Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcoming Fall

Despite my reservations about the changing seasons, we said goodbye to summer and hello to fall this week/weekend. First, on Sunday, we had a little end-of-summer celebration. Three-fifths of us visited friends on the coast (C was working and M playing soccer), and went out for a blustery boat ride (no photos--dead battery). Later at home, we had root beer floats after dinner and lit some of the sparklers that people do insist on continuing to give to my children. C also set off a few of the bottle rockets that his brother brought home from a trip down south. Fortunately no forest fires, sever burns or loss of limbs ensued.

As part of my Solar Home Tour cleaning and re-organizing, I cleared away the dusty remnants of our summer nature table (I have no idea what became of that snake skin...I'll probably find it in the couch cushions 10 years from now!) and we refreshed it with this little own and squirrel I felted over the weekend (the owl was done some time ago, but I needed to add talons--one of my major pet peeves with children's literature/art, along with tigers and zebras appearing in the same image, is owls with three toes forward and one back; owls--and woodpeckers--actually have two talons pointing forward, two back. Make note of it). There is something slightly off in their proportions, but they work. I am totally loving needle felting.

Acorns--wood, felt and real, rocks, and fall pictures round out the display.

Last night, the actual first day of fall, I made the German apple cake from Rustic Fruit Desserts--very simple and satisfying, but doesn't use up enough apples (the boys all went apple picking with their grandfather on Saturday...we have a ton of them!).
We also got out the fall books and put away the summer books. A couple of years ago, after realizing we hardly read any of our huge collection of books, I sorted out many of them based on the seasons, to ensure that those, at least, get read once a year. We have a whole bunch of character-based Halloween books (Corduroy, Berenstain Bears, Arthur, Franklin, etc.), but not a lot of fall-ish books with really good stories with beautiful pictures. Here are the few I like a lot:

Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall; Hist Whist by E.E. Cummings illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray (this has amazingly cool/spooky illustrations that I love!) ; Flower Fairies of the Autumn by Cicely Mary Barker; Child of Faerie, Child of Earth by Jane Yolen. I'm sure my children have different preferences (I refused to read the Halloween books last night--too soon!)
Yesterday on our hike the boys filled their pockets (and mine) with acorns and collected a few already-changed leaves. Yes, it is definitely fall!
P.S. New post up today at Capital Walks!


  1. love these kinds of traditions...this weekend we did our Rosh Hashanah walk to the river and ate our apples dipped in honey and round challah (which i vow to make from scratch next year!)...but i would love to incorporate some "turn of the season" activities into the new year celebrations as well...for some reason summer to fall feels wistful rather than celebratory to me this year...

  2. Your owl is incredible & I will make note of the talon count. I know a few boys who will be much interested in that fact.

    Meanwhile, it would so never occur to me to do such 'end of season' rituals but I think yours sounded amazing. I think I have a hard enough time just keeping up with the day-to-day activities that I can't even begin to imagine 'special ones' outside of traditional, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc ones....

    Your table really rocks.

  3. Lovely! Our first cool snap blew in overnight and I suppose I need to get autumny.


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