Has fall snuck up on us this week? The near-frost the past few nights, and cool daytimes have turned the leaves to shades of red and yellow, and brought them down in droves. I love this season of wool sweaters, extra quilts on the bed, and evenings by the woodstove sipping cups of warm tea. Yes, there are still tomatoes to preserve, wood to chop, garlic to plant, seeds to save, and herbal tonics to prepare, but these autumn tasks in preparation for winter have a meditative quality to them that is quite different from the hurried pace of late summer. When it comes to this point in the season, we simply need to put a few of our left-over projects on hold for next year, and this feels good.
Today we collected leaves, as many shapes and sizes we could find around the yard, in order to explore the beautiful diversity of plant shapes - and there was quite a variety when we spread out jagged maple, soft oblong mullein, feathery yarrow, saw-toothed dandelion, large oak-like fig, round scalloped hollyhock, curly kale, heart-shaped morning glory, and so many others.