Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn is in Control...

So, I’ve been back from my trip for three days now, give or take a few hours. I’m still feeling a slight case of jet lag- going to bed isn’t a problem, it’s the waking up at 4 a.m. and not being able to get to sleep that’s a pain. I’m back at work and starting to feel like I’m catching up again. The pups are a little more cuddly than usual- as though they’re afraid I’m going to leave them again. However, for the most part, I’m feeling almost back to normal.

It’s amazing how much things can change when you’re away for ten days. Before I left, Autumn was just starting to creep in and exert her strength over the waning summer. Her paintbrush of colour was just starting to turn the leaves a little but, for the most part, they were all still on the trees.

When I got back, quite a transformation had occurred: A canvas of colour has taken over and the ground is littered with leaves. There are reds, golds, yellows and oranges fighting each other for grandeur in the trees that line my street. The summer flowers, still in bloom when I left, seem to have conceded that they can no longer match the glory of the trees and thus have faded a lot and started to bow their heads in defeat.

I love it. Up and down my street, people have their autumnal decorations out. There are pumpkins, scarecrows, ghosts, graveyards and all sorts of Halloween fun. I did get my own decorations out last night. I don’t do much other than to weave a garland of silk autumn leaves up my little lamppost, put out my autumn flag and line up some small scarecrows.

This time of year is wonderful. We’re still having the warm temperatures of late summer but the crisp, cool nights of Autumn. It’s far too early for Winter to attempt to wrestle control and so things are a warm glow of fall splendor.

I took the girls for a walk last night- our first in a while. They love the leaves on the ground, foraging in the piles to see if they can hunt any living creatures. The most they find is usually a grasshopper. Sookie’s quite partial to grasshoppers and while I know they’re actually quite nutritious, I still prefer to pretend she doesn’t eat them.

It’s nice to walk in the autumn. It’s a little quieter than the summer. The neighbourhood kids still play together but there’s not that manic abandon of summer anymore. The bike riding and trampolining has died down a lot and while they still run up and down, laughing and shouting, it’s not nearly as wild and energized. There are far less people working outside on their gardens. We occasionally passed the odd leaf-blower or raker but mostly, people have started to be indoor folk a little more.

It’s definitely Autumn. There’s no mistake about it anymore. Soon, I’ll get my annual pumpkin(s) and carve them, reserving the seeds for roasting. I’ve already started cooking a little more autumnally: I have an acorn squash to roast as well as a butternut squash with which to make ravioli, hopefully this weekend. I’ll start making more soups and stews before much longer. At the moment, I’m still using the final yield of my tomato crop- plucking the last fresh basil before it turns to seed. Soon, I’ll use more sage and thyme. That’s one of the harder parts of the waning warm weather- no fresh herbs to pick from the garden.

Still, I do enjoy the crunch of the leaves, the vivid colours and the pumpkin-spiced atmosphere of Autumn. Even though there were signs of it over the UK, somewhere between there and here, Autumn really took the reigns of control. It’s a lovely picture to return to and I intend on enjoying every bit of the season.

Happy Wednesday and thanks, as always, for reading!

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