Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile. -- William Cullen Bryant
After summer's heat, there is nothing so delicious as having to sleep with a light blanket -- even though the windows are open and it is a choice to be a little chilly in the night. Waking to find the sun just creeping above the mountains, gently caressing the ridges rather than thunder over the mountains is another treat and makes Autumn so special.
I love the crispness of the evenings, the mist rolling up the hollar, the night calls of the birds as they tuck into bed. The pumpkins are harvested and fill the bench and old fashioned wheelbarrow on the front porch. Potatoes are drying on screens, getting ready to either go into the cool storage or the market.
Ground is turned up, moist rich soil covering the remnants of summer's bounty. Greens are sown; parsnip, turnip, carrot, and beet seeds are made ready to broadcast in the gardens to get a good start for winter and early spring. Once winter's cold arrives, mulch will cover them to extend their season. It is an experiment this year. I have been reading Eliot Coleman's "Four Season Harvest" and have decided to give his theories a go. We'll see what winter and spring bring with these crops.
As it cools down, I start scanning more shawl patterns -- can one have too many?? -- and getting sweaters out to wear. I love how they smell -- all lavendar-y from being stored with sprigs of lavendar to keep the moths out. It is shameful how many handknits I have; it is an addiction and something that I, actually, am rather proud of! The Mister, on the other hand, stays too warm to wear handknits and the Airman, well, he was born sweating as well... So, I indulge myself with all the lovely fibers I find.
Autumn -- where we start the morning with layers of sweaters, blouses, and capris, shedding the sweaters by mid-day. Autumn -- where summer pats our cheeks, kisses our noses, and wishes us well in Winter. Autumn -- where we slow down, sip apple cider, and begin dreaming about spring.