Walking down the street to work this week, I can't help making that age-old detour: shuffling through the crunchiest leaves I can find! Besides the satisfying crunching and crackling, there's a certain smell that newly-fallen leaves give off when rustled around that I can never experience without smiling. It's well-known that the olfactory system is closely linked to emotions in the brain, but I'm still always surprised at how evocative aromas can be. Apart from food smells, fallen leaves is right up there with the beginning of a hot summer rainstorm and the first blossoming trees of spring: smells that can't be bottled, and all the better! If I could summon the crunchy leaves smell at will, the effect would be dulled every time. I'll just have to be content soaking it in while I can.
We had a bit of an indian summer this week, with daytime temps getting up to the mid-eighties, and this weekend we're getting a bit of appreciated rain. The fields were getting a bit dusty! Besides our normal harvest schedule, we spent some time chipping away at a big task (weeding the strawberry patch), cultivating our fall greens, and pulling up the outdoor tomato stakes and tilling the plants under. We're still harvesting peppers and eggplant, but the tomatoes are pretty much gone. We have a great fall crop of carrots and beets that we're working our way through, and I'm preparing to make a big batch of beet chutney this afternoon. There never seemed to be enough tomatoes to can any sauces this summer, and cucumbers and zucchini were scarce, so I haven't canned much this summer. Last night also brought a serendipitous good time - I was about to go see a movie when I saw on Twitter that a friend's band was playing in Great Barrington in a few hours. So I cashed in my movie ticket and headed back home to round up the gang. The band was amazing, and anyone on the east coast should look at their tour dates and see when they'll be playing a bar near you. The band is Saint Anyway, from Duluth, but featuring proud New Englander Ben Cosgrove.
Thinking about: ever-filling calendars, visitors, leaf-peeper traffic
Reading: Three more silly detective novels, William A. Owens' This Stubborn Soil, Herman Koch's The Dinner, Maggie Shipstead's Seating Arrangements, Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything
Eating: venison and pork chili, local Macoun apples, lots of tea with local honey, tortellini with green olives and Sam and Lisa's first harvest of winecap mushrooms, ham egg and cheese on English muffins