Little Round Planet …

Little round planet
In a big universe
Sometimes it looks blessed
Sometimes it looks cursed
Depends on what you look at obviously
But even more it depends on the way that you see

—Bruce Cockburn, from his song “Child of the Wind” (1991)

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Wanderlust I Can Sate

An author friend of mine has a wonderful blog she calls Appalachian Blessings. Born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia, Sarah lives in North Carolina now, with her husband.

We will be seeing them soon, because a few months ago—when we were recovered from all the party excitement but not yet ready to plan a major excursion—we decided we’d take a little getaway to Asheville, North Carolina.

I’d been there four years ago with my son, to attend the wedding of his best friend. We loved it—and I’ve wanted ever since to take Gerry. When we decided on the place, I got in touch with Sarah for some suggestions, and we started making plans. Dinner plans.

Then she ran this blog post—“Signs of Autumn”—and got me all excited. Yes, we’ll be there right in the middle of October, and, yes, I love autumn too. So watch this space. Soon I’ll have a new trip to tell you about. 🙂

Here, the backyard dogwood tree has just begun to turn.

Here, the backyard dogwood tree has just begun to turn.

Pumpkin Harvest

Last week I met “in the middle” with a client, which meant I found myself in tiny Nolensville, Tennessee. This one was made easier because sometime in the last year or so Veterans Parkway was completed, which means if I’m headed west, I can get to the interstate (I-840, which will cross I-65 and eventually hit I-40) without ever going into town.

I always enjoy a new drive, and this one, in particular, had some items of interest that caught my eye. So I took Gerry back a few days later.

We bought a pair of Amish-made Adirondack chairs at Smucker Farms (delivered later). They’re made out of “poly”—recycled material (including some wood) that will last for decades, we’re told.

And then we stopped at Fast’s Nursery in Arrington because I couldn’t resist the vast array of pumpkins.

Fast's farm shop in Arrington, TN.

Fast’s farm shop in Arrington, TN.

Just look at these things! A vast array indeed!

The names are fantastic: Porcelain Doll, Giant Cinderella …

The names are fantastic: Porcelain Doll, Giant Cinderella …

The colors are beautiful on these Porcelain Dolls …

The colors are beautiful on these Porcelain Dolls …

Even this classicly shaped pumpkin—a Giant Cinderella—has a hint of pink in it.

Even this classicly shaped pumpkin—a Giant Cinderella—has a hint of pink in it.

I nearly swooned over these: Warty Goblins! Blue Dolls!

I nearly swooned over these: Warty Goblins! Blue Dolls!

The sun was very bright.

The sun was very bright.

Ghostly Blue Dolls …

Ghostly Blue Dolls …

I have no idea what these are called, but as far as I’m concerned, they embody the spirit of Halloween.

I have no idea what these are called, but as far as I’m concerned, they embody the spirit of Halloween.

But wait! There’s more!

But wait! There’s more!

Yes, I bought a couple pumpkins. Who could resist?

’Tis the season!

’Tis the season!

The days are cooler, and the nights are definitely cooler. We’re heading into autumn, y’all.

 

Fall Foliage Is Here … Or Almost Here

A friend of mine brought this piece to my attention, and since I get excited about the color change in my own front yard, I thought I’d pass it along.

The front yard, Tennessee, October 2014.

The front yard, midmorning, Tennessee, October 2014.

Fifty small (American) towns with beautiful fall foliage, it says. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys a Sunday drive—and I am—you’ll enjoy scrolling through this list. Around here (Middle Tennessee), folks often go to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge (both on the list) in East Tennessee. And hey, if you’re that far east, drive on into Cherokee, North Carolina (on the list too). I’m a fan of Asheville, North Carolina, myself—and this list mentions Weaverville, “just minutes” away.

My friend—we grew up together in California—was pleased to see Mount Shasta on the list, but noted two other California sites for enjoying fall foliage: the Sonora Pass (the second highest highway pass in the Sierra Nevada) and Hope Valley (located on the south side of Highway 88 not far from Lake Tahoe). I don’t know, however, what the wildfires may have done to these locations this year.

They’re talking about an early winter here, so don’t waste any time once the leaves begin to turn. Get out from behind the computer, drive slow and safe, and report back. I’m hoping to see some nice fall colors when I’m in Ireland next month. And I’ll take photos!

Same tree, different angle, October 2013.

Same tree, different angle, late afternoon, October 2013.