A Seasonal Love Note

I know our Atlantic Canadian summers are short and I treasure the warmer days while they’re here, but there is something about this season of change I truly love as well.

Late summer and early fall has a uniquely different quality, where on a sunny day the air lends a crisper, more metallic edge to the natural world. (This love affair hinges on one important caveat: that the northeast wind doesn’t blow too much and turn our world chilly and wet for days on end.)

The outlines of clouds against the steel-blue sky look sharper, heralding the approach of what is to come. Most foliage and grasses are still summery green. I relish them all the more, knowing the colours will soon transition into vibrant shades of red and gold before finally fading to the cool grey and white hues of late autumn and winter.

It is a season of harvest and renewal, a time of new beginnings and the dawning of fresh ideas. The kiddies are back in their classes. Though my own school days and child rearing years are well behind me, I still feel that push of motivation into new plans and goals, to make the transition into a stricter work schedule, to get back to writing more in the coming months. November and NaNoWriMo are still a ways off, but I strive to clear up all loose ends in preparation for – dare I say it without jinxing myself – a 50 thousand-word first draft of a brand-spanking new novel.

Then there are the berries. Where would this season be without the berries?

fullsizerender-3fruits of the first trip

fullsizerender-2…and fruits of the second

In two afternoon jaunts, the blueberries are now picked, and it won’t be long before we are in on the barrens again to pick partridgeberries. (In other parts of the world, these lovely bitter, relatives of the cranberry are called lingonberries or cowberries.) I make plenty of the “patchy-berry” jam for my other half since he likes it on his morning toast all year round, not to mention in the occasional pastry tart with a generous dollop of thick cream.

Especially anticipated, besides an excursion on the barrens, is picking the plump, juicy partridgeberries that grow right here on our land. I checked all around the Point last week and it looks like a bumper crop this year, probably a sign of how plentiful their growth is everywhere else. They, along with the blueberries and the cod from the food fishery, will go a long way in keeping our deep freeze full for another winter.

Coinciding with the cool-down in temperature is a return to more bread-baking. There’s nothing like the smell of a fresh batch from the oven to take the chill out of your day.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

What do you like the most about this time of year?
Relief from the heat? A return to a more orderly schedule?
Getting the children out from underfoot and back in school?
Or are you sad because the summer is nearly spent?
Do tell!

This post was inspired by Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Seasonal.

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26 thoughts on “A Seasonal Love Note

  1. I’ve never heard of partridgeberries. We are in NC and have plenty of blueberries, strawberries, mulberries, and blackberries but you’ve taught me something new. Berry season for us in more around June before it gets too sultry hot. We have grapes and fruit in late summer/early fall. The mountains are known for their mountains. Fall for some means driving up to the mountains to look at leaves and pick apples. We live on my husband’s family farm so we are blessed with fabulous fall view in our own yard. Looking across the multicolored leave in October down to our pond, sprinkled with color from leaves floating on top. Relief from heat is such a great feeling. And no I’m not sad that summer is nearly spent. I adore fall.

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  2. Delightful post Jennifer. I’ve never seen nor tasted the lingon berries was that them in the photo or was that the partridgeberries? Here I am trying to stash away Blackberries but there has been such little rain this year. It is the season of the vendange now (raisin – grape harvest) and we shall see how we fared this dry year.
    I love to stash away blackberries to get me through the cold months. I make a version of ‘fruit soup’ not cooked but chopped fresh fruit into a bowl and pour freshly squeezed orange juice over it. A few blackberries from the freezer complete this lovely start to the day. As it cools, I start making soups with whatever looks best at the local markets.

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    1. Good day, Lea, and thanks! Partridgeberries and lingonberries are one and the same, just different names for different countries. They are a hardy little berry full of antioxidants and one year I picked them as late as November. Do you make wine from your grapes or simply harvest them as fruit? 🙂

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      1. Most of the raisins (grapes) here in the south of France go into the bottle. Our wines are amazing! This region grows 2/3 of all the grapes in France now if you consider Bordeaux, Champagne, Medoc… that is a lot of grapes. The rumble of tractors with trailers is going past my house for about an hour now (before 7am) and will continue much of the day. It goes on until all the grapes are harvested. Once they are in the vats, the celebrations begin. I usually go to Carcassonne for the fête de vin there and my friend Yvonne flies over from London for the weekend. There are others all about. 🙂

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  3. Little Leo loves blueberries, just saying, his nanna loves the change in seasons I think I would get tired if the weather was always the same after a few months of cold I like some warmth followed by some heat. I am someone who prefers the warm days not hot not cold days but I am a spring baby.

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