19.10.12

58 October


The myriad wild flowering things have largely left the stage. The stragglers, tossed by the wind and rain, are dancing a madcap last hurrah even as I type. Autumn has come, and Winter isn't far behind her.

I shall pick no more blooms this year - the few that remain will gladden more hearts in situ than in my sitting room - but I shall catch them with my camera if I can!

Today, though, I went in search not of photo opportunities but of ripe sweet chestnuts ... and returned empty handed, they're not quite ready. Along the way I got to thinking about what truly heralds the old year's fast approaching end. First sight of geese on the wing? First chunky yarn on the needles? First frost? First crumpet toasted on the fire? What would you add to the list?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A quick postscript for any potential sweet chestnut foragers.

You can read how to identify a sweet chestnut tree here. The nuts will not be fully ripe until they've fallen. You're looking for the shiny glint of a dark chestnut-brown amidst the green prickliness of the cases. Discard any paler nuts, they won't last. Once home hang the chestnuts in a mesh bag, somewhere cool and dry, just for a day or three. This will give the starches more time to convert to sugars. To roast cut a cross into the skin of each chestnut, place on a baking tray, and pop into a pre-heated oven - 200C/400F/Gas 6 - for 30 minutes or so, until the skins have split and the flesh has softened. Peel to release the inner kernel, and enjoy! Me, I'm too impatient, I always burn my tongue!

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58 comments :

  1. Here, it's when sandals are traded for closed in shoes and socks! People stop jumping in the pool and the frangipanis begin to lose their leaves.
    Honestly, I could leave here all year happily in Spring and Autumn. Summer is a bit much those days!

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  2. Getting out the wool blankets and sleeping with them on top of the duvet. Putting up the curtains in the kitchen to keep out the draughts. And the final straw - turning on the central heating.

    I've done the first, so far, but they are only on top of a summer duvet so maybe that's just half a step. And I hold out as long as possible on the last.

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  3. Pulling out the sweaters and handwarmers (yaaay cozy), and scraping frost from the car windows in the morning (yucky).

    Central heating has been turned on here for weeks now, but this also means baking season is in full swing which is always a good thing! ;D

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  4. ....it's a long time since my last autumn or winter time.....To me is collecting out from the chest all my scarves, berets and gloves!!!!
    happy weekend, xxx Alessandra

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  5. One of the best things to come out of photography is that little things get to be noticed for their glory too.

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  6. For me here it is the opposite of things that means the end of the year. We are coming from winter, not entering into it.
    It always feels like the year will be gone soon when we start turning on the ceiling fans, change the sheets from fleece to cotton & begin thinking of cold watermelon on hot afternoons.
    Enjoy the weekend, xxx

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  7. Blankets on the bed and hot water bottles.

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  8. Closing the windows at night because the air has become too cool. Putting on the first pair of socks since spring. Geese - not so much the sight of them, as the sound of their honking as they foregather on late August and early September evenings to look for a likely pond on which to sleep. And clouds of twittering, migrating birds in the trees for only a day or two as they pass on their way to the warmer south.

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  9. What a sweet little yellow flower you captured! Oncoming winter means I go down to the cellar to bring up my winter duvet and put it on the end of the bed for the first cold night. I always sleep with my window open all year round and adore the fresh air on my face! I also start making thick hot soups and apple compote with cloves and cinnamon and slightly sweetened with Sucanat cane sugar. Each season has its joys... though I do miss my balcony and plants and flowers in the winter.

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  10. That is such a beautiful photograph. I think I might even prefer winter blooms the best, they seem even more precious somehow! For me it's the first time I wear gloves on a dog walk . Been doing that for weeks already!

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  11. My hubby says 'feeding silage'

    It's nice to see the odd bit of colour in the hedges, but more often than not the things that catch my eye which seem to be out of synch, it hasn't been truly cold yet (although it is warmer outside than in our house of recent) the weather has been truly dreadful with plenty of rain and flooded roads...I high tide coupled with strong winds this week have caused the highest waters I've seen with fencing under water and cows taking to higher ground.

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  12. Love that little flower photo. We have our yellow jasmine in flower already here! For me it is wanting soup instead of salad for lunch,putting socks on after bare feet all summer and finding out the woolies and scarves.

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  13. My annual foowear change from Crocs to boots, comfort before glamour at all times.

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  14. The smell of the sugar fabric in Frauenfeld. It's childhood memory. Yesterday we drove by, I smelled it and was young again. :-)
    Furthermore, the vails of fog in the morning, the thousends of starlings in my grapes, leaves on the ground and their sound when I walk through the forest, mushrooms, the calves on the pastures (they were in the mountains through summer til mid/end September)

    We didn't have frost so far.

    Have a lovely weeken. Regula

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  15. Beautiful photo Annie. Fro me the signs are socks, blankets out, misty mornings, watching the geese (Joni has a song where she describes them as in chevron flight- beautiful), Christmas stuff in the shops! I welcome this part of the year because I love to light the wood burner and candles at night - deep joy x

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  16. Drawing the curtains at 4pm! Hot water bottles. Slow cooked stews. The wisteria shedding all its leaves and going back to bare vines. The heating on. Inviting peeps for Christmas lunch and starting to plan the menu. :)

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  17. It's got to be when you move the boiler timer forward a few hours in the evening!

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  18. When the rayburn gets fired up and you are guaranteed a lovely slow cooked meal from its oven ... I love this time of year ... Bee xx

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  19. Being in the other hemisphere, the end of the year is heralded by lengthening days, shorts, tshirts and thongs (flip flops to anyone who isn't Aussie!), hot weather and lazy evenings spent outside (fighting the mosquitos away)...

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  20. My garden is still producing flowers! In fact my cosmos is probably at it's best at the moment with so many more blooms to open. I still have sunflowers, lavender, fuchsia, geraniums and roses!!!
    We have been very lucky with the weather so far this autumn not that we have been devoid of rain but we certainly have had lots of sunshine. I think that's why as a confirmed spring/summer person I have been enjoying this season so much! I keep waiting for the bubble to burst, when it does it will be time to put the Crocs away and get out the boots! ;)
    Vivienne x

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  21. In my part of the southern hemisphere it's re-arranging the furniture on my balcony, to hopefully take advantage of some balmy summer evenings! x

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  22. I love your photographs so much! The swallows gathering to leave.......sadly gone now......

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  23. bringing my 'vacationing' houseplants back indoors, donning my handknit woolies while walking Freddy--collecting dropped acorns and buckeyes and loving every cool crisp moment of it! (reminds me....apple crisp! and all those wonderful "winter-ish smells: cinnamon, apples, pumpkin, bread --for some reason I mostly bake bread in cold weather. hmmm wonder why?)

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  24. This is an easy question! For me it is when I start wearing my hand knit socks again. There is something very cozy and "tucked in for the winter" feeling about wearing wool on my feet. :-)

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  25. Geese flying overhead, conkers, lighting spicy scented candles, roast chestnuts, snuggling under a blankie on the sofa, first signs of frost in the morning. Oh the clocks going back.

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  26. There is a sweet chestnut tree on one of our favourite walks and I've been patiently waiting for when they are ripe. Like yours ours aren't quite ready yet but I hope to go a-gathering during half term week and I'm looking forward to roasting up a batch of them. There is chunky welsh yarn on the needles here and the fire is lit and tomorrow I'm making my first autumn apple cake with bramley apples from our neighbours tree - definitely a sign of autumn here.

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  27. Beautiful image. I always know when I come to visit you that I will be in for a treat. You are a true artist with your camera!

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  28. I have never roasted chestnuts but this post has made me want to try. That photograph of the flower is very beautiful. I like the way there is no green in the shot.

    To your list I would add the smell of chestuts roasting in Leeds city centre. When the chestnut street food vans are there, that is always a sign that winter is approaching and the smell fills the air in the most delicious way. And big, fat, chunky knits - I have ordered size 12 needles especially for super cosy scarf. Joy! xx

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  29. That is so pretty.

    Before the wood burner I would roast mine on the open fire in a pan - not too sure what I'm going to do this year, but the oven does sound good.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend

    Nina

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  30. Hello Annie, many thanks for visiting my blog, not least so that I could find you in return. It's turning the clocks back that does it for me. The days start to feel really short, and winter is not far away.

    Many years ago I was a keen knitter, but so many things have conspired against me since then. I really should take it up again. Especially with all those long evenings ahead.

    Jessica

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  31. Lovely photo! Love roasted chestnuts!
    June

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  32. For me it used to be the sounds of the geese flying home across the Wash, as I sat in my Health Visitors office in the village I worked in. Also that particular whiff in the air...cold/woodsmoke/and something else indefinable. Oh, and a n urge to make hearty soups! Lx

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  33. For me, it's knitting mini blankets to decorate the living room chairs and stools in beautiful natural yarns and making patchwork quilts Annie..both of which I'm doing at the moment...I can't think of anything better at this time of year!
    Happy weekend to you,
    Susan x

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  34. Such a lovely photo of a delicate flower, Annie.

    For me it's falling leaves, morning mist in the valley below the house and tasting my toes on a nice hot-water bottle.:-)

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    Replies
    1. Oops, I meant toasting! It's a VERY long time since I could get any of my toes anywhere near my mouth.:D

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  35. I always love the smell of cooked chesnuts, but have never tried cooking them. The ones I have picked never seem to have much flesh. Autumn for me has to be the sound of geese, a walk in the woods amongst the autumn leaves and lots of pumpkin soup.
    Sarah x

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  36. first crumbles, first pumpkin soups, first mushroom risotto....:-)

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Madelief x

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  37. Fields of orange pumpkins, stacks of multi-hued gourds, indian corn, and dried corn stalks all beckon me to gather provision for the colder months, seeking warmth inside to make more progress on fiber projects as the year ends. xx from Gracie

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  38. Swapping flip flops for old faithful boots, quick showers for long baths, salads for stews and a renewed love affair with my bed!!!

    Heather x

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  39. Going to Hobbycraft today and buying sock wool and chunky wool for a jumper.It was 3 for the price of 2 and I had a 25 per cent off voucher from the Chronicle just for today.Bargain!

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  40. Stunning picture! So natural and sensitive! I`m really sorry for my English, but it was fun :D "steel beautiful"
    What to add to your list...first cranberry and first crispy ice at the morning :o)
    love
    Natasha

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  41. Lovely post.. I am resisting the temptation to bring in the last of anything from the garden.. just yet. Lizzie

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  42. Fingerless mitts! I wore mine yesterday for the first time this year and plan to knit some soon. Sad to hear the chestnuts aren't ready yet .. I want to take the children up into town to savor roasted chestnuts, Victorian style.
    Happy weekend x

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  43. The conkers around here aren't ready yet either, I think they're late this year. I don't often pick flowers from the garden, I much prefer to see them where they bloom.

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  44. I love sweet chestnuts (they are beautiful trees too). Hope they ripen soon for you. My parents have some sweet chestnuts and, very occasionally, they fruit well and ripen but it is really too far north here. Juliex

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  45. I love the imagery your words bring.
    Here of course the old years end is heralded in very different ways. The smell of jasmine in the air is the first sign that Spring has arrived then we watch as the jacarandas bloom. The saying goes that if the jacaranda is in flower it is too late to study (for end of year exams). Asparagus hits the farmer's market for a few short weeks in Oct/Nov. Fighting off the mozzies as I water the veggies in the late afternoon, is a sure sign that Summer is here.

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving such sweet words. Blogtoberfest is difficult some nights but I am enjoying the challenge :)
    xo Jen

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  46. I love roasted chestnuts, really lovely with a tiny little salt something we have not done for a fair while.

    The sure sign that we are aproaching year's end is not always a natures indications but the sure warming sight of my other half rooting out a thick jumper. Unheard of unless we are into winter and its very cold! It must his northern blood.

    P x

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  47. Autumn keeps being an elusive flirt around here--- it was chilly for a few days, but this coming week it will be in the 80 degree temperatures for us here....not really good knitwear weather! Autumn to me means a change in the air.....things seem to darken and intensify in color. I happily get to dig through my chest full of knitted things and put on hats or gloves and favorite sweaters. I also get a strong urge to make sweet things and make soups and stews and sit with something warm in a mug and watch the rain or wind outside. It's such a lovely, fleeting time.

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  48. Conkers and clocks going back, casseroles and chunky bread and the panic of seeing countdowns to Christmas.

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  49. I see fall in the geese overhead and the squirrels digging countless holes in the yard to bury nuts, etc., for the winter.

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  50. In one week, I've gone from open-toed sandals to boots; from t-shirts to knitting my first jumper of the year (and it's for me) - we're lucky that chestnuts are common here and we get to eat lots of them. Like you, I can't wait for a sensible temperature before I get them into my mouth!
    It's a glorious flower you left on the stem.
    Axxx

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  51. We've just wound the clocks forward and the Jasmine is in full bloom (as are the weeds!). Winter is such a distant memory down here now but I LOVE the change of seasons whatever the season. Chestnuts are not big here but I can almost smell them toasting, lucky you. And toasted crumpets on the fire and wild geese sound absolutely heavenly and romantic too.

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  52. Annie, this picture is amazing! I love it!

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  53. Yep! Winter on Friday apparently...just in time for the clocks changing!
    Boo-Hiss! Lovely sweet chestnut tips, I'm off collecting with Mr.Boodle right away,

    Sarah -x-

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  54. I would add "first candlelight supper"
    and "first potato soup"

    The last of our flowers came indoors yesterday- but now we frostbitten roses - my favorites - they last forever as tightly shut buds of russet and copper

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  55. Geese migrating, the angle of the sun, darkening evening, the first fire in the woodstove. Love it all.

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  56. I love this photograph!! And I wanted to say thank you so much for the tips on the painting. It made perfect sense and I can't wait to try tonight at class. It's so daunting to be so new at something and by new I mean "rubbish."

    xoxo
    Selena

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