September is one of my favorite months. Seasonal changes are everywhere — seen, tasted, smelled, and felt.
As yellow and orange fall flowers come to dominate the Vermont landscapes, these plants release all of the “heat” that they have absorbed throughout the summer months.
In the air we can smell the first whiffs of wood smoke from a stove lit in the early evening to take the chill out of the air. Harvest is in full swing.
One of my special September elements is the apple, it seems to me that fruit production in general is a near miracle. What is remarkable about this is that plants and trees take the warmth and sweetness of the sun and concentrate it in a delicious package. A package that holds precious seeds, stones, and pits safe inside. Somehow these trees know that other species are drawn to intense sweetness. These packages are then taken, eaten, and then the seeds are dropped in a new place to start the cycle over again.
What the tree does not know, however, is that we collect the healthy, ripe fruit and build reserves for the long winter. Many of us dry fruit and then store and cook it later so we can enjoy apples, plums, pears, and other fruits year-round.
Why did John Milton call the apple the forbidden fruit more than 350 years ago? Perhaps the apple got a bad rap because its Latin name malus, except for the pronunciation of the long initial
vowel, means both evil and apple. To me the apple is hardly wicked or forbidden. The apple and other fruit are mother nature’s beauty and bounty.
This coming weekend as you notice the bright blue sky, and the deep yellows and reds
in fields and forests, take a bite of a sweet, crisp, and early Paula Red Apple. Enjoy with me the first sights, smells, and tastes of autumn and embrace the subtle signs of seasonal changes.