Nature

Farms and Pies Oh My

When Bruce and I were first married, we discovered Jones’ Family Farm, and started a tradition.

Each October we’d go to the farm and pick out a huge pumpkin. Then we’d bring it home, and work all weekend to make pies (usually 9) and loaves (usually 6).

Sometimes, we’d make pumpkin cookies or pumpkin pancakes (not a big hit). We’d cook the seeds. Then we’d distribute the pies to my parents and my brother Mike, Bruce’s parents, aunties, neighbors, etc.

I’d always bring some in for the teacher’s lounge at Second Hill Lane School.

Blueberry Day

One of our favorite summer days was blueberry day.

We’d put on old clothes, our straw hats, then gather our baskets and make our way to the Jones’ Family Farm in Shelton. We’d hitch a ride on the “berry ferry”, and be driven out to the blueberry bushes.

Blueberries are easy to pick and practically popped into our small baskets. When our small baskets were filled, we’d dump them all into the big basket and fill that up. The camera was always on hand.

After the picking, we’d drive to Huntington Center and have lunch and dessert at Sassafras Restaurant.

College Turkeys

Several years ago, I worked in a computer lab at the university I attended as a graduate student. Since I was the one who usually had to open the lab, I often got to campus very early, and was one of the first people in the parking lot.

Getting up early and commuting on the Merit Parkway was not fun. Sometimes there would be traffic jams. Other times, there was so much ice, I could barely get to work safely.

As much as I hated the commute, sometimes there were nice parts about arriving early.

A Beauty All Its Own

I am drawn to where the past lingers on, like Sturbridge Village Museum in Massachusetts, where people dress up in yesteryear clothes and character. It is truly amazing how these people fit their parts so well, as if being transported back 300 years.

Seeing the farmer in a long coat shepherding a flock of sheep thru the village green.

Seeing the potter casually spinning a clay pot.

Seeing the tinker making a lantern of tin or a candleholder of pewter.

Seeing how they cook in a hearth with an open fragrant log fire.

Squirrel in the Pumpkin

It was the end of fall, and we put out a pumpkin on the front steps for the squirrels to enjoy.

A large chubby squirrel came up and started eating it. He was not shy, or perhaps he was too awestruck by such a wonderful feast appearing for him out of the blue.

In any case, we slowly opened the front door so only the storm door, a full pane of glass, stood between us and him. We were one foot away as he continued to chew his way thru the pumpkin – to the point at which he was able to sit inside it and eat all around himself.

Swishing Thru Fall Leaves

I love walking thru fall leaves.

Not just walking thru them, but really kicking them up into the air, like wanting to see them fall again and again – to float gently down, swaying this way and that, living a little poetry for a minute, something myriad generations before had admired and enjoyed.

Natural Healing Sounds

Birds singing, trickling water, crickets humming – I’ve found these sounds to be powerfully healing.

I use muscle testing, also known as kinesiology, to see the healing power of sounds, measured on a scale of 1 to 10.

The crows, the hawks and the sparrows all – all birds – the peacock, the gentle “cooaw cooaw” of the chicken – these all give a power of 10 healing sound.

And trickling water too. I am always drawn to tickling water, in a fountain, in a brook – so meditative, so healing.

The Unseen Owl

Out of the blue came the hoot of an owl.

Sometimes this happens in my back yard. Sometimes in my neighborhood. Sometimes I think it follows me.

It was a very pleasant surprise - three long, slow, low hoots. A pause, then it repeated. A pause again, then it repeated again.

It calls up in me the feeling of the deep woods. Where there are wise animals, knowing old, huge oaks, and the feel of soft, moist dirt underfoot.

The woods are alive with mystery and quiet surprise. At any moment there could appear a deer, a chipmunk, or a giant, black crow.

Garden Magic

Garden life began for me at the age of 12. When my mother worried she was so busy she might not get her dahlias planted, I volunteered for the job. I seldom volunteered for chores on our busy family farm, but, even then, the magic of these flowering plants had me under their spell. Dahlias grow from thick, elongated roots called tubers that we dug each fall and stored for the winter. By springtime the gnarly clumps were like shriveled starfish, testing one’s faith any life could be left in those dusty, wrinkled remains.

So So Many Mushrooms

One day I went outside and saw mushrooms everywhere. Not only was the yard absolutely full of mushrooms, but they were all so different from each other. It’s like elves and fairies were celebrating there in the night before.

Some were large and off-white. Some were small and orange. Some were dark, dark brown, thin and tall. Some were white with an orange ring at their edge. Some were tiny and delicate, the size of a dime. Colony upon colony of each kind.

There was a huge 8 inch mushroom. There were colonies of bright yellow sprouts, just stems forming, of young mushrooms.

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