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Rainy weekends are usually lazy weekends around here. You can’t feel guilty about not getting things done because there’s not much outdoor work be done in the rain — well, technically I guess you could, but I’m not feeling that motivated. We took a drive, with our chauffeur, down to Bob’s Diner for a Sunday brunch taking the scenic drive through Londonderry.
Then, when we got back we took a walk in the woods.
We were hiking through the trails in the woods cleaning them up in preparation for CROSS COUNTRY SKIING! Yes, it is getting close to that time of the year!
Okay, so maybe I wasn’t doing quite as much cleaning up as Tom, but hey I did get him to smile for his picture!
I haven’t been the best about getting a post written every day this summer. It has been a hectic summer, with a lot of “mom” responsibilities in addition to work and household responsibilities. In addition, we had vacation last week and I returned to have a less than great week this past week. I won’t go into any details about anything, sufficient it to say that all appears well, but there was a day in there when I was not feeling like things were going well at all. We had family and friends visiting this past week and it was really nice to spend time with my sister for a few days where there was no holiday going on that required our attention.
All the company is gone and we are in the final stretch to the beginning of school next week.
We always feel like autumn is in the air when we get back from vacation and this year is no exception. Cool nights and the tinge of autumn color creeping into the foliage definitely suggests that fall is right around the corner.
We often remark that when we come back from vacation, even though it is still just mid August, fall is in the air. Somehow, the evenings are cooler and there is just something about it that makes you think of fall colors, apples and crisp autumn air. This morning is a beautiful morning. The sun is shining, there was this awesome fog this morning that revealed every spider web in the area (only wish I had my camera then).
Here are some pictures of the mums on our doorstep — all dewy and sparkling.
Today is the first official day of Fall, which began with the autumnal equinox at 11:09 p.m. EDT last evening. It was also a special equinox since the full moon occurred last night creating a true “Harvest Moon” called such because it is when the full moon occurs closest to the autumnal equinox – it happened this year just about as close as it could get, within hours of each other. The equinox is one of the two times in the year that the sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. While the actual day of the equinox can vary from year to year, it is interesting to note that it will never occur in my lifetime on my birthday. The last time it occurred on September 24th was in 1931 and the next time will be in 2303.
To help myself and everyone else get through these hot days….
One of the things that I enjoy the most about living here year-round is the chance to actually see the seasons change right before my very eyes. When we were traveling back and forth on weekends, we had snapshots of the different seasons, spring and its mud, winter and its snow and ice, summer and its green splendor and fall with its breathtaking foliage. Now, I get to actually see the seasons morphing, one into the next, little changes that are significant yet often overlooked unless you’re here watching. I notice the small things, leaves on one tree starting to change, the treescape taking on just a twinge of color, not enough to call it “fall foliage” but enough to notice that a new season is upon us.
Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I love the cool, crisp air in the mornings and evenings and the warm but not too hot, days. I enjoy the fact that I can walk by an apple tree and grab a snack that tastes so much fresher than anything that a store can offer me. I love the rainfall of pretty colored leaves that float to and fro on the wind before settling onto the still green grass of my lawn.
It won’t be long before the air holds whiffs of smoke from woodstoves or burning leaves. I enjoy the abundance of vegetables that I find every time I look into my garden and the incredible ease of going out on the patio to pick fresh herbs to season dinner or salad to compliment it.
Autumn signals the harvest and the start of the school year, the season of taking stock of what’s important; taking stock of what blessings Mother Nature has bestowed upon the fields and the gardens and realizing just how lucky we are to live in this area with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables feet from our own home.
And another great thing about Autumn….
Winter is not far behind……
My favorite time of the year arrives today officially at 5:18 p.m. with the autumnal equinox. “Equinox” refers to the fact that the sun is directly over the equator, rendering the length of night and day across the earth to equal amounts. This occurs two times a year – spring and autumn. The other two important moments are the solstices – summer and winter – representing the longest and shortest days of the year, respectively. Essentially today, regardless of where you are in the world, the length of day and night are equal. It is the beginning of the astrological sign Libra – the scales, which represents a balance (my astrological sign so no wonder I have a partiality to this season). Autumnal equinox is commonly referred to around the world as a time of balance, equality and harmony in world. Pagan rituals adapted around the autumnal equinox revolve around the harvest and respecting and appreciating the bounties provided by Mother Earth.
Autumnal equinox is commonly called the first day of Fall here in the United States, but it is also known by the following: Cornucopia, The Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest and Witch’s Thanksgiving.
Traditionally, the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox is called the Harvest Moon because it was so bright that the farmers could harvest crops by the light of the moon. It is also called the Wine Moon or Wine Harvest since most wine grapes are harvested during the lunar period beginning in September.
It’s interesting to watch how Mother Nature knows when its time. I swear that this weekend alone, the leaves on a lot of trees have started to turn. While the weather has been relatively warm during the day, we have had cool nights and chilly mornings – the telltale signs of autumn. Also last night, you could smell wood burning, evidently, someone in these parts felt it was cool enough to start a fire.
We have friends up this weekend. I also got to meet a friend. Ptcakes the author of Where Did the Time Go? blog and I met in person on Saturday morning after a couple unsuccessful previous attempts to meet. She and her family were up in our neck of the woods for a camping trip. We have read each other’s blogs quite regularly. Our lives at different points in time over the past year or so have taken on a parallel universe feel and we have often sympathized with and cheered each other. It is unusual to feel so connected to someone that I never even saw a picture of prior to Saturday, and yet, it is apparent that friendships can spring from common bonds that span distance. We had a great chat, shared some coffee and stories, filling in some of the blanks that our respective blog posts mentioned but didn’t necessarily completely explain.
We also went to the fair or for those of you not from around these parts, The Vermont State Fair in Rutland. Interesting how a bunch of kids that so wanted to go to the fair to go on rides could be so indecisive when they arrived but amazingly, when us moms and dads extracted ourselves from the picture, everything became a different world. We explored the various exhibits, did some great people watching and generally had a good time. The place was busy, but then it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Yesterday, we went raspberry picking at Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset with our friends, the Zummos who were up for the weekend. Carolina raspberries are ripe and since I missed out earlier in the year, I promised myself that I would get out to pick berries for raspberry jam, which is our favorite.
Last evening on my way driving the boys to scouts I noticed it. The green on the trees is a little less green. You really wouldn’t notice it in the daylight but in the light of the setting sun, you can see it – the trees are starting to take on a yellowish glow. I noticed that the cranberry bush in our yard is also losing its color, not quite changing yet, but a little less vibrant green. The mountains overall are starting to take on a touch of color, not noticeable really unless you watch closely, but it’s coming. Autumn is on its way.
Another sign that it’s coming is the deer have started to make their way into the yard, which can only mean one thing, the apples are starting to taste good. All summer they haven’t made their way down into our field, but now, early mornings or late evenings, you can see them, making their way down, tentatively, tasting here and there.
The evenings are getting chilly and the mornings are brisk – all the hallmarks of autumn. The pumpkins are beginning to turn. I love autumn, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.