Saturday, September 29, 2018

Ode To Autumn

There is a subtle change in the air.
Cool mist-filled mornings, and daytime temperatures are seasonably pleasant.
Trees are slowly changing from greens to oranges and browns,  Autumn has unmistakably
arrived.

 

 
 
 
 



 
"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells."

~ John Keats

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Floating Along

Another day of rain.
Six inches of the stuff, the ground is soaked.
It seems as though an entire Summer's rainfall has fell in one week.
Even Freddie the frog has taken to higher ground.






Cold, wet leaves
Floating on moss-colored water
And the croaking of frogs -
Cracked bell-notes in the twilight.
 
~ The Pond, Amy Lowell

 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

And The Rains Came

A cozy steady rain has fallen all day, reminding me of home in England.
There were several Fall festivals planned this weekend, but sadly were canceled due to the downpours.
I sat on the porch as the rain clattered on the tin roof, and reminded my husband, that no amount of rain would ever cause a cancelation of anything in England, it was just something we co-existed with,  umbrellas and rain shoes were always part of our daily lives.
No inconvenience,  just sharing this incredible planet, we all call "home"....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, September 21, 2018

Goodbye Sweet Summer

 
 " When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and like a dream of beauty glides away. "
 
~Sarah Helen Power Whitman
 
 
 
 









 

 
 

 

 



 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Late Summer Meadows

The wildflowers continue to share their beauty, despite the lack of rain.
It has been a dry HOT summer.
Cooler nights have finally prevailed. 
And so as we transition into the gentler days of Autumn I share with you the last few flowers of our summer meadows...



 
Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium purpureum, is an amazing plant that is an herb, a wildflower, a butterfly plant and an ornamental for the flower bed.
It obtained its name after a Native American herbalist, named Joe-Pye, cured fevers using the Eupatorium plant.
Though we tend to think of it as a wildflower in the U.S., it's long been an ornamental plant in England where our cottage gardens are so popular.

I enjoy gathering the flowers, stems and all, to hang from the rafters of my potting shed. Surprisingly enough they stay vividly colored until late Winter.



The Wild Yarrow, Achillea Millefolium, also known as Milfoil, Soldiers woundwort, Nose Bleed Weed, Sanguinary, and Devil’s Nettle is a very useful medicinal herb.

Yarrow has also been used as a food, and was very popular as a vegetable in the seventeenth century.
The younger leaves are said to be a pleasant leaf vegetable when cooked as spinach, or in a soup.
Yarrow is sweet with a slight bitter taste. The leaves can also be dried and used as a herb in cooking.

 


Solidago, commonly called goldenrods, are herbaceous perennial species found in the meadows and pastures, along roads, ditches and waste areas in North America.
Parts of some goldenrods can be edible when cooked, they can also be used for decoration and making tea.
Goldenrods are, in some places, held as a sign of good luck or good fortune.
They are considered weeds by many in North America but they are prized as garden plants in Europe.



The goldenrod is yellow,
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curing in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges haunt their harvest,
In every meadow's nook;
And asters by the brookside
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all those lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

September ~ Helen Hunt Jackson 1830-1885

 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hurricane Sunset

It is hard to imagine, after a day filled with mayhem and devastation to our neighbors in the Carolinas , that Mother Nature would offer us,  in the adjoining state,  such a spectacular and peaceful sunset.

My thoughts and prayers are with those effected by Florence's fury.


Monday, September 10, 2018

The Calm Before The Storm

Our days have turned sun-less.
Dark clouds linger overhead, and there is an aura of stillness in the air making for dreary days.
If I didn't know the difference I would think we were in the depths of Autumn.
I've resisted the urge to make a comforting pot of chili and cornbread, however the candle-lighting has already begun.
 
 
 


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Royal Lace



It's the time of year when the hedgerows and meadows, are once again filled with wildflowers.
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
This wild version of the carrot is one of the most common and best known "weeds" we have.
It's hard to imagine what a fallow field would look like in late summer without the white flower heads bobbing in the breeze.

It is thought that the carrots escaped from the gardens of the early European settlers in North America, having thrived in the wild to become what we know as Queen Anne's Lace.


 
 
It is so called because the flowers resemble lace; the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace. The function of the tiny red flower, colored by anthocyanin, is to attract insects.
 
 The plant is commonly referred to as Cow Parsley  ( Anthriscus sylvestris )  in Great Britain.
 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Make Hay While The Sun Shines




It's hay-baling time in Tennessee.
The sweet aroma of newly cut grasses float across gentle breezes.
Becoming fodder for the beasts on cold winter days.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Hello September




"September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours,
But in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.
The cricket chirps in the noontide, making the most of what remains of his brief life.
The bumblebee is busy among the clover blossoms of the aftermath,
And their shrill and dreamy hum hold the outdoor world above the voices of the song birds,
Now silent or departed."-
 
~ September Days : Rowland E. Robinson, Vermont