September at Lightspring Glen



Earth Pilgrim report:

It is more than a considerable blessing to live on these seven acres tucked into the northwest corner of the Catskill Mountains. With a conscious shift of my focus the too-often thunderous cacophony of the news-of-the-world can be muted to a tolerable rumbling. Here this late Summer’s important news is how magnificent the fruit crop is, especially the apples. Four years ago I was impatiently waiting for the bank closing on my new home. When I paid surreptitious visits to walk the land that was not quite-yet mine, I was thrilled to discover three or four venerable apple trees from the farm’s long ago orchard, trees likely over 50 years old. Their branches that year were heavy with delicious apples. Weather vagaries in the intervening years resulted in far fewer and nearly none at all last fall. This year once more they are laden with heirloom apples whose names I’ve pledged to discover. How marvelous to be present to fully enjoy them.

One of the two apple trees just uphill from the barn

And even more wonderful news, the incredible resurgence of the Monarch butterflies making their graceful way South. The alarming decline of their numbers these last few years triggered an outpouring of concern and assorted remedies including simply planting milkweed, their favored plant, anywhere and everywhere. In mid-August when I began to see lone Monarchs fluttering in a field or crossing the yard, I was delighted that at least a few were again making the annual migration. But then I began to see more and more, sometimes several in one day, and heard that other people were seeing them and in numbers too. And all who are paying attention to this near-miracle are thankful and even a little awed. It is heartening to think our human efforts may just have made a difference. Or maybe the Monarchs are somehow giving us a vote of confidence. Which ever it is or neither, seeing these amazing and seemingly fragile-yet-intrepid creatures delights the eye and spirit.

And so it’s here again, September’s annual summons to release summer’s treasures. This week I saw a photo online of someone holding a handful of beautiful autumn leaves with the meme, “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” ::: sigh :::  Wisdom, yes, but so much loveliness to relinquish. A few such lovelinesses for me are my morning Tai Chi routine by the pond; hours of leisurely porch-sitting with the cats, the three of us  musing on the beauties of the day-in-progress (at least I’m musing…not sure if they are but they always look content); tending my small veggie patch and watching its progress (which required extra vigilance this summer from a sneaky kale-loving deer or maybe it was a woodchuck?!). And…BIG sigh…having to put on my shoes more again, surrendering summer’s barefoot bliss. (Some of you are nodding in sympathy to this last, I so know)

Still, this is familiar territory…soon newly-arriving Autumn will begin to beguile me with her irresistible charms. The trees’ glorious green canopy will do its mesmerizing shape-shifting, the splendid treetop-fire igniting across the wooded hills. And soon here at Lightspring Glen it will be the second anniversary of the installation of my solar panels. Their arrival was featured in this post of Notes of an Earth Pilgrim when its location was at BlogSpot. You can link to it here:

So the news from here this September offers its earthy, homespun comfort and hope over and against the larger scene. The apple trees continue in their quiet presence, some fifty seasons of bud to fruit to winter dormancy….to bud again. The Monarchs signal their persistence and steady faith in the mysteries of migration and ongoing life.

Let us take heart….

Autumn Blessings to all from Lightspring Glen and from me, the Resident Earth Pilgrim.

Peach jam made with my granddaughter, Brianna, Bartlett pears, and a few of the wild apples




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