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Today is one of those autumn days when you know that fall has reached its peak. You don’t need a weather forecaster or foliage specialist to let you know that we are on the spiral to winter.

Most of the leaves up on the hill are making their way from their home in the branches to the ground where they create a colorful fall carpet and make the wonderful rustling noises that make you unable to resist dragging your feet through the leaves as you walk along. Today it is raining, off and on, and the leaves are falling from the trees like snow. It won’t be long before the trees up here are bare.

Color is about as good as it is going to get, it is almost bursting with yellows, oranges and reds. The surrounding mountains are speckled with the colors of fall.

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“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
Lauren DeStefano
 
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Happy Autumn!

Today at 4:44 p.m. EDT – just a little while ago as I write this post, autumn rolled in. In these last few days, the leaves have really started to take on color and the mountains are starting to become dotted with the yellows, oranges and reds that traditionally herald fall foliage.

I have to admit that fall is one of my favorite seasons. There is a crisp smell to the air and a chill in the morning and evening air. It’s the beginning of sweater weather and during the fall days the sunshine feels just so wonderful on your face.

This has been a nice, relaxed weekend. I had a fun day yesterday taking some pictures for a friend and getting to walk around outside enjoying the beginnings of the fall foliage season.

Today, I have been baking, making some autumn treats — pumpkin granola bars and pumpkin granola. There are apples in a basket on the table and every visit to the Saturday’s farmer’s market makes you appreciate the fruits and vegetables of summer which will be disappearing all too soon.

Hope in the coming days, you take the time to enjoy the autumn weather if you are fortunate enough to have turning leaves and crisp nights in your neck of the woods.

TJ leaves on Friday for college. We are in the countdown phase for sure. This past week, the UPS guy and the FedEx guy have been making almost daily stops to our house, delivering in drips and drabs various components of TJ’s new life away from home. Each delivery brings with it another dose of reality that things will be very different around here next week this time.  Nonetheless, I am putting on my big girl panties and keeping a brave face. This is not the end, but the beginning.

He will be off to a new adventure for which I hope we have prepared him well. At least, it seems judging by the boxes and foot lockers strewn around the house, he will be well packed.

I really hate waking up in the dark. Soon, when the clocks go back, it will be even darker (if that is possible) in the morning when I have to get up. There really is something more difficult about prying yourself out of bed when it is something akin to the middle of the night.

But, since I am trying to not complain these days and look to the bright side, here it is.

When you are up while it is still pitch black out, you do have the opportunity–each and every day- to watch the sun rise over the mountains. Now, that in and of itself, is a good reason to pry yourself out of bed in the darkness, don’t you think ?

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!

 

 

Although today was about 80, it’s coming. Without a doubt. Today was the last day that the lake is open. As we were driving back from the hardware store, we saw this…..clear as day…..fall is coming.

 

In or own yard, the trees are turning……

 

And so we ask the question……..Can winter be far behind?

The time change would stress me out as a child. I was always fearful, especially in the spring, that I would be late. I have issues with being on time, can you tell? I was always afraid that somehow the clocks would get screwed up and things would be out of sync and …..well anyway you get the idea, I gather I was a bit of a neurotic child. When the clocks “fell back” in the fall, it was always a different things, much less stressed out, much more relaxed. If time got messed up, the worst that could happen was that I would be the one that was early, and that was so much more reasonable in my little mind.

Grandfather Clock Face

Image via Wikipedia

Now, time seems to have taken on a different dimension in my life. I’m usually the one to change the clocks so I can rest easy knowing that it’s done and for the most part, everything electronic resets itself. Getting the extra hour of sleep on a fall morning is great, especially when our plans worked out that we have no particular place to be this morning, we attended mass yesterday afternoon and we therefore have planned for a lazy day. Laying in bed for a few extra minutes and not feeling stressed about anything…..a good way to start a Sunday morning.

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As I was walking back from surveying the pumpkins, I saw these two apples just perfectly cradled in the crook of one of the apple trees. The apples had evidently just fallen this way.

Fall Foliage in Vermont

Today is one of my favorite days of the year — the official start to the autumn season. Today is the day of the autumnal equinox. The word “equinox” means “equal night” and refers to equality between day and night. It is said to be the time when the hours of light and dark are equal, although scientifically that is not entirely accurate.
According to Greek mythology, the autumnal equinox marked the start of the period when the goddess Persephone returns to live with her husband Hades in the underworld. Persephone is also referred to as the vegetation goddess who is associated with the growing season. Her return to Hades in the underworld marks the end of the growing season and the time of harvest. Myth states that her mother Demeter was so saddened that she could not find her daughter that the crops died and would not reappear until the spring when Persephone comes back from the underworld.
The first day of autumn is also referred to as the Mabon in the Pagan and Wiccan traditions and is considered the second harvest festival. It signifies the end of the grain harvest. It is a time for reflection and thanksgiving to Mother Earth for the bounties that she has bestowed. It is a time to take stock of the fruits of the harvest and prepare the crops and the livestock for the long winter ahead. Druids, who call the holiday Alban Elfed would take the last corn stalk and turn it into a figure in order to trap the corn spirit inside. The stalk was burned and the ashes spread over the fields to ensure future bounties. It is also a time to reflect inward and prepare for the time ahead. Interestingly, it is in the autumn as opposed to the New Year, that traditionally one took stock of one’s life and place in it.
The full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox is referred to as the Harvest Moon. It was the full moon closest to the harvest of crops. This year’s Harvest moon occurred about 10 days ago.
Here in Vermont, it has felt like autumn for a few weeks now. The foliage has taken on fall colors and the mountains are gradually turning into a virtual explosion of different shades of yellow, orange and red. The air is crisp and we have already had a good frost here where I live. Apples are being harvested and smoke permeates the air from wood stoves and fireplaces already working to keep the chill out of the air. The fields are returning to their winter nakedness waiting to blanketed by snowfall. It is a peaceful time, given the harrowing days and weeks the preceded this Equinox from Tropical Storm Irene. Vermont is settling into her own, it is one of the best times of year here in the mountains.
Wherever you are, enjoy the balance of the day and take time to reflect upon the past year and the remainder to come.

Mice with different coat colors.

Image via Wikipedia

As I stumbled from bed this morning, still almost asleep myself with the beginnings of a cold infiltrating my head, I woke the boys as I do every morning. Then I headed downstairs to start making lunches. This morning, I was making banana chocolate chip muffins for breakfast with some overripe bananas we had on hand. As I am mixing the batter, across the floor scuttles something dark and fast and definitely furry……

Yikes! A mouse. Just the thing I needed to see to start off my Monday morning.

Logically, this is the time of the year, when it gets cold at night that any of us here in the country tend to start seeing field mice. They are trying to get their little furry butts into somewhere warm and I cannot blame them, it’s cold out there. We had a frost last night that turned the entire field next to us white. This morning I had to rub my eyes twice to make sure that it wasn’t snow, that’s how frosty it was. Anyway, I deviate from my point. I intellectually have no problem with their desire to get indoors….just not my home. It is already occupied, thank you very much.

Field mice are considered one of the more intelligent of the rodent family. If they are that intelligent, perhaps they can find alternate housing arrangements. Perhaps the country mice can go visit their city cousins…..now there’s a good idea.

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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.

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