Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Autumn in (upstate) New York








A misty morning drive to Bovina for an egg sandwich takes me through this gentle upstate landscape. Rolling hills dotted with farmhouses, barns and the occasional Airstream, milk truck rolling down a country road…My crush on pink peonies and orange roses has given way to a deep love of russet, apple, pumpkin, the smell of woodsmoke, the sound of acorns dropping.


It's becoming an annual ritual for me to post this poem by Rilke. (2013, 2012)
The poem that gave me orchards in space.


                             Autumn

     The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
     as if orchards were dying high in space.
     Each leaf falls as if it were motioning "no".

     And tonight the heavy earth is falling,
     away from all the other stars in the loneliness.

     We're all falling. This hand here is falling.
     And look at the other one ... It's in them all.

     And yet there is Someone, whose hands
     infinitely calm, hold up all this falling.

                               -Rainier Marie Rilke (translated by Robert Bly)



The best thing about blogging is the friends I've made, and I'm not going to call you virtual friends either. I love that New Zealand Amanda's posts about spring coincide with mine about fall, and that when I am shoveling snow she will be sharing her peonies. It truly is a world wide web, both infinitely large and comfortably small.

xo, Jen

44 comments:

  1. The colours this year are absolutely beautiful. I particularly love your second last image.
    Enjoy

    Helenxx

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    1. Helen--what is autumn like in Ireland? (if that's where you are)

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  2. We are fickle aren't we? Now I'm all about bittersweet and dahlias, hot tea and soup.

    But if we didn't change with the seasons where would we be....oh California.

    Your photos are beautiful, I'm feeling it.

    xo J

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    1. California? Yuck (kidding--when I lived there people from back east always said "don't you miss the seasons." Not really…) Wow, that was a lot of complicated and incorrect punctuation. But yeah, I am really loving the changing seasons these days.

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    2. Hey! We have seasons. They are subtle. And sometimes they get a little confused.

      ; )

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    3. I remember. There's the brown and eucalyptus season (summer) and the green and gold season (winter). East Bay.
      SF, verrrrry subtle.

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  3. Beautiful photos. Enjoy it while it lasts. And I don't mean it facetiously.

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    1. I know you don't. Now if only I had your apple and pear trees to plunder.

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  4. Stunning photos! What a wonderful walk through nature!

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  5. So pretty there.

    I love it that Amanda is always in the future. She's having her Sunday morning lie-in while I'm setting centerpieces at Saturday's wedding tables: a nice reminder of what's soon in store for me!!!

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    1. Love that! (She's put Wellington high on my places I want to visit list!)

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  6. Beautiful! Photos, poem, thoughts …..

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  7. Hello Jen, You outdid yourself with these photos. Usually autumn photos are sunny, to emphasize the fall colors, and of course photos like that are happy and spectacular. These pictures featuring rain and fog additionally convey a special beauty and poignancy that is also part of the meaning of this season.
    --Jim

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    1. Thanks so much, Jim. The next day I took sunny photos and didn't like them nearly as much. I love your point about the rain and fog adding poignancy and the meaning of the season.

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  8. "Each leaf falls as if it were
    motioning no"
    Splendid!
    I have often wondered about your source for the poignant phrase
    "Orchards in Space."

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    1. Forgot to sign off, sorry. Everyone's comments here are spot on but I especially like Jim's. And yes indeed, it is truly a "worldwide web," broadening all of our horizons so easily.
      Diane in
      turning-gold daily
      Denver

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    2. Autumn must be beautiful in Denver, Diane!

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  9. Those trees look amazing Jen. The colours are so pretty. I like the way the low clouds cover the valley.

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog too. A big hug to you!

    Madelief x

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    1. Big hug to you, my dear Madelief.

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  10. Beautiful photos - and the mystery of the rain and fog a wonderful Autumn feeling. And love the Rilke. I think my favorite is "Abend" or Evening. My freshman year in college I had a German prof.- the language,not the prof.- who in answer to my fondness for RIlke responded that yes, women tend to like his poetry. Well, yes we do! I was too young and timid to protest all those years ago, but still remember his condescending attitude. Still love Rilke.
    Mary

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    1. Oh, ick. That that brought back memories of a pompous professor who. Rilke is genius, lightning. I adore him.

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    2. Who what? Funny I didn't finish that sentence. He turned me off so much that I dropped out of the master's program I was in. Him and his James Fenimore Cooper…

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  11. Jane mentions California, forget that, I grew up in Miami which has one season---that's it. You have no idea how boring that is, people ask me how can I live here with the Winters, my answer is always "I have four seasons" and the world goes round, constant change. And there's no season like Autumn, the one you've captured is gorgeous!

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    1. I definitely appreciate the seasons now more than I did when I was younger. In northern California we had the rainy season, when everything was green and gold (poppies and mustard flowers) and the dry season, when everything was brown.

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  12. Jen,
    what beautiful photos! Nothing more gorgeous then fall in New England. I really loved my trip up there with my sister in early April, spring hadn't gotten there yet but it was still beautiful.
    Rebecca

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! Spring was so late this year--it must have been a raw landscape you saw, but that is very New England too.

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  13. Jen... The Autumn countryside is so lovely! The (pond?) photo filled with blues, yellows, and greens begs to be interpreted on canvas! Get busy painting, girl! Enjoy your Catskill Autumn. We won't see abundant color down south for a few weeks! Smiles...Susan

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    1. It's a creek, Susan, very shallow now--not much rain and no snowmelt to fill it. Painting that would be quite a challenge--I'm definitely going to give it a try.

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  14. Beautiful pictures! I like the first one; a calm idyllic autumn landscape. Mists or fogs make it poetic and peaceful.

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    1. Thank you, Cosmos. I got lucky with that mist!

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  15. Dear Jen,
    I am catching up on my friends posts.
    I love this post of yours. So serene and comforting.. the beautiful hues of the Autumn leaves on the trees. I think the first photo is worthy of a painting!
    Yes please.. I love egg sandwiches. I made one for myself a few days ago.
    wish you a happy weekend Jen.
    val xxx

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  16. Replies
    1. It is, in a gentle pastoral way. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Thanks for sharing wonderful photos fully expressing the atmosphere of autumn. I can really feel the coldness of the air, the smell of red leaves. I love autumn, too. Your photos and the poem reminded me of a phrse of an ancient Chinese poem. It says that just after the peak of rejoyce we most feel sadness.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. That phrase is perfect.

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  18. ahhh, you're ringing me out with pleasure, lol. amber, russet tones and mist!

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