Time

Here in the Northwest, autumn is almost upon us before we even had our second season; the sun hardly showed it face, which made for a long cool, wet summer.  The few days that the clouds parted for the sun everyone seemed to stop their everyday routines and spent the hours at leisure soaking in the rays.   When the sunrays are seen and felt they entice, hypnotize all of us sun-deficient North Westerners, and the rays are so appreciated.

I have enjoyed the past few days; we have had lots of sun, it almost makes up for the summer without sun.  Summers end is the beginning of another season.  With autumn comes getting things ready for winters long haul.  While basking in the sun I kept thinking I had so many things to do and all I could think about was the bright warm rays.   Tomorrow, I will work twice as hard and hope I catch up on the things that needed done yesterday and more so for the winter that is fast approaching.

That got me thinking about the tomorrows and what happened to all the yesterdays.  Time flies by so quickly.  It seems with the total sum of birthdays comes with it a momentum of time that is exhilarated at each new marking of a new year.   It sure would be nice if the years would slow down as our pace slows down.   I think it would be a better match to even things out just a bit.

Taking time to soak in the sunrays can and has given myself the added propulsion I needed to finish what I started a few years ago.  The cleaning out of my life so that leisure time is not so much a happenstance.  It seems to motivate a reflection of how time has been spent over the years to different degrees in thought of what one would want for all future days.  Kind of, a sort out, of what is important and what is not.    With age comes wisdom I have been told, I hope I put it to some good use.  However, my accepted wisdom (I will like this new wisdom that comes with age)  for today was about how I was feeling so good taking time just to relax and giving myself permission for no reason being needed today towards ( or at the present moment)  not getting anything done.  For today the only feeling, I was allowing, was the suns sensation reaching to the very center of my being.

At some point of my nothingness, something jarred me from my semi trance and made me aware that I had so much more to do and now I considered it necessary to get things readied for my future devoid of clutter (personal and material.)    Coming back to the real world as my head cleared, my thoughts arched and I found myself taking assessment about what I could do to undo the cumbersome (ness’) that seemed to consume my life.   I would like to overtake my life to an even measure, balance me overall, making a harmonious whole.   Carrying or doing so many things that need not be, I think the awkwardness of being a type ‘A’ personality, the doer, makes it hard just to let go.  Note to self: do not try too hard, just let it happen.

Being right on the cusp of my sexagesimal years, I have times two  years in time to learn to let go (if not sooner) , allowing and ridding myself of  all  unimportant  and  inconsequential things.  Taking a little time now for ridding me of the muddle and putting a little order to the few well-chosen things left in my life, for the time yet to come.  I wonder how much time and energy I waste on non-essential doings.   How many times I do something that is not necessary in the least, my thinking before may have been it was important but to me now…  things need change with time.  I will enjoy all my future Autumns in Time as many as I am given.

Brought to mind with my thinking is the poem, “To Autumn” by John Keats.  It words evoke the sights, tastes and sounds that come with autumn.    The words conclude with the movement of our beings, the expansion and progressions of our lives and the progress that comes with age, autumn being the end of the day to be lived, our autumn years are that before our decline.

An Autumn in Time is like letting go but not before the leaves depart the trees.  What beauty autumn brings with splendid and brilliant colors, the late summer bountiful harvest and the sounds of birds migrating south.  I do hope that I become a very colorful soul with my Autumn in Time.

Autumn is the time of growth and success, full stage before any abating.  A time to celebrate, enjoy oneself and appreciate all that was beforehand.  A time to let go and ensue all the meaningful things with nothing missed.  I will live my Autumn in Time to the fullest.

To Autumn by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring?  Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, –
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

In each of our Autumns in Time, there are diverse measures for each soul.   It could be the way one lives their life or through different disciplines, could be through spiritual living, or could be taking self-care and keeping strength and resilience for stability, it could be each or all or many other varied raison d’être.   Many multiples can and do make up the differentials of how long our Autumn in Time will be….

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