A Few Last Hurrah’s and Into the Time of Stillness

Not to be fooled by a string of balmy autumn days more reminiscent of spring, the reality of November is finally upon us. Even after a few mornings of frost, I was surprised (and a little impressed) that the geranium plant on the porch suddenly put out a defiant show of flowers, despite those freezing nights.

Good morning! The porch geranium survived the frost

Stimulated by a week or two of unseasonably warm days, my neighbor’s stinging nettle patch flushed with new growth, thus I was invited to come by and take as much as I wanted. This bounty then required spending an afternoon of nettle-pesto making and freezing. I actually managed to orchestrate the entire operation without getting even one nettle sting, which was a great relief – because wow, those little Urtica dioica stingers can be nasty! I love the taste of nettles. I did notice that these nettles of the fall taste slightly different than the ones from the spring.

The lunar eclipse was a slow, satisfying event to behold. I bundled up in my coat and sat alone out on the porch with a cup of hot Tulsi tea and some buttered sourdough rye toast. I was thinking about how the ancients must have felt watching the mysterious transition from light to dark red orb.

The cooler weather has been an enticement to cook; already I’ve begun to hunker down into that mode and get into my foodie head. I made another batch of granola this week, and this time it was perfect. I will add that I did eat all the “overly toasted” granola from the last batch that I burned in spite of its blackened state. This time I paid better attention.

Although I don’t eat red meat, about once a year I will, when I make my Mom’s Pot Roast, which is a hearty meal for a cold day (or many cold days, as it makes a lot). I realize this is one of those “comfort foods”. It was my dad’s birthday and my mom’s recipe, so I figured I was somehow celebrating the memory of both of them, in a way…if that makes any sense. So that happened.

I voted. I’m so glad the barrage of campaign garbage has finally stopped. The mailbox filled with political ads, the papers attached to front door, the signs on lawns, the TV commercials, the canvassers with clipboards knocking. The Bombardment. Enough.

A big thrill – I was gifted some Matsutake mushrooms, which was a lovely treat. They have such a unique aroma and taste. Shortly after I had donated The Wallet, I unexpectedly came across some for sale, so I treated myself to a few more. It served as a bit of a pick-me-up, which was helpful after the wallet saga.

Matsutake

While standing there swooning over the mushrooms. I was drawn to a basket of ginger that was fragrant and beautiful. So many colors and textures of late Autumn heading to Winter.

ginger root

November has ushered out the last gasps of color. The red Japanese Maple moved from glossy maroon leaves to glorious flames of crimson before finally dropping all its leaves in one blowsy, fluttering show.

my red tree

Little Rudi has recovered from his mysterious bout of illness. He accompanies me over the next few days while I rake up the fallen leaves. I periodically stop to search for him, as he becomes camouflaged in the garden beds.

He is so sweet, soaking up the rays of the sun in his little red sweater, eyes closed. What is he thinking?

Soaking up the last warm rays of the November sun

Four or five crows have returned to the neighborhood. They have been barking and calling for the last few mornings, swooping back and forth across the back yards. I am not sure what their plan is. I left them some bread and dried dog food this morning. They watched me, but I haven’t checked to see if they took it. The sky has been filled with starlings, covering entire bushes and trees, moving en masse, pulsating murmurations on the horizon. One house sparrow perches on the dying hanging porch plant, incessantly chirping.

We have had our first snow, a light one that disappeared by mid-morning. Today there were a few squalls and flurries. I’ve been wearing a hat and scarf already. I think Autumn has pretty much had her last hurrah. I’m gathering up a list of books for my winter reading. We move into the darker days now, a time to go within, the time of being still.

Farewell Autumn!

~*~

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This entry was posted in Autumn, Birds, Cooking, Food, nature, Uncategorized, Winter and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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