Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October. New England.

Mother Nature saves her best autumn finery for New England
This is without a doubt my favorite time of the year. Whether it's a loop through the White Mountains in New Hampshire, a lazy trip down Route 7 through the graceful Litchfield Hills or an afternoon spent gazing out at Hudson River vistas, you absolutely cannot go wrong. I soak in the crisp autumnal air like a sponge, savoring the earthy aromas and magnificent displays of color.

There's really nothing like autumn in New England. Majestic white steeples on stoic old meeting houses rise against a cobalt sky while the surrounding hillsides blaze with red, orange, and golden leaves.  Even the most pedestrian of leaves shine with an autumnal glow. Smokiness wafts through the evening twilight and we brace ourselves against the chill with apple cider, apple crumble, or even Applejack. Mother nature truly does show off all her best attributes here each autumn. Harvest festivals and fairs abound and everyone seems to be a leaf-peeping tourist for these few weeks. Pumpkins and apples and corn mazes, oh my! The pleasures are heartier, more rustic, and simpler. Soups and chilis are once again simmering on stoves as are New England standbys like baked beans and chowder. Favorite old worn in corduroy takes the place of sun bleached summer attire and tall boots with woolen socks begin to stand in for summer's barely there sandals. The comfort of a well-loved flannel shirt or a cozy cardigan are not to be scoffed at! This is my beloved New England at her very best--even if the Red Sox are not in the playoffs, the Patriots are enjoying a typically winning start--and I hope you're taking a moment to revel in this year's fall finery wherever you may be.

Gleaming autumn sun shines through the golden leaves

1st Congregational Church in Litchfield, CT
Autumn, 2010
And as I so often do, a nod to Longfellow for his assessment of the season:

"My ornaments are fruits; my garments leaves,
  Woven like cloth of gold, and crimson dyed;
I do not boast the harvesting of sheaves,
  O'er orchards and o'er vineyards I preside.
Though on the frigid Scorpion I ride,
  The dreamy air is full, and overflows
With tender memories of the summer-tide,
  And mingled voices of the doves and crows." 
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, October, from The Poet's Calendar

And PS...Hockey season starts for real this week. Huzzah!

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