Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ten Things I Love About Fall

Yes - I thought I'd be at Hotel Hope by August, then September, then October, then . . . Well, you get the idea. The good news is that I can be an "outdoor cat" during my favorite season of the year.

Here are ten things that I love about fall:

1. Light and shadow: Ordinary scenes look magical in the fall light.

I took these pictures in our bedroom, kitchen and dining room.You can catch a glimpse of one of my favorite fall portraits of Cindy, age 8, in the kitchen photo. (Click to enlarge.) She's standing in a light-dappled oak grove, holding an oak leaf. The antique oak frame is surrounded by miniature acorns. Yep, the whole vignette was heavily "art directed."

2. Long walks at high noon: I no longer need to rise early to stride before the temperatures rise.

These miniature "mushrooms" sprouting around the giant 'shroom are a recent walking discovery.

3. Candied Apples:
Have you seen the "Martha" version with twigs instead of popsicle sticks? I plan to make the red candied apples AND the caramel version with heavy cream (no Kraft squares).

4. Clear Skies:
We could see Catalina Island from the balcony of John and Terry's Laguna Beach home during their wedding ceremony last Monday. Heavenly!

5. Acorns: I love collecting these treasures when I walk.

Don't these look lovely in a tarnished silver candy dish?
The one with the greenish "hat" is from an English oak, an unusual find in Southern California.

6. Planting: While my white blood counts are out of the danger zone, I'm planting iris bulbs (compliments of an Altadena neighbor), sugar snap peas and winter greens and replacing a Jerusalem sage.

7. Harvesting:
Persimmons, figs and grapes are now ripe and we're still enjoying fresh tomatoes and Japanese eggplant from our garden. And, of course, my favorite fall harvest are those 2 million+ stem cells safely stored away in a CoH silo.

8. Pumpkin Patches: I even love the crassly commercial ones with pony rides and giant slides.

9. Halloween: The decorations, the costumes, the haunted houses, the trick or treaters - love it all.

10. Smells: My nostrils and lungs can't get enough of the scent of the crisp leaves and the even crisper air.

And the one thing I hate about fall? Candy corn.

What do you love most about fall?


Mrs. Duck said...

Susan, you amaze me! You're a regular Martha Stewart of the spirit! How do you come by all of this energy, inquisitiveness and grace? You're not a cat, you're a spiritual whirlwind!

Anyway ...

What I love most about fall is the light and the crispness in the air which, instead of making me feel that things are winding down towards winter, always makes me feel like I'm just starting out again on a new adventure.

Each September when school began again, I felt wonderfully excited and hopeful -- I was convinced that, with my new clean slate (figuratively), I just might do everything right, get straight As this time, never once embarrass myself, make tons of new friends (remember, being a Navy brat, half the time I was starting school in a totally new place) and end the year with no regrets. Ha! I should have known better, but I was hopelessly naive and optimistic! Still am!

So, every fall when the light changes and the air becomes crisp, I (a) feel like I've gone back in time and am once again filled with the optimistic emotions I had as a child, and (b) yearn to pull on a sweater, run out of my cozy house and start kicking up leaves! Only it's still too warm for a sweater! Is it LA, or global warming?

Oh, and I love the baseball playoffs and world series, too. Fall wouldn't be fall without them.

Susan Carrier said...

I know what you mean about the clean slate and new beginnings.

Even though Spring is the season of rebirth, I always felt that Fall had that glorious anything is possible feel.

Piper Robert said...

Caramel apples coated in peanuts.

Getting a fire going in the fireplace.

Football season.

Hunting season.

World Series.

Blennerhassett Island by candlelight festival.

Beginning of the new school year. I loved school.

Throwing James into a huge pile of leaves.

Cold mornings.

Piper Robert said...

p.s. I thought I would have all kind of leisure time when I retired. I've been working 12 hours a day on my house. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Three things I love about fall...

Back To School: I love the carefree days of summer -- no homework hassles, sleeping in, a break from the hectic schedule of modern day school life. But by September I'm ready for a return to the structure and routine of the school year.

Fall Foods: Butternut squash, pumpkin bread, anything with cranberries. But I also welcome the return of such favorites as pot roast, lasagne, baked mac and cheese -- comfort foods I don't tend to make during the summer to avoid heating up the house.

Fall Colors: I didn't always appreciate fall colors, finding brown, orange and gold a bit drab. But after a floral design teacher suggested adding purple to liven up the fall palette, I've become a fan.

And as a belated cat stage post...on this gray day I feel like curling up on the sofa and sleeping all day. But it's Monday and I have to go sharpen my claws.

Have a good week!


Suzy Keleher said...

I also love the play of light and shadows; popcorn in front of the fireplace; cool air with warm sun; misty raindrops while walking; snails and slugs on the sidewalk; pumkin pie with whip cream and real, old-fashioned coffee; designing my Thanksgiving home and planning holiday menues; planning my three children's birthday celebrations; planning for Christmas; pomagranates; sugar pumkins; once again working on trying to keep the family calander up to date because this is one of our very busiest times of year! You are my inspiration, Susan!Love, Suze

Nathan Allen said...

Fall is a great time of the year here in Wild,Wonderful West Virginia. The leaves change to so many beautiful colors, Red,Yellow,Orange,Purple and Brown. We are surly blessed here in West Virginia..

Susan Carrier said...

I really miss those vibrant fall colors. Here in So. Cal., the leaves turn from green to brown before falling to the ground.