Thursday, September 22, 2011

It was summer, now it's fall...

The first hollyhock I have ever grown. My grandma showed me how to make hollyhock dolls when I was a little girl.  I hope to do this for my girls.

The autumnal equinox, in which the night and day are about the same length, is also the first official day of fall.  That's this friday!  I would hardly believe it, except that evidence of fall permeates nature all around us, and every activity we do.  We have already harvested all but our corn, pumpkins, later beans, and cabbage.  The freezer is filled with zucchini, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, jam, goat milk, beef from the in-laws, beans and applesauce.  The garage hides boxes of potatoes beneath tarps, and the last green tomatoes and peppers are trying to photosynthesize the last rays of summer.  In the pantry, there is canned tomato sauce, applesauce, pears and peaches.  There are drying herbs, like chamomile, dill, celery leaf, basil, calendula, parsley and coriander.  I am amazed when I realize that not long ago, most everyone had to do about 10 times more work than this to prepare for winter.  The things I have preserved are extras, but will not solely bring our family through until spring.  I am in awe of the work and dedication it took for families to merely survive, and I am thankful for the many conveniences we have.  I am reminded of a line in Lois Lenski's tiny little children's book, "It was summer, now it's fall, just the nicest time of all."

The poor neglected potted green tea plant thrives in the fall rain.

Tomatoes from the garden, ready to become a little saucy

The peaches were terrible this year.  They were mealy and overripe.  We got them from Eastern Washington, but I let them sit for 2 days, and they were more than ready.  We froze the rest for smoothies.

Riding with the babies in the laundry basket

Calendula and my cute saraiah

Beading is a favorite past time among the little girls.  This is a wind chime decoration Saraiah made an hung on the porch.

Saraiah tells me these are butterfly eggs.  I wonder?

It's crane fly season!

Another beautiful way to go to seed

"Mom, I was faking" she told me later.

Dewy, misty mornings

The last of the garden ripening tomatoes

Maia, using all her lung power

Just joy.


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