september’s one of those transitional months. it’s not quite fall by the calendar date but the light has changed, which makes it not feel very much like summer anymore. the once prolific blooms on the annuals have slowed, their deep emerald leaves are fading to yellow green and fraying at the edges. the geraniums are still going strong. i hate to pull them up when they’re still so pretty, but somehow they feel misplaced this time of year. it’s just too early for the chrysanthemums, though the stores are full of them now, they’ll be nowhere to be found when i really need them in november.
we’ve had a number of days previewing fall weather this summer, but the definitive feeling of fall is more about the change in light than the change in temperature.
a funny thing happens this time of year — the summer’s appropriately bright tops and ts suddenly feel garish and out of place. so too with embellished sandals. where the bright sunshine of summer welcomed the strong hues and sun kissed sparkles, the amber light of fall begs for deep, rich jewel tones, muted colors plain leathers. problem is that the more appropriate hues of autumnal clothing are in fabrics much too heavy to wear now. this is another time of year i carry an extra pair of shoes and a light jacket or sweater to work. start the day with a jacket and flats, ditch the jacket and change to sandals in the afternoon.
much as i enjoyed the herbs all summer, it’s now time to abandon the fresh basil plants and turn the leaves into pesto or process them with some oil and freeze them in ice cube trays for use in winter sauces. surprising how much of an addition of this basil will perk up a sauce or soup.
i dried a good deal of my oregano last year, which turned out to be some of the best oregano i’ve ever tasted, but it feels a little too early to pull it up for drying. likewise for my thyme. the sage will be safe and happy until it’s all cut down for the thanksgiving turkeys. my silly tomatoes are still green pellets so i have to decide whether to pick them and wrap them in newspaper and wait for them to ripen, or just enjoy them as fried green tomatoes.
there are still plenty of multi-colored cherry tomatoes in the farmer’s market for confit. i just saw what looked like an amazing recipe for a meatloaf that was roasted surrounded by these little gems. i hope to have time to try that before they’re all gone.
c and i didn’t take a full summer vacation this year but we did get to spend some time on the beach. it’s been years since we hung out on the sand or romped in the ocean waves, maybe because of being overweight and overly self-conscious. it felt so freeing to put on a bathing suit and enjoy the waves, even though i spend a pretty good part of my time getting knocked over.
our back yard is our little oasis that takes us through every single season and we were able to enjoy it quite a bit this summer since the weather was rarely too hot and humid. in fall we’ll enjoy a fire every weekend in our outdoor fireplace and sometimes c even rakes leaves by the light of a coleman lantern. the cacophony of the cicadas and crickets will be replaced by the distant sound of high school band soon, the sound that carries fond memories of our three back in the day.
but for now, while i’m planning for fall, i’m still clinging to the last bit of summer. the light will tell me when it’s time to fully move along.