Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snow in October, and some other things

Locust trees on Clinton Street

Storm coming! A freeze. Snow in October. Well I hope they are right. I like weather.

Last night the soft duvet was on the bed for the first time since last winter, and the cat deigned to stay on it, making his first buns of the season. Tonight the kitchen smells deliciously of sweet fern syrup on the stove - Comptonia peregrina is not a fern at all, and is actually related to bayberry - both are in the family Myricaceae - but this leaf is far more fragrant: hold it to your nose and the impression is one of very fresh hay. I toasted beautyberries, Callicarpa americana, very jammy when heated, which are now floating in vodka. Dried spiceberries (Lindera benzoin) have been covered in cognac; more sweet fern floats like seaweed in a clear sea of gin (below), and some fresh bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) is thinking about things in a quantity of Stolichnaya. This time I did not include the slim bayberry branches, which were probably responsible for the tannin I did not like in summer's test batch. The juneberries have at last been strained from their calvados, which is now very almondy indeed, after four months. I might make an alcoholic jelly from the liquor-saturated berries; it seems a waste to throw them out.

My walk around the neighbourhood this afternoon revealed autumn in the oaks, in the orange sumacs, the red juneberries and in the bright chill off the chalky, choppy East River. My ears got cold. It felt good to be out and moving. On the Promenade above a gardener was planting some fall anemones.


That would make me very, very happy. 


  1. and me disappointed. Our snow is fine, but the upstate kind put a dent in the rest of my planting. Oh well, the beauty of garlic is the long haul of planting.

    Enjoy the flakes!

  2. It was 14 degrees here last night. Its not right. I want snow too! :)

  3. Hope the snow was a lovely dusting - just enough to be romantic - and not a wet, heavy mess! Am happy to let my more northern sisters have this one. Will be ready for snow in.... oh, February maybe!


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