Sunday, August 10, 2014

a shifting sense

Lately, it seems, I've got autumn on the brain. Seattle's basking in the heat of August - the most reliably warm and dry month of the year - but I find my nose picking up the scent, here and there, of ripe decay, the richness of fruit melting into soil, and I can feel myself on the alert for the spicy incense of rotten leaves and the first hints of smoke from nighttime fires.

I've a few kitchen projects going on today, and they're all rather nice, little, simple things, the kind of things that require more sitting time than working time - and which make a girl feel rather accomplished at the expense of a minimum of effort. Nice, that. First, I'm experimenting with a new bitters (for drinks), using rowan berries (the very ones pictured above) as a bittering agent - it was a bit of a lightbulb moment a few weeks ago, when I was thinking about the intractable bitterness of these berries. If they turn out well, I'll recount the whole process on the blog later. For now, here's a pretty picture of rowan, in my harvesting basket, in a lucky photo that looks rather lovely and picturesque. And autumnal!

And below, those bounteous late-summer beauties: dahlias. My mother-in-law sent us home from the mountains yesterday with three cut-off plastic milk jugs, each stuffed full of dahlias. I made three arrangements for our house, and two big ones (in quart-size mason jars) for my neighbours. I snuck out of the house in my nightgown, a towel still wrapped around my wet hair, and left the jars on their porches, a sweet surprise for this morning. I've since added a brilliant, hottest-pink spidery dahlia from my own garden to the arrangement on the right, tucked just above the ginormous dinner-plate one. I love all their orange, coral, and purple brilliance. So happy, so carefree, so saturated with color.

A new postcard to show you tomorrow; I'm off to attend my haul of huckleberries, picked by the side of a mountain lake yesterday. Ah, perhaps it's not so autumnal, not yet. Just me, as ever, leaning into this, my favorite time of year, that shifting late-summer/early-autumn.

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