Smell the wood smoke and fallen leaves

Last of autumn leaves?

It’s a quiet Thursday.  The wind whispers through leaves still clinging to branches around our house.  When gusts blow, a blizzard of leaves tumble toward the earth.

I still have a few photos sitting in the queue, patiently awaiting their turn.  These were taken on three autumn strolls between last Sunday and Tuesday. 

Needles of larch

When this blog posts, I will venture outside for the first time today.  The temperature rests at 57 degrees and a cozy fire burns in our wood stove.

Stray leaves, blue sky

It has been a busy few days.  It feels good to relax today.  I stayed in my jammies until late morning, part of the time burrowed beneath a thick blanket, reading.  First, sipped a cup of coffee with Barry before he left for work.  Then enjoyed tea while reading a new Sun magazine.  I discontinued the magazine about three years ago (after reading it for years and years) and decided to renew it last month.

As usual, I forgot that I renewed it and gasped in surprise when it appeared in the mailbox two days ago.  How fun to surprise yourself with a gift!

Our brother, the thistle.

Soaking red beans and preparing to cook rice for tonight’s dinner:  Veggie Burgers.  A staple in our house.  We like to freeze them for those nights when cooking feels impossible. 

Fallen needles, vibrant green puddle

It’s a putzy kind of day of following one moment to the next.  Balance checkbook here, do laundry there, scrub dishes now, check mail soon.

Topsy autumn mushroom

Autumn’s finery disappears so quickly.  The riotous colors have fallen to create orange and red and yellow carpet everywhere.  Leaves crunch underfoot.

Splash of fall colors nestle in evergreens

It’s time to pull the last of the brocoli plants.  Only kale and green onions remain in the garden.  You do know that kale tastes its sweetest after frost?

Yellow autumn stroll through forest path

I wish you could all walk on our forest carpets.  I wish you could all breathe the autumn smells so deeply that you remember this crisp beauty as winter descends upon the land and etches it in simple black and white for six or seven months. 

Breathe deeply, dear reader.  The north wind blows gently even today, reminding us what comes next.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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22 Responses to Smell the wood smoke and fallen leaves

  1. What a wonderful stroll my dear friend….Divine Appointment!

  2. holessence says:

    Kathy – I just returned from lunch with a friend and have slipped back into my jammies. Thursdays are my protected day for writing. We’ve got 7 more degrees on you, so no flames lick softly in our woodburning stove just yet — soon enough.

    “Needles of larch” has captured my heartstrings today, thank you.

  3. P.j. grath says:

    I loved the thistle (such personality!) and the duckweed (so bright!), Kathy. We have lots of kale, too, and when I cooked it up with beet greens it made a rich and delicious pot of dark, healthy greens.

  4. gigi says:

    Trying to eat better. 50 is not the age to learn to have fun cooking. But Fall makes it easier. I’m looking forward to soups and stews.

    Love the thistle and green puddle.

  5. Susan D says:

    Ahhhh, I can smell all the fresh atumn gifts. Love the thistle, spare leaves against blue sky and forest path (can hear the crunch of strolling feet). I didn’t know about the kale tasting sweeter after the first frost. Love kale! It’s feeling winterish today, yes … wonder if we’re in for some more gorgeous sunny days before she arrives …

  6. suzicate says:

    Oh what a lovely crisp stroo through your beautiful Autumn woods…thank you.

  7. elisa says:

    Just being quiet and cozy with you. Sometimes I feel that to do so, is at the expense of being so aware. Just now you reminded me that it is a type of awareness that for me, nourishes and replenishes me. A place where doing daily things is a special gift for me, just like butterflies and warm breezes.

  8. Cindy Lou says:

    What a wondermous quiet day and gentle blog…..the leaves are mostly gone out at camp except for the smaller trees. Got to spend glorious Sunday romping through the crispy leaves out there with Kenzie – what fun! Then on Monday, most of the leaves fell and my walk was melancholy as I did some counting and realized there would be no more leaves for seven and a half months – sighhhhh 😦

    This is one of the hardest times of the changing year for me – just want to curl up and hibernate. Encouraging myself to venture forth anyways and give thanx!

  9. Carol says:

    Leaves are falling here, but there are still a lot on the trees. My maple is just starting to yellow, which probably means the crimson will come while we’re gone, or just won’t come this year. I don’t remember if it’s yellowed first in previous years or not. Your pictures are prompting me to just go wander about our yard and take some macro pictures. And to wonder why I don’t do that more often. Wood smoke? Ahhhhh. We have neighbors who use wood stoves.

  10. My soul has just been with you, walking along your carpetted forest paths, Kathy, crunching through the autumn leaves.

    Now, back to reality and off to work. 🙂

  11. Robin says:

    This is such a lovely post. Beautiful photos, as always, to illustrate your thoughts and words.

    I’ve been taking in the color here, hoping to save some up for those winter months. The forest is carpeted here too, but there are still quite a few leaves on the trees waiting to fall.

    I didn’t know that about kale. Perhaps I ought to wander over to the farm up the road and pick some. They have all sorts of U-pick greens now and kale is one of them. We had our first frost the other night so I guess it should be starting to taste sweet.

  12. Dawn says:

    Love the green puddle pine needle photo. Different yet still fall-ish.

    If I know you you’ll get the same good feeling about the snow when it comes…it’s beautiful too.

  13. Karma says:

    I just don’t want to think about what is on its way, but the very cool nights seem to have arrived.

    I had to laugh for a moment there. I started to read about the soaking beans (missed the “red” part) and mistook your green puddle picture for the beans and wondered what veggie looked so much like pineneedles! 😉

  14. barb says:

    Your fabulous fall colors reminded me to revisit the photos I took around Eagle Harbor last fall – there is something about having all those deciduous forests AND the great lake, too. There is snow now in Breckenridge. It will melt, but fall is over in my mountains. PS I hope you did your Sun Salutations in your PJs…

  15. Colleen says:

    Kathy, along with everyone else, feeling quiet and at peace as I read your lovely words and spend these few moments with you.
    Your cool nights would be welcome here. We are still creeping into the 90’s during the day and the nights are staying warm.

    I had a peek at The Sun and will be going back for a browse. Got caught up in an essay by Patricia someone-or-other about the reality of living with her 62 year old body. She was hiding in the closet and not going to come out until she was at peace with it. It looks like a great magazine 🙂

  16. Dawn says:

    Beautiful last picture of the woods. Thanks for sharing it!

  17. Barbara says:

    I love the last picture, too… Inviting and beckoning us in for a lovely walk. I was walking in the woods yesterday, too. Noticed a lot of mushrooms, too, of all sorts of colors! I love the woodsy smell of my clothes when I return from a walk. And curling up with a good book or magazine under a blanket, too! Living and enjoying our senses is so sweet, isn’t it? Drizzly today so there will soon be a Hungarian stew simmering away in the slow cooker… I’ve seen Sun magazine at the store – I’ll have to pick up a copy -followed the link and it sounds like a good magazine… Enjoy you day!

  18. Gerry says:

    It’s been a fine season so far, and I’m not ready to let it go. For one thing, I still need some repairs to the higgledy-piggledy heating “system.” PJ scared me with her photo of woolly bears with gigantic stripes.

    Your mushroom is alluring. It looks as if it might be delicious. Ah well. I am an old bat, and did not get to be one by eating wild mushrooms I can’t identify. If I ever get a terminal illness I’m going to go sample every wild mushroom I can find. Maybe try skydiving too. You never know.

  19. Kathy says:

    Thank you all for stopping by to share. I really would love to sit down and respond to each of you…but work calls…and I am still in my jammies once again! Wishing you all a beautiful autumn day (or spring day if you’re in the southern hemisphere) with lots of fresh air, beautiful colors and intriguing smells. Say hello to nature wherever you are…she loves our attention!

  20. bearyweather says:

    I am one of the lucky ones … I have walked the forest carpet of leaves and smelled all those autumn smells .. it is wonderful and I can not get enough of it.

  21. Kathy,

    I’ve searched your blogs for contact information and not finding any, I’m resorting to commenting here. I really hope you get this message before taking that blogging break you were talking about.

    My name is Valerie, and I’ve written a memoir and am designing the cover right now. In searching “Smell the Blue Sky” (the title) on Google Images for inspiration, I ran across your picture (“stray leaves, blue sky”) in this post — third photo from the top. I would LOVE to use this photo as my book cover. I would, of course, attribute you as the photographer, and can even include your blog/webpage info in the book (with a link in the digital version.)

    May I?

    Thank you for considering this.


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