Thursday, September 06, 2007

On the cusp

Suddenly, this week, the scent of autumn is in the air. The vividness of summer is gone; the landscape has lost its lush texture and is brittle and fading, the sky is a backdrop of washed-out chambray with a handful of painted, far-away clouds. The light is amazing but is gone shortly after 8pm. We are on the cusp between seasons.

The summer weather has not been kind. It has not been a vintage year of memories in the sun. When I shut the door on it this year, it won’t be with regret; rather I am ready for the new season and won’t be looking over my shoulder at the summer that never was.

But the wheel of the year is turning and its cycle is on time. The hedges are stuffed with a glut of glossy brambles, the crab apples are starting to appear, the sloes are beginning to colour on the blackthorn. Our plum tree and cherry tree have been a disappointment but the apple trees and especially the pear tree are groaning under the weight of their fruit. My fridge is packed with courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes – little red and yellow jewels - from my dad’s greenhouse. Soon, I will start to think about making chutney and sloe gin.

Tonight, the beach was lonely, the sea turquoise and still, and the stubble fields stood empty, their gates open and inviting. The Grey Mare loves this time of year too.

17 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

Beautiful prose, my dear. My plum tree's been very fruitful this year and much crumble, clafoutis, ice cream and jam has been enjoyed. There's a reasonable crop of pears but they're still too hard.

Mopsa said...

Do you make use of the fields beyond those open gates for a quick gallop? What is the protocol?

Anonymous said...

Autumn has always been my favourite season - don't know why, maybe something genetic makes me prefer the colours of autumn, in the same way I prefer girls with red hair.

debio said...

The UK autumn always made me sad as I contemplated the cold winter to come; but fabulously written, m&m - from this i can admire at a distance.

Karen said...

I love autumn, partly as I am a girl with red hair and as anonymous correctly said the colours are very suited to us :)

Also it is because the summer temperatures begin to fade away into a slight crispness in the air. I get start to wear most of my wardrobe as my summer wardrobe is very limited.

I also like making jams, chutneys, pickled onions etc. and start to feel like knitting more as the nights draw in. I also quite like tidying up in the garden and having bonfires.

Brom said...

Autumn... yes! Bare legs are again covered by sheer nylon....

Down Brom!

Gill said...

oh great karen,I'm glad you like gardening, does that mean that you will be coming to chop the hedges down in our garden!

Eminem this writing is beautifully evocative of autumn.It's my favourite season, I've been gathering hazelnuts and soon it will be cold enough to light the first coal fire of the season and sit cosily beside it.

Omega Mum said...

I hate it when blogs make me hungry. Do you make sloe gin?

Nunhead Mum of One said...

I absolutely love autumn, it's my favourite season. That hint of chill in the air, the crisp smell of bonfires and the huge pile of leaves that the dogs just love to jump in!

mutterings and meanderings said...

WW, you're very kind. Our pears are still hard but there are tons of 'em...

Mospa, the ground is too hard to gallop at the mo ;) TBH, there are farmers that don't mind and those that do (by reputation)... you just have to be careful!

Anon, mine too, it's just I wish it wouldn't get dark so quickly...

Thank yoi Debio. What is autumn like in the land of sand?

Karen, I think you have let yourself in for a job at your mum's...

Brom, behave yerself!

Gill, thankyou. The only thing I don't like about this house is the electric fire. The ifreplace itself is beautiful. If it were mine, I'd remove the electric fire and have the coal fire back.

OM, my mum and I do it. It's the to take in a wee flask in your pocket on hunting mornings (after you've downed your Percy Special very quicky cos your horse is too excited and won't stand still...

NMO, the Grey Mare is not a fan of fallen leaves, she does a ballet dance when they blow round her feet ..

dulwichmum said...

Now you have my complete attention. There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than riding a lovely horse on a beach - alone.

lady macleod said...

Lovely, lovely word pictures my dear. *sigh* Autumn is my favorite season.

rilly super said...

mists and mellow fruitfulness my arse dear, more fogged up car windows and cold feet, not that I get up early enough to experience fogged up car windows you understand, just showing I'm in touch with the common people, and not that experience cold feet in bed, except my own, mostly, sigh

lovely to catch up with you M&M dear, seems like ages, will have to read back a couple of weeks ar some point, see what you've been up to, all superly descibed no doubt, sigh

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"chambray" - what a lovely-sounding word and what an orignal notion to use it in attempting to convey the sense of September skies...

ziggi said...

my saddle has finally arrived so I shall be riding out enjoying the season of mists and mellow fruitfullness and celebrating the demise of the bl**dy flies!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

that was very well put, and I fully agreed that there'll be no mourning the summer. We were deprived of our drawn out evening meals al fresco weren't we? I picked Hawthorns at the weekend, am also ready for Autumn.
Pigx

@themill said...

It's the smell of woodsmoke I love the best.