Sunday, September 27, 2009

Changing Colors

by Felicia Donovan

Autumn, Kennebunkport by Kportimages.

I was born in the Fall, thus I claim it to be "my season." This colorful rite of passage embodies everything beautiful about New England. It is a gift wrapped in orange, red and gold to be slowly unwrapped each day.

For many of us blessed to spend our Falls in New England, the season often kicks off with a bumpy ride on a teetering golf cart deep into the apple orchards. We are given careful instructions by our driver on the proper way to pick apples. "Twist the stem, never pull it. Place it gently into the bag to prevent bruising." As soon as the driver leaves, we eagerly twist off a few samples to make sure they are plenty ripe. Sometime later, laden with heavy bags and sticky hands, another cart returns us to the farm stand where we eagerly devour hot apple donuts made right before our eyes. Our appetites satisfied, we stroll into the blueberry fields where my young friends and I let our imaginations run wild. We are in the middle of a fairy forest with hidden doors and wild creatures.

The next weekend finds us at a Pumpkin Festival along an estuarine center. I watch scarecrows being built and go on a scavenger hunt. A bearded man carves a giant pumpkin into a gargoyle. His t-shirt reads "Real pumpkin carvers have guts." I stuff myself with pumpkin muffins.

The leaves have already begun to burst into color though we know we are nowhere near "peak" yet. "Reaching peak" is a concept as nebulous as trying to predict the winning lottery ticket. Meteorologists pore over weather patterns and temperature trends, but Mother Nature makes her own schedule. One good rain storm can wipe "peak" out nearly overnight, as can abrupt temperature swings. New Englanders don't worry about such things. We know peak by the waves of color on the landscape. We know peak by the bright red maple leaf floating down the river. We know peak by the moments that take our breath away.

11 comments:

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

As a New England born transplant, the one season I truly miss is fall. Sigh... Thanks for a morning of nostalgic longing. Of course, hearing of the first brutal snow storm will wipe that out in due course.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What a beautiful place to live! You're very lucky.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Felicia Donovan said...

Sue Ann, I know you long for those crisp fall days with clear blue skies, cotton ball clouds and a blaze of color. I was thinking of you when I wrote it. I'll also be thinking of you the first Nor'Easter when I am busting my arse shoveling the white stuff.

Elizabeth, I am, indeed, blessed to be livin' the good life here in New England. We take the seasons as they come and find the best in each.

Cricket McRae said...

Wonderful post, Felicia. Apple donuts and pumpkin muffins ... mmmmm. I love fall yet have never been in New England to see the leaves change. After this I'm definitely bumping it higher on my travel list.

Felicia Donovan said...

Cricket, you should absolutely try and make it up here in the Fall. There's nothing like it. We celebrate the season with as much food as we do fanfare. Freshly pressed apple cider, hot blueberry muffins (with sugar on top, of course), pumpkin soup with a dollop of sour cream on top - all are to be savored on a crisp, Fall day.

Lisa Bork said...

Felicia - Fall in New England sounds like fall in New York State. Apple picking then cider, caramel apple pie and apple bread. We also discovered apple butterscotch blondies this year, especially wonderful warm from the oven! Ever had those?

Felicia Donovan said...

Lisa, I've never had apple butterscotch blondies but they sound wonderful!

You're all making me hungry. Time for apple bread and blueberry muffins!

Felicia Donovan said...

Lisa, I've never had apple butterscotch blondies but they sound wonderful!

You're all making me hungry. Time for apple bread and blueberry muffins!

G.M. Malliet said...

Fall is also my favorite season, and the turning leaves are especially lovely where you live. Lucky you!

Anonymous said...

I went to college in New England and loved the area. Your post certainly makes me nostalgic!

halpey1 said...

Ah, I read this post too late! Most of the leaves are down now. There is a tree in my neighborhood, I passed it daily when I walked my dog. I swear, it looked like someone had lit the thing on fire it was so red.