Looking back and ahead! Wednesday, 10/19/16

This past weekend (Fri-Mon) was awash with back-to-back rainstorms and here in the foothills our rainfall totaled somewhere around six inches, depending on what site you read.  (I don't have a rain gauge yet.)  Oh, you should see how every plant, every tree, has come alive in this drought-stricken state.  No longer looking forlorn with droopy leaves, they're all lovin' those buckets of water.  Light snow fell at higher elevations, including the passes we traveled on to get to the high country last week. Good timing, you betcha!

While we were at Woodfords on Wednesday, we twice ran into (not literally) a woman walking her dog as we were walking to breakfast. We visited for a bit the second time, as people do.  I mentioned it seemed a shame no one was picking the apples on the trees at Woodfords Station since we saw heaps of them lying on the ground.  Well, she lived next door to the Station!  Have at it, she said.  Pick all you want, plums, too; it was a banner year for fruit.  Music to my ears --I didn't need to be told again!  Lagniappe, doncha know!

They're small, but delicious.  No, not Delicious apples, more like a tasty Macintosh (my favorite), and very little waste.  I peeled and cored 'em all, although I kept some for eating.  Apples signify Autumn to me. The aroma of Apple Betty baking in our kitchen on cool October nights is one of my earliest and fondest childhood fall memories.

And, we netted eleven half pints of applesauce, eight showing, one eaten on the spot, one for the next day, and one shared.  I used honey as the sweetener, with a touch of cinnamon, so the house smelled like Christmas!  The sauce turned out -- um, delicious.  We'll enjoy this windfall all winter long; it's good on oatmeal, too.

This is half what we collected.  Tiny melt-in-your-mouth plums, 

Near Placerville on our way home, we came to Apple Hill, an area well-known for apples and apple goodies,  I was hoping for a warm apple donut, but they didn't have any.  Phooey.  Then, Jimmy piped up and said he'd like an apple pie, the kind already made. OK! When we pulled into the parking lot, we heard a lot of crunching ... walnuts!  Another bonus!  We picked up all the walnuts around our Prius. Jimmy cracked 'em on the workbench, and here's what we reaped.  California living is great! 


Kwan Yin, Goddess of Compassion, who sits honorably on a stump at our back deck, seemed to weather the storms.  She probably enjoyed her "bath" after a particularly dusty summer. 

Autumn adornments on our still-wet driveway. 

Flashy Maple leaves from our dining room window.

Maple trees at Nevada County Fairgrounds look unreal with their
gaudy orange leaves, and horse stalls as a backdrop.

I love this time of year.  Autumn.  I love the gradual metamorphosis from summer's endless long, hot, dry days into autumn's cooler and shorter days, perfect for walking or working in the yard.  The sky looks different, stars in a cloudless night appear brighter, and that crispy air beckons us outdoors.  We can see such a difference every morning at our dining room table -- now the sun's slanting angle grabs our eyes and won't let go.  Soon the Dogwood leaves I admire from that window will be bare; then I'll see colorless, bald branches.  But, that, too, is part of the season -- a time of letting go.  I never tire of autumn's changing moods, especially since clouds and rain have returned.  Autumn doesn't disappoint ... and it's all good.

Next up?  Gearing up for a whopper of an overseas adventure!


  1. Looks like a wonderful, colorful, peaceful respite from summer and "stuff". Beautiful. I love having those little jars of goodies from local trees cheering up the shelves and brightening winter meals. Glad you had good rains and not bad stuff from the storms as well. Oooooo......your upcoming trip should be a wonder!

  2. Oh, you are SUCH a world traveler!

  3. I love autumn, too. I'm looking forward to heading west next year to see some of the color we've been missing here. Used to go to an apple farm in VA to pick our own ... best ever apples are the ones that you pick yourself. Walnuts from the tree are great. Mui's niece has a tree in her backyard and we collected them to our hearts content.

  4. Now I'm hungry! Walnuts and plums would make a great snack.


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