Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall ramblings...

Pressed leaf garland.
An idea gleaned from Susan Branch.

I'm enjoying the fall days as they come.  They always seem to pass by so quickly into winter days, but I'm trying not to think of fall like that.  Instead, I am taking each day as it comes -- appreciating the gifts that each day brings instead of always pining for days gone by or days to come.  I've done my share of that too.

The leaf garland on my big window makes me smile.  In mid-afternoon the sun shines through them and reflects the colors of each leaf as if they are mini stained glass windows. I have always dragged stuff in gathered up little bits of the outdoors to bring in for my seasonal decorating -- au naturel.   I like sticks (check this out) and leaves, squash and pumpkins picked from the veggie patch, branches and cones gathered while cutting firewood.  In spring and summer there are fresh flowers snipped from the garden or plucked from the pasture.  I like rocks and fossils, feathers and turtle shells.  I do like to set candles out especially when the fall and winter months are upon us.  There's just something special about candlelight on dark days that makes me feel warm and cozy.  When the kids were home, we used to always light candles during school time.

These past days while taking my walks, I've been noticing big flocks of blackbirds and meadowlarks.  Migration is about to happen.  I know that the birds' days here are short now, but I'm savoring birdsong and flapping wings today.  It still thrills my heart to hear the chirrups of the robin who is still hanging around the yard and the lonely call of a meadowlark in the pasture.  In the evenings, which come on early now, I am hearing the hooting of the owls.  I've noticed crows passing through.  The other day Peach and I were outside when the loud "caw caw caw" came from out in the pasture.  I pointed to the big black crows and had her listen again for their distinct call.  The crows don't usually stay here with us year round, but they always make an appearance around September or October. They remind me of a poem I like.

The Gnome

I saw a Gnome
As plain as plain
Sitting on top
Of a weathervane.

He was dressed like a crow
In silky black feathers,
And there he sat watching
All kinds of weathers.

He talked like a crow too,
Caw caw caw,
When he told me exactly 
What he saw,

Snow to the north of him
Sun to the south,
And he spoke with a beaky
Kind of a mouth.

But he wasn't a crow,
That was plain as plain
'Cause crows never sit
On a weathervane.

What I saw was simply
A usual gnome
Looking things over
On his way home.

~Harry Behn

Crows also remind me of a movie that's rather creepy but fun to watch:  The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963.  One of my sons is fascinated with this film and always asks me to watch it with him.  The fashion and the cars are terrific--very retro now!

There are a few birds that will stay around through the winter.  The wood peckers, flickers, nuthatches and a few sparrows will overwinter.  Sometimes we have a few chickadees and juncos move in.  Last year there wasn't a single bird around the feeders in the backyard.  It was harsh.   The juncos are here now, but they may be just passing through.    I don't see any chickadees yet, but they may stop by on their way somewhere.

After a perfect, sunny day here today, we are expecting the clouds to roll in tonight and the winds to blow.  There's a chance for drizzly rain tomorrow and so I suppose my window finishing will be on hold for a couple days.  Instead, I'll spend some time on that jeans quilt I'm working on for J.  It seems like the perfect project for a chilly fall day.  Who knows, maybe we'll start a fire in the wood stove.

One more thing -- I made some roasted cauliflower last night to go with supper.  Roasted foods sound perfect for fall suppers, don't they?  Here is what I did.  Break apart a whole cauliflower into bite-sized pieces, toss it with olive oil, and then sprinkle it with salt & pepper.  Put it on a cookie sheet and slide it into a 425* oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the edges of the cauliflower are beginning to brown.  You might turn it a little in the middle of roasting.  Sprinkle the cauliflower again with a little course salt and eat!  It really is so good!

I wish you many special moments as you walk through these fall days.  Don't forget to look at the moon tonight.  It's full!


  1. I'm going to dash out the door right now and look at the moon, Jody!
    I am also going to make a paper bag owl. I shall send you a picture of it.

  2. Oooh, thanks for the cauliflower tip. I love cauliflower but we never eat it -- must remedy that.

    I was fascinated by The Birds when I was a kid. I hated the movie -- thought it was too creepy -- yet I wanted to watch it more.

    Our fall weather has been fantastic. I hope yours has too. And I hope your rain prediction is true -- a drizzle -- not a downpour!

  3. Your garland is a terrific idea! I see us assembling one for ourselves in the near future.

    And I've never heard the poem. It's wonderful.

    I haven't roasted cauliflower yet but I haven't met a roasted vegie that I didn't like.

    Thanks for a post full of ideas!


  4. G'day. Your garland is lovely. I really enjoyed the poem and I must admit that I do like crows, though a work mate told me that they are actually ravens. I always thought that here in Australia,they were just good old fashioned crows !!!. Oh well, what the heck, they are crows to me and I am fond of them and yes, I did love that film. Must try the roast cauliflower, it sounds delicious. Take care. Liz...

  5. Lovely post, thanks for sharing. And the cauliflower sound wonderful.


  6. Love your fall musings...
    I did see that the moon was very cool last night so I'll try to see it in it's fullness tonight. The Birds is a lot more easy to watch now that I'm an adult...

  7. Hi Jody! Love your pretty garland - simple and lovely. I'm a forager too and can't resist picking the odd bird feather or pinecone or whatever. We still don't have many fall leaves here - guess we haven't had enough cool weather -- maybe soon.
    Oh, and speaking of migration, I saw an unusual sight the other evening --- migrating pelicans. I had to look twice -- at first I thought they were geese by the way they were flying in formation. Who knew ;)?
    Blessings Friend,

  8. Yes, we really do have to enjoy these fleeting moments of fall color when we see them. Those two trees I took the picture of earlier this week are now almost bare.
    I coudln't agree more about roasted veggies in the fall. My husband and I LOVE them prepared that way. I added a tiny bit of white wine to the pan of veggies yesterday, and boy did they taste good that way too.
    Ae the leaves taped to your window, or are they actually strung on string? (I can't see any string.)

  9. I love sticks, too, and have them all around the house. I find them oftentimes startling beautiful.

    I'm gonna roast me some cauliflower--that sounded delicious!

    Glad you're enjoying fall.


  10. I recently prepared roasted cauliflower for the very first time and I really liked it. I LOVE your leaf garland. Midsummer looked like fall around here with dead leaves falling off trees onto the ground....but they were DEAD not fall colors. Makes my heart sad. :(

  11. That leaf garland is wonderful! I really like the idea of using nature to decorate the home. :)

  12. I think your leaf garland is sweet. I too love to (drag) bring in nature. Oh yumm, roasting veggies are my fav!! Clarice

  13. Your decorating is lovely! Now that I've pressed a bunch of leaves, I'm going to have to do something with them and you've given me inspiration. I love cauliflower and haven't made it roasted before. It sounds very good!



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