Autumn is just around the corner - so close we can almost touch it! Ask me today what my favorite season is, and I will tell you without a doubt, "It is AUTUMN!!" (Of course if you ask me the same question again in March I will reply, "Why, SPRING! Of course!"
Yes, Autumn will creep onto the land here in the Northern Hemisphere on Wednesday.
There are whisperings of Autumn if one stops to hear them. The daily birdsong has been replaced by the raspy call of the bluejays and the chortling of the three ravens that took up residence in the neighborhood this summer. No longer does the mocking bird serenade us in the early morning hours. The cicadas and katydids have fallen silent - replaced by the perpetual chirping of crickets and grasshoppers. Take all of the preceding away, and there is silence, broken only by the shimmy of drying leaves in the breeze.
Mother Earth is breathing much more slowly these days - counting the days until she can rest and rejuvenate a land that has been so alive with the energy of creation.
It was truly a summer beyond most - as if Mother Earth had given every last bit of herself in an unparalleled show of abundance. And as a result, my freezer is full - and the last fruits and veggies beckon to me. At some point I will have to ignore their call!
And yet, Summer hangs on with as much of her waning strength as she can muster. She clings to the land as if it might be her last - which of course, it will not. She'll come sweeping in on Spring's heels, next year, as always.
So, for you who live south of the equator - who are anticipating her arrival - she is headed your way, just as soon as she loosens her spindly, white-knuckled, clinging fingers from our countryside! It's a tug-of-war over these days that are caught between the grip of two seasons.
It was a spectacularly beautiful weekend with sunny skies. Saturday was the last of our predicted days in the 80's - though, I have learned to not rely upon predictions. But still, by Saturday night the mercury had fallen into the 50's and Sunday, though beautifully sunny, remained in the 70's. I would not be unhappy if our entire summers were in the 70's - but I know that will never be the case!
As for the activities of the weekend....
We had a visit from Tyler after school on Friday.
It was wonderful to spend a little time with our biggest Little, but it is so apparent that time spent with grandparents is not his top priority these days. Such is life - kids grow up and change, and we must adapt.
Saturday, Tyler's scheduled soccer game was cancelled, so Hubbs and I split up and attended Mack and Easton's ball games ( all three games had been scheduled for the same time!) It's so much fun to watch these Littles begin to understand the games they are playing!
The rest of Saturday was spent at home - mowing the farm. It's been an unusual summer in that the need for mowing has never waned. With all of the rainfall that we received this year, the grass has grown and remained green the entire summer.
When the mowing was complete, I sat down with my watercolors and did a little painting exercise.... two different versions of a similar woodsy scene just for practice (and fun!)
Sunday we attended an outdoor gathering of friends at Hunter's Valley Winery, located high on a hill above the Susquehanna River - what a beautiful view! We visited with friends we have not seen in such a long time and enjoyed the music of a local cover band, "Runaway Stroller". So. Much. Fun!
And when I wasn't busy with anything else, I baked some bread...
I picked figs (this is the first year we have ever had a substantial number of figs),
and made fig jam...
I'll use this fig jam when I make up charcuterie platters for entertaining... it pairs so well with meats and cheeses!
I picked sage and bundled it up for smudge sticks. These will hang to dry for a week or so.
And the lemon verbena that I hung at the beginning of the week dried, so I plucked the leaves and placed them in a jar - lemon verbena herbal tea for winter...
At the end of each day, when the sun sets (and it's setting earlier and earlier these days,) I work on this cable-knit cardigan sweater. It is a gift and I believe it will take me some time to finish. It's the first cable-knit sweater that I have attempted - so far, so good. I had started it last month and ended up having to rip it out and start it over because I forgot to switch needle sizes when I passed the bottom band. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I got all major mistakes out of my system now.
PS: I truly enjoyed all of the comments with regards to Friday's blog, but was surprised that no one disagreed. It's ok to disagree, you know. It seems that nowadays, we have become unable to have a conversation where both parties do not agree... for fear that ugliness may ensue. Disagreements do not have to polarize us.... we can simply agree to disagree - or perhaps even better, try to find some common ground on the subject about which we can both agree. Our world needs a healthy dose of tolerance right now!