Sunday, October 01, 2006


The only fall colors here right now are in the garden. Sedums and fall mums in lovely colors remind us that tree leaves will soon start turning. Here in "warm" Virginia, it could be a while. And since it was a droughty summer, there may be little to none. Another week or so should tell the tale.

In the photo above, the darker burgundy flowers are Autumn Joy Sedums and start out a lovely pale pink, slowly darkening over a month to this deep, rich color. I don't know the name of the pink ones in this photo but they just opened this past week and are also Sedums.

I wrote the following poem a long time ago and it's about autumn in Vermont where we lived for well over 18 years. In the last 5 or so years we were there, we pressed our own cider from a small orchard of very old apple trees that produced several varieties of the best apples I've ever tasted. We also raised Romney sheep, angora goats and chickens. We were definately hippies and depended on the land and our livestock for much of what we ate. But I digress, here is the poem and yes, it often did snow in October!


The last of the crop dislodged
I gather windfalls firm and rimy
Rake the bruised into piles
Where pincered earwigs gather
Pulp ferments in the sun
Droning yellow jackets
Sample the brew

My children pretend not to hear
When I ask for their help prefer
The rustle of leaves tumbling
and diving scatter yesterday’s work

With sharpened knife I quarter
Blushing rounds pack the barrel
To overflowing lower the plate until
It resists pressing sweet amber liquid

I’m drunk on October apples
And wood smoke swishing mare’s tails
Across a field of sky
The threat of snow my morning


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