Fall Fixations: I Have a Few

foliage-2Like many of you, I find autumn exhilarating. I look forward to it all year for very particular reasons. I have four main autumn obsessions (well, five, but I’m not going to rhapsodize about college football here):

1)   Foliage—This is the most obvious and probably universally-shared of my obsessions. I’m lucky enough to live in leaf-peepers heaven—in what’s being called the “Adirondack Coast” of upstate New York. With the Adirondack Mountains on one side and the Green Mountains of Vermont on the other, and lovely, lovely Lake Champlain right in the middle, this may be one of the best places in the whole world to be obsessed with fall colors.

We take leaf-peeping seriously at my house. We check the foliage report to plan outings. When we drive around in other seasons, we take note of special vistas, to come back to in the fall. We have our go-to routes that we drive every year. We plan outings on weekdays, so as not to be disturbed by amateurs! And we would never, ever plan a trip away from home at this time of year! Miss foliage season? I don’t think so.

If you stay tuned you’ll be seeing my fall photos!

2)   Apples—My part of paradise is also home to many, many apple orchards so autumn becomes a chance to try new varieties and re-visit old favorites. When you’re surrounded by dozens of unusual apples you’ve never heard of, it’s easy to become a bit of an apple snob—don’t be talking to me about boring old Red Delicious.

Northern Spy, Autumn Crisp, Pristine, Spartan, Winesap—aren’t the names wonderful? And the taste! So far beyond what you’re going to find in the grocery store! One of our favorite orchards keeps an industrial-strength apple quarterer and corer on hand so we can taste any (or all!) of the apples before we buy! And they’ve been known to walk outside and pluck the apples directly off the trees for us so we get them extra fresh. Add to this the fresh-pressed cider, the hard cider, the apple cider donuts, the caramel sauce for dipping apples  . . . yes, I love fall.

If you stay tuned you’ll be hearing about apples!

apples3)   Snow geese—I know nothing about the migratory habits of snow geese except that they love the bay in front of our house. For a month, usually starting in mid-October, gazillions of gaggles of geese gather here and make a mighty sound! They are joined by Canada geese, who are very cool in their own right, but the white mass of the snow geese is particularly showy and astounding. To see a huge gathering of them take off all at once is like watching snow fall up!

The first time I saw them, after we moved here, I was taking a walk and could see a band of white on the far shore of the bay. It was a beautiful late autumn day—I could not figure out why there would be snow on the edge of the lake! I looked harder and listened and it finally dawned on me that those were geese! I ran home, we jumped in the car, and followed the lake shore until we found them.

Now I stalk them. And like any good paparazza, my camera is always clicking.

If you stay tuned you’ll be seeing snow geese in your dreams!snow geese-4

4)   Chocolate—This isn’t, perhaps, the normal person’s autumn obsession (although I know lots of people who would call it a four-season fixation!) But I make and sell chocolate candy. I can’t make it or sell it between May and mid-September because it is impossible to temper real chocolate if the temperature is warm (and never mind the difficulties of shipping it!)

So, for me, fall brings the added excitement of the beginning of candy season! All the high holidays of candy seem to fall between October and May, so those months find me tempering pounds of silky chocolate and stirring pots of burbling caramel. And beyond the making of chocolate, I obsess about new concoctions and combinations, packaging, pricing, photos—all chocolate, all the time. Not a bad way to live, huh?

If you stay tuned you’ll be hearing about chocolate! (I’m truly not trying to sell you anything—it’s just that chocolate is such a huge part of my world, I can’t imagine not writing about it here!)

new dark fleur-1Just writing about these things whips me into a frenzy of anticipation! The early-harvest apples are already available, the chocolate listings on my shop have begun to reappear, the leaves are just beginning to perk up with hits of red and orange, the snow geese will make me wait awhile. But it’s coming, fall is coming, and I can’t wait!

I look forward to sharing these autumn delights with you, as well as other “loving hands” meanderings. Is autumn a special season where you live? What do you like best about it? I hope you’ll be using your blog to tell us all about it, too!

31 thoughts on “Fall Fixations: I Have a Few

  1. I love the clear crisp autumn days and cool nights. There is an apple orchard up the road from me and I visit it several times during the season. Nothing like biting into a juicy crisp freshly picked apple…never mind the aroma of apple pie baking in the oven. And this fall I’m looking forward to purchasing some of your chocolate bark!

  2. Oh, Kelly, kindred spirits! Your trees are all ready more beautiful colored than here in South Ohio but today I saw the first turning of the colors too and had my first hot chocolate of this fall since the temperature finally dropped into the seventies and I ate honey crisp apples earlier in the week. I had many good holidays both at lake Champlain and in the Green Mountains of Vermont! I only once saw the magical snow goose, so yes please: photos!
    And what about pumpkins? I just came home with a basket full…..♥ Johanna

    • Ooops–I didn’t say that that photo was from last year! We’re still a few weeks away from that degree of color and I can’t wait! But, yes, I’ve been drinking hot chocolate and eating apples and loving fall. I need to get some pumpkins–I do love them, too. I love it all! Good to know you’ve been to Lake Chaplain–I think it’s under-appreciated but maybe that’s good . . . not too may people around!

  3. I love that first image of the Adirondack Coast and yes, I would say that Chocolate is my “4 season” obsession – I’ve just been thinking I need to cut back a bit of my chocolate consumption. I’ll definitely be back to hear more about your candy making. Sian 🙂

  4. I share some of your Fall obsessions.
    Our NC mountains are incredible during the Autumn season. I live just a few miles from the Blue Ridge Park way so there is always a drive planned during peak season.
    Apples – oh my – apple butter and applesauce coming soon.
    Chocolate – the doctors have said no more chocolate for me. Why? because it increases tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I am only allowed a very rare small amount and only dark chocolate which I love. One bite is just not enough.

    • I definitely want to see fall on the Blue Ridge someday–when does it normally hit peak color? I’m SO sorry about you having to give up chocolate! I’d never heard about the tinnitus connection before!

      • Peak season varies but usually around the second week of Oct is the best. Highest elevations first. I don’t know what it will be this year because of all the rain but I love it any way.

  5. Autumn is my favorite season and your photograph of the autumn foliage reflected on the water captured it beautifully! I’d love to visit your neck of the woods – it looks stunning! Northern Michigan (my home state) also has beautiful foliage, as well as apple orchards and cider mills. Every autumn, we’d go to the cider mill for fresh cider and homemade donuts – served warm with cinnamon sugar. YUM! The mills are only open during apple season (Sept – Nov), so it truly is a seasonal delight. We’d also go apple picking every chance we could get to make pies and apple sauce. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate too, but for me, it simply isn’t autumn without apples, apple pie, apple cider and warm cinnamon sugar donuts. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for sharing such beautiful images!

    • Thanks for your nice comment! I think we are kindred spirits where fall is concerned! Those warm donuts with cinnamon sugar may be one of the most perfect taste sensations in the universe!

    • Oh, there’s so much you don’t know about me! 😉 Thanks for looking at the shop. I did make the candies I have pictures of–my bestsellers, the chocolate-covered caramels, with fleur de sel.

  6. Pumpkin has been our obsession this week. We had pumpkin muffins and cupcakes, and I bought two pumpkins for our hearth. I want to pick apples soon!

    • I like the idea of pumpkin more than the reality (awful to say!) I did buy a huge one for outside and may try to dry the seeds for a chocolate bark I make. Have you ever dried the seeds?

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