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End of Summer 2016

Many of us are looking forward to the end of the season.  This is the time of year when kids are back from summer camp, the school year is about to begin for many, and when us bakers begin planning for the fall and winter baking seasons. I'm already anticipating making cakes, breads and cookies spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove, because I know that my house is going to have that wonderful medley of scents.

However, it is still summertime and we should take advantage of the long days, the warm sunshine and the fleeting beauty of what mother nature has to offer.  

Walking around the patio of the barn the other day, I was so happy to see the flowering joe pye weed buzzing with activity.  Such healthy, busy bees were jumping from flower to flower gathering as much pollen as possible to take back to their hives.

These tight clusters of flowers seem so delicate and dainty, but rest assured, they can handle bees, butterflies and other insects crawling all over them. Really and truly, I could have stayed in this area for hours just watching the industrious bees working away.  

Note:  you may want to lower the volume on your device because the combination of crickets and cicadas in the background is rather loud.

The short video (above) shows you exactly what I'm talking about.  Don't worry, I didn't disturb the little wonders of nature.  

Besides, I think they were much too busy to care that I was even near them.

As I made my way up the hill toward the meadow, I began to reflect on how much things have changed for me this year.  Yes, I've become busier at work, which unfortunately takes me away from the blog more often than not, however, I am much happier than ever, because I feel as if there is more harmony in my home and in my life.  

On a side note, did you ever have graham cracker sandwiches at home when you were a kid?  I remember going to grandma's house on weekends for visits with my older brother and my parents, and grandma giving us kids a small plate of jelly-filled graham crackers as a snack.  It's funny that something so simple and so humble was elevated to something very special because it was served to us by grandma.  Don't tell anyone, but lately I've been having these with my tea in the afternoons after I come back from my walks!  They are just as tasty today as they were when I was a kid sitting in grandma's kitchen enjoying some of these.    

Henrietta, our resident groundhog, is eating like there is no tomorrow.  It's around this time that these creatures become quite voracious in their consumption of greens, because hibernation is right around the corner. Groundhogs must pack on the pounds in order to sustain them through the months underground.  It's OK though, there is no shortage of greens for her to eat around our home.  In the coming weeks we expect to see her gathering large clusters of leaves to take down into her den.  I'm not sure what they do with such copious amounts of leaves, but we like to think that they're making their beds comfortable for their long slumber.

Yes, summer is coming to a close.  Pretty soon, this wooden swing hanging from the giant chestnut tree won't be so comfortable to use here on the meadow because the days will be quite nippy.  

One thing is for sure though.  As soon as mid August rolls around, I begin to feel the need to see the change of summer to fall.  That's one of the nice things about living in an area of the country where you get to experience all four seasons.  The transition of summer into fall is the most spectacular time of year for me, because I am fortunate to observe such magnificent colors and textures in the landscape, which in turn, makes me want to use those same seasonal shades throughout my home.  The yellowware gets used more often in the kitchen, the warm, yellow-hued bakelite flatware with hints of butterscotch is taken out of the silverware drawers on a weekly basis, and certain cookie cutters are placed near the dough counter so that I have them at the ready.

I'm ready for the seasons ahead.  I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get in the kitchen to cook and bake with great seasonal fruits and vegetables.  I'm absolutely certain that I will reach for one of those antique rolling pins I recently purchased out in California, and measure ingredients into one of my great, big mixing bowls that I love having near me in the kitchen.     

Are you ready for the end of summer?


  1. I'm ready too, what a delightful post!

  2. Beautiful photos as always. Here's to a new season! I'm ready for at least a little bit of a cool down!

  3. Thanks Kenn, and yes, here's to the new season!


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