10.23.2008 | By: Alisa Callos

Tamarack Pines

The Tamarack Pines have burst in to flame this past week. Everywhere I look the forest is bright with their golden beauty. Fall has come in full force here in my little hollow with the pines and birch competing for the brightest colors. Icy crisp mornings turn golden in the afternoon. There are still a few Shaggy Mane mushrooms bold enough to poke their heads above the frosty lawn but the smell of snow is in the air and I think it will not be long before we are again in a winter wonderland.

My harvest is mostly finished. Ruth is bringing apples this weekend, which means that sometime in the coming week or so, I will go to my parent’s house to “do applesauce.” My sister-in-law Mae, who is beginning her own journey into the world of food preservation, will be joining us for the first time this year. Yesterday, despite a wicked head cold, I cleaned out the freezer to make room for a hundred pounds of elk meat coming from the meat processor. This courtesy of Kevin’s hunting partner Craig. While cleaning, I found three lone quarts of raspberries sent to me last year by Aunt Nancy and made them into jam.

The bulbs have been planted, the pots put away and the garden hoses stored. I’ve still a little work to do in the garden, but it feels good to be wrapping up the season as fall temperatures drive us more and more indoors. The forest glen below my house has taken on that special fall smell that so drew me to our property… an odd mixture of Christmas tree, rain, wood smoke and frost. It always makes me think of forests and camping…a smell of my childhood. To be completely honest, I have to admit that because of my cold, I can’t really smell it right now, but the air does feel crisp and cold in my nose. It's the perfect temperature outside, for a warm cup of cocoa.


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