Ode To Autumn

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“Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
George Eliot

“Autumn Equinox” by Cynthia Jordan (courtesy of meloman80s):

 

“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves.”
Virginia Woolf

“Autumn Leaves” by Eva Cassidy and the London Symphony Orchestra:

 

After a hot summer, there is hope for a warm and mild autumn. Roses are still flowering but hydrangeas are changing colour into muted shades of green and dark red. As expected, autumn arrives with subtle changes in the light, with overcast skies, longer darker evenings, and nights of easy slumber while chilly rain thrashes monotonously against the windows.

An interesting aside on equinoxes, as we have just passed the autumnal one (courtesy of National Geographic):

Rain coming down with a vengeance adds a rejuvenating sparkle to fruits, leaves and grasses alike, and is most welcome. At dawn, just after the rain, the freshly ploughed earth of the furrowed fields, still warm from the stored heat of the summer, exudes mystic clouds of chalk-blue steam. Noisy groups of swallows swoop gracefully above the dusk-etched rooftops of the barns, preparing for their winter migration.

Swallowsgathering

Swallows leaving the UK for Africa (courtesy of India):

Swallows in super slow motion (courtesy of Fumihiko Hirai):

October approaches slowly, changing with each step the faded colouring of the woodlands into shades ranging from sun-bleached fawns, golden-yellows, beiges and flaxen straw-hues to vivid reds, russets, plum-purples and rich, velvety browns.

“Whispers of Autumn” by Leann Marshall:

AutumnField

“Sneeuwland” by Oskar Schuster (courtesy of Aesthetic sky):

The fields are tidy and barren, their harvest already a thing of the past. The season will come full with the first frost and autumn’s brilliant colouring of treetops and hedgerows. It is a time for gathering and storing of fruits, a time of making beverages. It is a time of making chutneys, pickles, plum dumplings and apple pies.

Perhaps have a go at creating the tempting treat of Apple and Blackberry Cobbler from the autumn bounty (courtesy of The Happy Foodie):

At sunset, a skein of geese fly low above the town and soon they will be no more since it is time for migration. Autumn was called in the 16th century ‘the fall of the leaf’, and rightly so; it is hard to imagine this time of the year without the rustle of a bright, ankle-deep carpet covering the ground. Children love wading through piles of fallen leaves, looking for chestnuts or acorns.

The beauty of Autumn (courtesy of Stuart Spicer):

 

Some stunning fall foliage in Vermont (courtesy of flannelboyvideos):

 

There is an abundance of blackberries in the hedgerows and wild mushrooms in the woodlands. Often hidden under trees and among wet grasses after rain, are shiny ceps, sticky fawn-coloured fungi, and which are known to experienced gatherers as ‘butter cups’. My favourites, chanterelles as they are called in France, are rusty-yellow, oddly funnel-shaped agaric. Ceps are often strung onto cotton thread, and when dry, kept in the larder to flavour and season stews. Fresh ceps and other mushrooms are delicious tossed in hot butter which brings out their wonderful flavour.

Chanterelle

The orchard fruit harvest of apples, plums and pears is a time of storing fruit and making jams and making cider. When I was young, I loved to get up at the crack of dawn and go into the mountain forest to pick blueberries. These grew in sunny clearings on short dense bushes, hidden amongst a multitude of tiny, dark-green leaves. It would take a long time not only because the bushes were laden with blueberries but also because purple-stained hands would often stray to fruit-inked mouths. At home, blueberries were served with yoghurt or with creamy milk.

Courtesy of Herbfarmacy:

This is also the time of potato digging, a time of bonfires with their languid, wet smoke lumbering low over the fields and hedgerows, scenting the air with the incomparable aroma of field-baked potatoes. As it is such back-breaking work, a midday rest is needed to straighten up and warm up cold hands.

PotatoDiggers

We diggers would sit around a fire on an upturned sturdy potato basket or a pile of sacks, rubbing our cold hands in anticipation. Oh, the sheer bliss of inhaling the hot, smoky scent of the tubers. The joy of tossing the skin-burning potato from one hand to another before squeezing it open, and then seasoned with salt and butter it would disappear, almost unaided, into a rumbling stomach. But I digress…

Ash Roasted Potatoes (courtesy of Happy Foods Tube):

By the end of November, there will be no leaves on trees because they have to protect themselves before winter sets in. The trees shut down the activity in their leaves, drawing in the sugar and protein stored there, and not producing chlorophyll in the winter months. The colour that remains in the leaves for a short time is due to carotenoid pigments that were there all along but were concealed during the warmer months by the vivid green of the chlorophyll cells. Leaf fall begins when hormones stimulate a layer of cells at the base of each leaf stalk to die and form a seal between a leaf and its branch. As these cells die, they form a corky layer of dead tissue. When the seal is complete, it takes only a light breeze to separate the leaf from the tree and send it spiralling to the ground.

Autumn mists (courtesy of Asheville):

 

Skein-of-geese

“Lessons of the Geese” (courtesy of mtceurope) – we humans could learn a lot from their teamwork:

 

At this time, some birds will leave to migrate to warmer countries in search of food and sun. The migration of birds each autumn has long been among the mysteries of nature that are still difficult to fully understand and explain. There are many theories, and one suggested that it might have been a throwback to the ice age, when a severe climate over much of the world must have affected the birds’ life. Regardless of the reasons, it is obvious that migrations, although they may cost some of the species half their population in casualties each year, have logical advantages.  The northern part of the globe is more spacious. There are therefore many more opportunities to nest and feed their young.

ArcticTern

The longest known migration of any bird belongs to the Arctic tern, a relatively small (14 inches) colonial bird that breeds within a few hundred miles of the North Pole. It is also known as the ‘Sea Swallow’ as it has a similar colouring; a white body, black cap and red legs and beak. For reasons biologists have yet to fully understand, Arctic terns set out on a journey each spring  and autumn that takes them literally to the ends of earth, from the Arctic to Antarctica. As they take the longest route, they may travel as much as 3 million miles in their lifetime, which could be 15 to 30 years.  Now, that is some endurance and achievement…

The Arctic Tern: a small bird that migrates big (courtesy of James Wolfe):

A trip down Memory Lane, “Forever Autumn” by Justin Hayward (courtesy Cottage of the Crone):

What else can I say but Autumn is a bountiful, colourful and interesting season, to which I am very much looking forward.

An evocative autumn walk in Kipling’s Vermont (courtesy of Bryton Taylor):

 

“Autumn” from “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi (courtesy of caballerohorus):

 

PS My potato digging experience was a result of the school trip to help the local farm and to learn how hard a farmer’s work is, and it left me with life-long memories.

55 thoughts on “Ode To Autumn

  1. What a magnificent tribute to Fall Joanna. One of my favorite times of the year as well! Your fall videos and music encapsulated it all!
    Dwight

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you, Dwight, for your generous comments! It is truly fascinating time of the year. Music reflects it so well.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes it really is/does! :>)

    Like

  5. Beautiful image.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for your kind comment.

    Joanna

    Like

  7. Thank you Joanna for creating and sharing such a beautiful post. I found it to be inspirational and good for my soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you, Ally, for your generous comment. It makes my work worthwhile !

    Joanna

    Like

  9. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  10. Hi
    So Amazing bird picture. Wonderful photo shoot. I like. Nice blog post.where it place?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for your kind comments. I am glad that you like the videos.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Autumn for many years has been my favorite season. Partly that’s because my birthday is in October. Partly it’s because the changing colors of leaves amaze me. Autumn has warm, cozy and invigorating qualities to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thank you for your kind comment. Yes, Autumn is a wonderful time of the year!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Joanna, this is just a wonderful roundup of autumn! Beautiful music too! I’ve not travelled far in my life so your video of Kipling’s Vermont was very special. I will be walking there in my dreams, something this video has planted in my mind. Thank you, dear Joanna, 💖💝💕💐🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dear Ashley, I am always waiting for your wonderful comments, and you never let me down!! I haven’t travelled far myself, and that is why I use the videos. I also have dreams of doing heroic deeds.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you again, Dear Ashley. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Lovely post, Joanna. Unfortunately, CA is in a severe drought, so dry and still hot. So we long for rain this winter and cooler temps or things are only going to get worse. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Thank you, Lauren, for your kind comment. Climate change is affecting us all, and things will get worse unless we globally do things differently.

    Joanna

    Like

  21. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated. The Autumn I am writing about could be the thing of the past.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I hope not, Joanna. Autumn has been my favorite season, but now with fires and droughts, it’s hard to look forward. Let’s hope for change…thank you for sharing. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  23. What an ode to autumn, Joanna. I truly loved it with full of soothing music and videos. I don’t think there will be any better description of autumn. The reason for change in leave colours and migration theories are quite informative.

    This post reminded me of so many childhood activities, likes tossing hot potatoes, picking green mangoes after every storm etc. I also liked your reference to chutney. The pic of swallows sitting on wires reminded me of a cartoon with title, “online meeting in progress.”

    This post is again both interesting and informative. I like to read your posts uninterrupted till the end. Thank you, Joanna for putting in so much time and efforts for such a post!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Dear Kaushal, thank you for such a wonderful comments!! I was waiting for your views as they always make my day!! Thank you for taking time to read it!! Reading other comments (Lauren’s), I am concerned if my memory of Autumn is not going to be historical documentary of the past.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you again, Dear Kaushal. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Lauren’s concerns may be well taken. But this is our own making. We have to change ourselves. But memories like yours are always going to remind us that these are the things we must aspire for. I’m quite hopeful in this regard. Thank you, Joanna!!

    Like

  27. You’re welcome, Joanna!

    Like

  28. Oh my, what a stunning ode, Joanna! It’s the sort of compilation that leaves you both educated and humbled at the beauty and magnificence of it all. Thank you so much for this warm write! Hope you’re doing well, Joanna!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you, D, for your generous comments!! This is the response I was aiming for! There is nothing as beautiful as Nature!!
    I am well, thank you!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated. I am glad you are doing well too!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi, Joanna, I’d say from the poetic sound of your descriptions here that Autumn is your favorite season. Lovely write-up. I, too love fall, but ours is very brief. Typically, within a week of leaves turning, they are on the ground. And then comes the snow, which is also breathtakingly beautiful. 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thank you, Lisa, for your kind comment. I love Autumn, but also other seasons, and write about all of them, as they represent Nature, my favourite topic.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joana

    Liked by 1 person

  34. The most beautiful aspect that i have observed in Joanna’s writings are not writings completely but all the sounds and visuals she is providing us to contemplate, to also evade almost everything, but reading. I can hear her ‘this’ ode to autumn in every season there are and most joyfully while riding my motorcycle. They wake the cells up, like a mother working on soil to plant.

    I liked the ‘we’ with the diggers. I loved that painting, its brushes and the touch of earth in it. I am almost falling for each and every smell, the smoke you made us feel, i even closed my eyes too. The field-baked potatoes after work were uplifting, cheek giving and filled with the value of life in itself. And then i read the PS.

    Thank you for holding our hands and carrying us with you through these jungles of autumn. These days I am seeing myself looking at the sky a lot more than i ever did. It could be because i am realising about life, being like an autumn cloud.

    Thank you Joanna
    Narayan x

    Like

  35. Thank you, Narayan, for your beautifully worded comments!! There are few readers whos comments I await, and you are one of the elite of masterful writers! The paintings are by famous masters and they fit perfectly Autumn scenery. Did you know who they are?

    Joanna x

    Like

  36. Thank you again, Dear Narayan! And greatly appreciated!

    Joanna x

    Like

  37. A gorgeous, relaxing post, Joanna! It brings back memories of living in Pennsylvania and Virginia and playing in the colorful fall leaves. When I was teaching, my sister used to send me a box of autumn leaves from Virginia every year for my Florida students to enjoy.

    I liked listening to the diverse musical selections. The Four Seasons was a favorite of my late husband’s and brought back memories of leisurely weekend brunches listening to music.

    The roasted potatoes looked great! My brother and sister and I used to make them when we were children. It was a lot of fun even though ours did not turn out as well as those in the video!

    Thank you for sharing the wonders of autumn with us! Happy Fall! ❤

    Like

  38. Thank you, Cheryl, for reading my second post and being so kind and informative! I love the leaves from Virginia traveling to Florida
    for the children’s enjoyment!

    Joanna

    Like

  39. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  40. Wow, another stunning post with such beautiful sounds and visuals showing off the lovely red, yellow, orange, and brown of autumn.

    Like

  41. Thank you, Henrietta, for your wonderful comments!! I love the colours of the leaves too, and used to collect the unusual and dry them to have them forever

    Joanna.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  43. This post is beautiful Joanna. You have compiled all the aspects of Autumn. Photos, videos and the paintings are amazing. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Like

  44. Thank you, joycemaryj, for your kind comment. Autumn is beautiful time of the year.

    Joanna

    Like

  45. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  46. My pleasure! Glad to hear that!

    Like

  47. Always my pleasure.

    Like

  48. Indeed! It’s a breathtaking transition of the year.

    Like

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