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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Finally Autumn by Janice Seagraves

September 23rd was the first day of fall. Yay!

Photo owned by Janice Seagraves and taken by her daughter

I’m so tired of the heat in Central California. Yesterday and today it has become cool, finally. In the seventies, but that’s down right chilly for us.

Last night, I actually shivered and today my knuckles are stinging a bit. Although the stinging has more to do with the clouds in the sky and first heavy dew than the coolness. For the first time in months, I feel moisture in the air. My eyes have been so dry, it’ll be nice not to have to put drops in.

Not a lot of fall color in California. We’re known more for our lovely spring display than anything else.

But, ah, autumn.

I have been so looking forward to this. The smell of fallen leaves, the cooler temperatures, finally being able to wear my long sleeve shirts and pants. I can take walks again without overheating. Make soup on a cold day, bake chicken, lasagna, enchilada pie, and cinnamon rolls and cinnamon toast. Using the burning pit in the front of my house and making s’mores.

Photo owned and taken by Janice Seagraves

I’m looking forward to the first rain of the season. Weather, how I love you. Come to me clouds, rain down on me. I dare ya.

What is your favorite thing about autumn?

SyFy Romance. Excerpt, Matrix Crystal Hunters - Just after a rain:
Walking over, she tried not to smile. He gave her a leg up into the saddle. Sitting on the big animal, she could feel every bruise and muscle strain from the day before.
Maya nodded, biting her lip. “I can feel my butt bones. They’re sore.”
“I can only promise you that it will get better with time.” He rechecked the straps for the stirrups, making sure they were the right length for her and set her feet in them. “All right. You’re all set.” He led Brawley over to the two snags. Untying their leads, he handed them to Maya, who ran the rope around the high saddle horn. “Here you go. Same as yesterday, allow me and Zareth take the lead, then follow us.”
He looked up at her, a slight frown troubling his handsome features. “I never asked, but what does okay mean? You seem to say it all the time.”
She tried to think of an equivalent in his language. “It means the same as all right or yes. Or you can use it to say everything is fine.”
“Oh, I see. Hmm, okay.” He grinned like a little boy.
She laughed. “There, you got it.”
“Okay.” He walked over to Zareth. “You okay, you big, nasty beast?” His mount snapped at him, but Vach jumped out of the way in time. “Guess not.”
He got on his sherakey, kicking him into a canter. When Vach got far enough ahead, Maya leaned forward in the saddle, the leather creaking loudly. Brawley took his cue to start trudging up the path after his master.
The trail seemed to go on forever. Puddles reflected the dark gray sky. The air had a fresh-scrubbed smell, which contrasted with the earthy scent of the damp ground.
Several hours later, Maya checked her watch. Twelve o’clock. Which could mean it was closer to ten, since the Zeeman day had twenty-two hours and her watch used Earth’s twenty-four hour cycle. A hooded Zeeman stood not far off, staring at her. She stared back, wondering if it was a herder. But where was his flock?
Several more Zeeman-shaped figures were standing in a group, not far away, but their cloaks didn’t appear to be being stirred by the fretful wind. Maybe they weren’t Zeemen at all. Statues of some sort?
Later, she spotted one ahead of her, near the road. As she rode closer, she saw that it was a stone pillar of some kind. Zeeman-shaped, but much larger, maybe ten to twelve feet in height. She looked it up and down, trying to find carvings or letterings, but there were none.
She turned over the possibilities in her mind, finally coming to the conclusion that these must be the roots of long dead trees and bushes encased in limestone jackets. A few miles down the road, more of these pillars filled the landscape. The standing stones seemed to be watching her, from out on the flat plane. A shiver went down Maya’s back. Creepy.
Vach waited for her at the next rest stop. His nasty sherakey had been tied up at the far side, with a bush to chew on. Brawley made his way into the clearing, and Vach held his arms up, so he could help Maya dismount. She pulled a leg over the huge saddle horn and slid off into his arms.

Vach caught her, laughing. “Got you.”
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E. Ayers said...

I love the fall colors, the cooler crisp temps of day and the snappy cool at night, but my real love is in the pumpkins and gourds. Most people go all out at Xmas to decorate and I love the fall. I put pumpkins and gourds on mantles and anything that will hold them.

Several years ago I invested in some real, treated, colorful leaves and I tuck those everywhere! And the mums - oh the mums! With their bright colors and that amazing purple that blooms in the fall, which is the perfect contrast to those yellows reds and oranges.

I love all the seasons for their specialness but there's something extra special about fall. I feel sorry for those who live in climates where they never go through these major seasonal changes. And living in a tropical environment sounds delightful and has its special appeal, but I'm certain I'd miss the rotation of the seasons.

So for me mums, roasted chestnuts, pumpkins,freshly picked crispy-sweet apples and all the delicious baked goods are part of the season. So I'm a dyed in the wool Yankee who loves fall.
And for our friends down under... Happy Spring!

Lynda Bailey said...

I was raised in the Midwest and now live in Northern Nevada. I too pine for true fall *colors* but the high, dry desert has it's own beauty year-round that I wouldn't trade for anything.
Autumn also is my fave time of year for all the reasons you listed: homemade soups, chilly but not cold temperatures, breaking out the flannel shirts... ;)
Best of luck with Matrix Crystal Hunters!

Cara Marsi said...

Beautiful pictures, Janice. I'm a summer gal all the way. I do like certain aspects of fall, mainly anything pumpkin. I go nuts on pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin spreads for my toast. As a TV junkie, I love the new fall TV season. Other than that, give me summer and hot weather.

Tina Donahue said...

I'm with you on the heat, Janice. I live in Palm Springs. OMG, it's never going to get cool. Love the photos of fall. :)

Paris said...

I love autumn! The colors, the scent of damp earth and crushed leaves outside, baking apples and cinnamon, inside. Autumn signals a return to simmering pots of soup and stew and slow cooking roasts in the crock pot. I bake like mad as soon as it gets cool enough. I love being able to pull a throw over my legs and cuddle up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate on a cool, rainy fall day. And then there are the pumpkin doughnut holes that I can only find during this season. I could go on but it would all be about food and I'm sure that by now you have a pretty good idea of why I like autumn:)

Sandy said...

Fall is my favorite season, Janice. The thought of hay rides and cooking hot dogs and marshmallows over a bon fire get me ready for Halloween.

Our leaves aren't changing much yet, but will soon, and it'll be beautiful because we had a lot of rain this year.

Melissa Keir said...

The fall season is one I dread, not because it isn't beautiful and filled with wonderful things...but because it means going back to school. I hated when my children went back to school. We'd had a wonderful bonding summer together and then they went back to school and a routine that didn't give us enough time together. Now as a teacher, I don't like having to give up that special time to just relax and enjoy my days.

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi E.,
I love the way you describe fall. I only see that in decorations for Halloween. :)

Hi Lynda, Thank you. :)

Hi Cara,
You sounds like my hubby and daughter. They adore pumpkin flavors.

Hi Tina,
Thank you. I love taking photos and so does my daughter.

Hi Paris,
There is nothing like the slow cooked goodness of fall meals. :)

Hi Sandy,
I think a lot of people love fall too. :) And yum on the fall food.
I wish we had trees that change color. That would be nice.

Hi Melissa,
Oh, I know. I was a homemaker when my daughter was little and I always resented school and the break in our nice routine.


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