Sweet lingering

by | Mar 31, 2014 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

 We know that summer is over; yet the days are warm and still, and somehow in this golden glow of autumn a special feeling of gratitude sweeps down like a dove from the skies. I can taste the concentrated sweetness of summer in this papaya which melted in my mouth soon after the photo was taken.

 Yes, we know that these golden days are numbered. As soon as daylight saving ends next weekend, darkness will come rustling around us like a taffeta cloak. And so, it’s time for that annual ritual of wandering into the forest,

 to forage for the winter fires to come. I can feel the change of season beating at my back as I plan this excursion,

 because once the rain comes, this ground and the buried pine cones, will turn soggy.

But for now, it’s beautifully dry. My friend and I fossick with glee, and wander off the paths, always seeking a bigger, better cone.

And then it’s time to clamber up the track, puffing and resting as we go, each with a backpack of cones hanging from our shoulders, and another bag in each hand, feeling that delicious sense of satisfaction. She has a fireplace in her house, and my hoard will go to the bach.
We know the rain, wind and cold is just around the corner. But we are prepared.

And we can savour the last delights of the season, before it drifts away for another year.


  1. Sue Marsh

    Hi Juliet, just a reminder that daylight savings ends this coming Sunday, not in two weeks. Your papaya looks yummy and I love the pinecone gathering. I used to do that every year but sadly no longer have a fireplace to use them in. To me, one of the true signs of autumn is the covering of dry pinecones on the forest floor, and gathering them used to make me think of the small animals (squirrels, chipmunks, etc.) gathering their nuts to last the winter. It always reminds me of the hibernating months to come…

  2. Juliet Batten

    *Sue, you are right. Daylight saving ends sooner than I thought. (I’ll change that in the post) I was thinking of squirrels gathering up their nuts too, even though we don’t have them here. (Memories of Beatrix Potter books no doubt).
    Thank you for visiting. Good to see you.

  3. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet .. I love pawpaw .. and you can mash those seeds to make a peppery mayonnaise! (add the mayo!).

    We’re now into summer time and it’s bliss – light til 7.30pm, but not light til 6.00 am ..

    Squirrels .. the grey ones here are constantly busy (all year) .. and I’m surprised the trees have any leaf – the way the squirrels go darting around eating the buds!

    Cheers Hilary

  4. Penny O'Neill

    I feel as if I am savoring the moments of autumn along with you, Juliet, and basking in the glow. I love autumn and, like you, enjoy its bounty. Everything seems to taste better and look brighter in the fall of the year, doesn’t it?

  5. Juliet Batten

    * Hilary, I never knew you could eat the seeds! You must be so happy to have the increase in light.

    * Penny, you are so right about the brightness of autumn. I’m glad you can enjoy it with me.

    Thank you, Hilary and Penny.

  6. Hotly Spiced

    I know exactly what you mean. I’m dreading the arrival of winter and I know it will come as soon as daylight saving finishes. In the meantime, you’ve collected some beautiful pine cones xx

  7. Juliet Batten

    Charlie, I can feel the cold getting closer; but I do look forward to wood fires with pine cones glowing.
    Thank you.

  8. Nadezda

    Do you pick up the cones for your fireplace, Juliet? I can imagine the smell you have burning them in winter.I think this grape in delicious!

  9. Friko

    Preparing for winter almost seems a pleasure when looked at through your eyes.

    Almost. I want spring and summer first.

  10. Juliet Batten

    Hi Nadezda, yes I have a wood burner at my bach (which is the NZ term for a little cottage) by the sea. They do smell good when burning. Thank you.

  11. Juliet Batten

    Friko, it is a comforting feeling preparing for winter, but I’m sure you want a good spell of warm weather first. Hope it’s coming your way.


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