Last weekend I hiked at Shelburne Farms.  Beside one of their colossal barns, I found an official announcement of fall.  This sugar maple is only an anemic usher of what we’ll see in another month, but the message is clear:


Behind my house, the hill is heaped with boughs of goldenrod, which blooms through early fall.  They glow in thickets of five- and six-foot canes.


Each bough holds bees, yellow jackets, and beetles all collecting pollen and apparently oblivious to any inter-specie rivalry.  They’re oblivious to me, too, as I loiter long enough to catch one at the right angle:


The goldenrod is offset by sprays of aster, another favorite flower of fall:


One of the very best parts of fall—for me—are the apples.  After a banner harvest last year, my own fruit trees took the season to rest.  They grew only a few apples, and these were eaten by deer.  Fortunately, there are some professionals down the road, at Shelburne Orchards.  I visited this afternoon.  In row upon row of beautiful trees, the abundance of apples is astonishing, almost preposterous:


The orchard grows a good variety: honey crisp, macoun, paula red, ginger gold, gravenstein, and Rhode Island greening, to list a few.  I happened to stop on the first day of macintosh picking.  As the picture above indicates, my five-pound bag filled quickly.  I also got fresh cider donuts and cheddar cheese.  The cheddar came from the cows at Shelburne Farms, which you may recall, is where this essay began.

And so I sat behind my house, near the bees in the goldenrod and aster, and had a fine start to fall:


2 thoughts on “Officially Fall.

  1. One of the reasons I regret moving in Massachusetts from Amherst to Cambridge is that it’s harder to get to an orchard to pick my own apples. Sigh.

    Need to get up to Shelburne sometime. There’s a Shaker building at the museum there, which I always planned to see while writing my dissertation on Shakers and tourists.

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