Sunday, September 05, 2010

Contrary Adventures

We took off to Shangri-la today, mostly with the idea of gathering in some apples to begin processing for the year. It is such a pleasant place that we wanted to make several trips of it rather than one big one, which also happens to make processing more manageable too. I didn't take the camera in part because being the photographer always changes my experience of the adventure and today I just wanted to be there.

So of course there were some wonderful photo ops. One was daughter up a tree. The trees are probably a hundred years old and so some of them have limbs the size of my body and are sturdy and easy to climb. There she sat, way up in the tree, legs akimbo hanging down below the branch, braided hair snaking across her back, sunshine streaming through the tree hanging heavy with apples.

Another was the service trees. I have not known these trees. When we were picking blueberries, Mrs. Grullo talked about "sarvice berries" and how in old times they were plentiful and you didn't see them anymore and no one knew what to do with them anyway. Husband, who knows everything (and *that*, mind you, is both an infuriating trait and a handy one), said that the trees were plentiful up the mountain. You will have noticed that the tree is spelled "service" but pronounced "sarvice", so when I spell it "service", it still isn't pronounced that way. It reminds me of "pennyroyal" which is properly pronounced "PEN-a-rile".

Anyway, again it was the sun shining through those trees, making the berries (deep and bright red, in clusters held closely to the branch) glow like they were their own light source. I don't know that I could have captured either frame the way I saw it, so maybe words are just fine.

Here are some frames I did capture on a morning walkabout the other day.

Yes, some are hanging rotten and some are rotten on the ground but a great many of them have been eaten and some preserved and you never get everything and if you really seriously try to, you will make yourself crazy. Eat, enjoy, preserve, have fun.

winter squash, acorn and butternut
The squash have done extraordinarily well this year. So did the melons but I don't think the shot I got of one rotting in the garden made the cut for the blog. But we've had more delicious melons than we've been able to eat.

onion bed for fall green onions

My very favorite shot, my very favorite scene. Look how big and pretty she is. The cow has never had a baby be allowed to nurse for so long (we just take her off at night, milk in the morning, turn them out together during the day) and she is content with it too. I love the sun beams. I love the fog that means we've had water this year.

And I love this shot of her in all her regal-ness with the shadows of her daughter and her new concubine with her. The smaller ones get put up at night and she sunbathes in the morning until they are let out then they all sunbathe together. Except for those mornings she chooses to taunt the dog.

I love the fall flowers. These are jewel weed, joe pye weed, and iron weed. The lobelia is in full bloom, and I saw my first cardinal flower the other day (cardinal flower being the red version of lobelia).

When we went to Shangri-la, we girls painted ourselves with poke berry juice just for fun. Poke isn't much good for much (except mulch) at this stage, but it sure makes good eating when it is younger so you have to let some go and enjoy its rank beauty!

Well, duh. I adore these giants. What you can sorta see beside the sunflower are the hills/ridges where the potatoes are. They've long since died back and we've seeded turnips over them! We generally only dig potatoes as we need them.

hickory king
What sustains us.
map of life
and the way things are, have been, will be.


Mr. H. said...

One of my fondest memories as a very young child is that of eating my grandmothers service berry (we called them June berries back then) pie that she made for my brother and I in small used pot pie tins.:) My wife is kind enough to bake me one of those pies once a year in remembrance of those times but it's just not quite the same.

I love the onion picture.

CG said...

ah, but that's sweet! Way to go wife! Are they ripe in June where you are because they are just barely getting ripe now here.

Mr. H. said...

They seem to ripen right around the end of June. This year was a very bad year for them though as the lengthy cold wet spring messed with their pollen...I guess. So we are having fun with September hawthorn berries instead.:)

annetteinalaska said...

That cow shot and that new header are two of the most beautiful things I've seen in a great while. And the rest of them are a close second.

Adams always shot in wonky light; that's key... but these would be gorgeous anyway.