Saturday, September 29, 2018

Shifting gears

Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days ever. The sky was blue, the temp was warm enough for shorts and T-shirts, the breeze was gentle and sweet. Only the long shadows served to remind that the days are getting shorter.

Good thing I got out and into it, as today's skies have taken on a change.

Cloudy and grey, with occasional gusts of wind, it seems as if the weather is telling us it's time for a new month, one that's well and truly autumn.

The dry bits of keys from the cedar trees have even started to fall, the equivalent here, I suppose, of leaves to be raked. For now, they can stay a while, golden in the yard.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Getting set for this year's equinox

Seeing the moon half full (I'd never think of it as half-empty) the other night reminded me it's just about time for this autumn's equinox, the date when both sides of our twenty-four hours are equal.

I'd somehow thought it would be September 21st, but no -- it's the 22nd, and apparently nearly always is. Readers of this blog will know that I nearly always observe the solstices and equinoxes, with small, personal rituals. Mine aren't necessarily the usual ones people follow; most of mine have to do with various sorts of maintenance.

One that goes along with the autumn one is the pruning of the hibiscus trees which have grown too big to come back into the house, where they'll be safe from the weather over the winter. That pile of greenery above is from just one of them, and now that it's inside I can see that I still need to do some more trimming.

We also had the arborist come in to prune some of our big trees -- the spruce and the cedars out front, the ones that help us pretend we live in a little forest.

Weirdly, I suppose, the equinoxes (and solstices) are also when I change the filters on our water dispenser. Reminders from the sun seem less disciplinarian than other kinds might feel.

And maybe the strangest one of all is the fact that even I had a 'pruning' of sorts with a comfy new haircut that feels fresh and ready for a season of new beginnings.

So, maybe a little bit early, but happy autumn. May it bring a harvest of happy things.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A day for brown

With all the worries about Hurricane Florence and impending power outages, I came across the word 'brownout' -- a term describing those moments when the power fades, sometimes going in and out, a sign that's often a precursor to a true power-out event -- vaguely the opposite of a power surge.

Yet with all the current worries about the storm, which I suspect will be ongoing, I managed to find a small piece of good news for today. Who would have thought there'd be a day to celebrate the glories of chocolate! But yes,there is such a date and this is it. If you want to learn more about chocolate, the Smithsonian takes this treat seriously enough to have an extensive article on its history.

Hoping you'll find a way to taste some today, though probably any other day it will be just as yummy. (Oh, and as for those googly eyes, they're a pair of early Halloween treats looking up at you.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The scents of summer's end

There's something special about the light this time of year -- slanting and more golden than at summer's peak. Along with that light comes the many scents that signal the changing season.

The scent of apples and other fruits ready for harvest (all those juicy prunes, the last of the berries) tells me it's September.

Technically, I guess the tomatoes are actually fruits, even though I still think of them as vegetables and oh my, they have a scent that's all their own (a little bit metallic, strongly 'green' -- so hard to describe).

The other time of year when I'm most attentive to scent are those early mornings in June. There's a freshness in the air that's different from any other time of year (at least in my mind).

Considering these two seasons when my nose tells me so much makes me realize these scents might all be related to school -- the one when school is going back and the other when freedom is imminent.

And this now leads me to wonder where 'an apple for the teacher' got its beginnings. And regardless of that, I'm heading outside to pick some more berries and choose a few of those reddening tomatoes for tonight's salad.