Early morning chill in the air, white-frosted grass, steamy river, MetroNorth train horns blasting to chase the deer from the warmth of its tracks, all signaled it was time to get out the knitting needles and head north to Rhinebeck for the 35th Annual Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend.
The selection of colorful yarns matched the variety of knitted scarves, hats and shawls adorned by crafters that vied for attention against the riotous blaze of colorful trees on the horizon. Throngs of customers, mostly women, patiently waited for a turn to browse, touch and purchase fiber, fleece, and fuzzy finds at the fair.
Three hours of maneuvering, sampling and occasional purchases later, it was time to head back towards Beacon with a stop at Obercreek Farm, my CSA, to meet Kate, the new manager for the 2016 season, and to pick up my pumpkins.
The highlight of the brief visit to the farm's roadside stand was tasting freshly picked nasturtiums dipped in Obercreek honey, a unique blend of pepper and sweet that won me over instantly.
It left me with just enough time to rendevous at Zora Dora, closing for the season, to stock up on a few pops for my freezer (Grapefruit-Honey-Ginger, Maple-Cranberry-Walnut, and Pumpkin-Chipotle) to provide some dormant treats for an impending Indian Summer's day.
Food for thought: The autumn leaves seem to come more quickly with each passing year, but the spark of autumn never fades. I can still remember the crunch of leaves underfoot as a toddler, an October horseback ride in Prospect Park as a teen, turkey shoots and harvest festivals in the Poconos in young adulthood, and the invigorating renewal that the autumn air provides now in mid-life. It's a season that evokes nostalgia more than melancholy; a season that elicits abundance over scarcity; gathering up instead of letting go; and warmth and generosity instead of feeling left out in the cold.
Fiery burning bush
Reveals its hidden true colors,
As if, for the very first time,