I hope that you saw the sunset last night. I was driving home from visiting a friend, and the sunset was incredible. It was as if the sky was on fire; the clouds were tinted gold and saffron and fire-y pink against a china blue sky. It was, quite simply, amazing.
When I pulled up in the driveway, the Crankee Yankee was leaning on the bannister on the deck, gazing up at the sky. We both said, “wow! Some sunset, huh?” Then we both smiled and kept on looking up.
This time of year the leaves are turning their gorgeous autumnal colors. In what we call “the williwags” (the small ponds surrounded by trees and brush by the side of the road), the swamp maples are a deep garnet red. Many of the summer flowers are still blooming, and our neighbor’s red and pink roses are still magnificent. Even down around the pond where I walk is a riot of golden rod, orange-y jewel weed, milkweed pods bursting with silver-white fluff, ecru Queen Anne’s lace, blackeyed Susans, daisies, pink clover and more.
The pond itself is a deep azure blue, and the ducks and cormorants still bob on the surface, occasionally going under to snack on the foliage below. The turtles lie out in rows along the logs, blinking slowly as they soak up the warm sun. In the reeds by the pond’s edge there are always a few dignified long-legged blue herons, standing in the shallows and watching for lunch to swim by.
There are beautiful monarch butterflies everywhere now. I remember that during one of Mom’s and Dad’s summer vacations in Maine, there was a rare monarch butterfly migration. Mom said that they were everywhere, and it was really something to see. Dad told her that they looked like “Halloween kites.” I remember that each time I see one.
Our garden is still bursting with tomatoes and green peppers and small sweet ears of corn. The tomato patch looks like Aladdin’s cave of jewels; all rich reds and golds. The pepper vines are heavy with emerald green peppers, and still there are creamy white blossoms on the vines, signaling more to come.
A New England fall is a singularly beautiful time of year. No wonder all the city folk like to visit and take in the sights. Years ago, when Ruggles Mine in Grafton, NH was still open, a friend and I went up for the day. After we went through the mines, we found a sunny spot on one of the bluffs and stretched out in the sun. It was in the fall, and down in the valley the trees were all in full color. From where we were, it looked like endless scoops of red, yellow, orange, umber and gold.
During this beautiful season, be sure to look around. Take in the sights, smell the flowers while they are still blooming, check out the trees for colors, and look up at the stars at night against a velvety deep blue sky. It’s a feast for the senses, so eat it up while you can!