August is a time of quiet in the meadows and forests of New Hampshire, as the plants and animals enjoy the long days of late summer after the busy days of spring and early summer. This afternoon I strolled down from the summit of Lyme Pinnacle, through a mature meadow filled with goldenrod and Queen Anne’s Lace, with the crickets chirping and a light breeze blowing puffy clouds in from Vermont. Very peaceful.
I love strawberries, and I especially love strawberry season. I have long enjoyed the opportunity to visit pick-your-own strawberry fields, fill many quart boxes, and then return home to eat some now, and freeze most for eating later. Indeed, I’ve just about finished my frozen bags of 2021 berries, so I was eager to get out there today before the season ends (likely next week, if not sooner).
Today I picked eight heaping quarts of the ripest, juiciest berries I’ve seen in a long time, at Edgewater Farms in Plainfield NH. The sun was warm, the breeze pleasant, the berries plentiful, and I could hear the buzz of many happy families nearby in the field. I spent about an hour picking, and (back home) another hour washing, sorting, trimming, cutting, and freezing most of them. You caught me red-handed!
After dinner I enjoyed the ultimate treat… vanilla ice cream with strawberries!
The cold and darkness of late autumn has made it increasingly difficult to get out sculling on the river. With the end of Daylight Savings Time in a few days, I will regain the morning daylight but mornings are now too cold to row – my lower limit is 40ºF. Afternoon rowing has been feasible for the past week, but will surely be impossible (with my work schedule) next week. So today I bid farewell to the river, recalling the Great Blue Heron I saw browsing the reeds a few days ago, and the ducks I saw heading south this evening. Even the hunters have shifted inland, with duck season ending and deer season opening in a few days. Now my attention turns to winter – and six months later, back to the river.
Summer is winding down here in New Hampshire, with a spell of beautiful weather and fantastic river conditions. The swimming is better than I can ever remember, and the morning mists make my morning row a luscious and mysterious experience. I haven’t has as much time for hiking this summer as I’d hoped, because we are moving to Switzerland for the coming year. Pam and Andy moved there two weeks ago, and I depart tomorrow! I look forward to blogging about our experiences and travels in that beautiful country.
I’ve posted a small gallery of selected photos from the summer, plus a gallery highlighting the many bald eagles I’ve had the joy to see in the area (one highlight below). And, a gallery of raptors from a brief visit to the nearby Vermont Institute of Natural Science during their “falconry” demonstration.