Thursday, November 5, 2009

Visions of Autumn

I love this time of year! Actually this warm weather gal loves all the weather from mid-April to mid-October, although here in the San Joaquin Valley of California the summers are quite harsh. I do not mind the extreme heat, but it is all the more reason to relish the springs and falls. This year we are being blessed with an unusually mild autumn. Right now, on November 3 as I am typing this, the thermometer is reading 78 degrees! I have the windows open and am sitting here in shorts. Very weird. But I am happier than a pig in slop! Winter is SO not my favorite time of year despite my love of Christmas, thus this bizarre daytime warmth is fantastic.

If I was forced at gunpoint to pick an all time favorite season I suppose I would say spring. I love feeling the heating sun after the cold of winter and watching the flowers bloom. It is all about the temperate clime, the blaze of colors, and the pleasure of getting outside and working in my garden. Therefore, autumn comes in as a close second. The brilliant colors of autumn have no equal, the air is fresh and crisp, and the gradual cooling in the evenings is blissful.

My third book, The Darcys at Year’s End, covers the months of late summer and autumn, ending on the cusp of winter. As always I confiscated and stared at photographs of England as I wrote, aiding me in visualizing a place I have never been. Here are a few of my favorite pictures followed by a short snippet from the book.


With the family thus settled, the last weeks of September glided by with happy serenity felt all around. The weather held clement and sunlit during the day with a slight chilling come sundown. The gradual metamorphosis about the extensive grounds began as autumn colors invaded, leaves burnished with golds and reds. The emergence of the multihued dahlia, purple toad lily, marguerite daisy, calendula, nasturtium, rosemary, and salvias provided a fresh plethora of vibrant color and fragrance to the summer-fading blooms. The numerous bushes with variegated foliage accented the already dazzling displays. The gardeners were especially busy preparing the vast gardens for the winter freeze and spring flowering, bulbs arriving by the wagon loads.

Lizzy watched the digging for several days before gathering the nerve to ask Mr. Clark if she could assist with the care of the private garden to the east of the manor. If he was shocked or dismayed in any way by her request, it did not show. Thus it was that Lizzy could be found most days on her knees in the soft turf with two gardeners named Robert and Harry aiding nearby. Naturally the modest garden was already faultless, and Lizzy had no desire to radically transform anything. She merely wished to plant a few of her favorite plants and to fulfill a long-standing pleasure to work with soil and flora, gardening having always been a pastime she enjoyed.

Now it is your turn to share your favorite season with us.

6 comments:

  1. I'm the winter-lover. It's one of the reasons I chose Penn State over Georgetown - it was snowing on April 29 in Happy Valley. Love Love Love winter! Nothing better than to be all bundled up with a cup of hot chocolate (with a candy cane stirrer, of course!), having the snow falling across a blankt of white and writing in front of my big windows.

    Love winter!!!

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  2. Lovely photos, Sharon! Really beautiful. Here in hot, hot Texas, we all look forward to the heat subsiding. Unfortunately we don't get much in the line of fall colors. I think if we did, I'd feel it was really spectacular like I did when I lived in NJ, Maryland, or even Oklahoma. But the change in temperature is really nice. I'm really a spring lover at heart though--I love the new spring growth on trees, the awakening, the flowers erupting in chaotic color and fragrances filling the air. It's the time that animals have their babies...including wolves... Knew I'd have to say something about wolves, didn't you??? LOL So my last adventure, Seduced by the Wolf, is set in spring...and wolf pups are included. :) Great post, Sharon!

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  3. I love planting and growing things, so spring and summer are probably the best, but fall is great. The weather is nice and the only insects that bother you are the ladybugs.
    I'm not sure I'd like living in a place where the seasons don't change very noticeably, whereas here in Indiana, sometimes the seasons change overnight!
    Great post, Sharon, and lovely pictures!

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  4. Hi all!

    Judi, God bless you for loving winter. Frankly I can't fathom folks loving the snow day in and day out, but obviously a whole bunch of people do! LOL! I will admit that the hot cocoa with a candy cane does sound yummy.

    Yes Terry, I knew you would get your wolves in there somewhere! Bravo! I lived in New Mexico for a while, so I know what Texas is like. Hot and flat. Similar to where I live in some respects, but we do have more hills, mountains, and big trees.

    Cheryl, Spring is the only time when I feel that urge to dig in the dirt. I'm not a huge fan of gardening, more due to the bugs that go along with it than the work itself. But when that spring warmth hits my finger's itch to get outside and trim and plant.

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  5. It's a tie between Spring and Fall--I hate being too hot or too cold, so those transition seasons usually fit my bill!

    Great post!

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  6. Lovely pictures. I like summer best, and better still in those places where summer weather is reliable. I imagine it's going to last forever and refuse to think about rain and cold coming back.

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