This weekend it felt like Autumn. The leaves, fallen truly because the trees are stressed due to lack of rain, lay beneath their branches, blown over and around by the gentle breeze. Now, after this mornings much needed rain, they lie in wet masses, globbed in the grass and sure to kill it by suffocation if I don’t go rescue the little, green blades.
The wrens, bluebirds and chickadees are busy flitting from plant-to-plant in a search for food to sustain them during the cold nights while the bumble bees visit each tiny sage flower in my planting beds, persistent in their goal to leave no flower unpollinated, much like some men I’ve heard about.
Birds and bees aside, ultimately we are all doing the same thing – preparing for colder weather to come. Hunkering down and battening the hatches. Like the bears in the wild areas, we are preparing for our winter hibernation.
While the actual first day of fall is a week away, I have already switched my dietary cravings of fresh pasta primavera and salads to heartier fare of chili, stews and all things pumpkin or apple. I’ve indulged already upon these cravings with a steamy mug of hot apple cider, jazzed up with some Apple Pie Liquor from The Missouri Tavern, an area bar.
Last night, while at a friends’ house for dinner, we feasted upon slow-cooked lamb and vegetables accompanied by quinoa with almonds and craisins. The whole meal screamed Autumn, and the comfort of good food and good company only stoked those feel-good-Fall-feelings further.
Early today, Mr. Muse and I had to run some errands and so we took a few roads we’d not yet traveled, passing flocks of wild turkeys, mother deer with their fawns indulging in windfall apples under trees in orchards and farmers in the beginning stages of harvesting their crops. The miles passed and soon we were at our destination, racks of earthy and bright chrysthanthemums greeting our arrival. I almost picked up a few to bring home but stopped myself with a reminder to know where I was going to plant them before bringing them home. Pragmatism won again.
So now, I’ll indulge in the Autumn pre-game a bit more, roasting tomatoes in the oven along with a spaghetti squash. I’ll prepare a meat sauce to over over the top for dinner and perhaps, for dessert, some pumpkin bars.
What is your favorite harbinger of Fall?
Do you like or love the season?
How do you celebrate Autumn? What traditions do you have?