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Friday Favorite: The Sun in Winter

January 4th, 2013

Yesterday I was talking with a friend about how much how wonderful the sun is in the middle of winter. When you live in a northern climate, seeing the sun on a short winter day is cause for a small celebration. I’ve noticed here in Maine, seeing the sun on a winter day is more common than in was in NE Ohio. Northern Ohio has the reputation for being very gray in the winter and it truly is. We’ve been enjoying beautiful clear sunny days and LOVING them.
Sun and snow
Sun and snow 2
Sun and snow 1
Sun and snow 3
Sun and snow 4
I think the sun coupled with snow makes for a kind of brightness that you can’t achieve in the summer. There’s just something about the warmness of the sun and the coolness of the snow I find amazing!

What do you notice most during the winter in your area?

Quote of the Day: Autumn

September 30th, 2012

Sometimes we find autumn a melancholy season. What we had eagerly anticipated a mere six months before–the first snowdrops, hosts of daffodils, a garden drenched with the scent of roses, the first fresh peas–has passed so quickly. And what lies ahead are shorter days, cold winds, snow and ice, a world bereft of color.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd (Our Life in Gardens)

I certainly can’t believe it’s late September already. This summer flew by, a whirlwind of packing, remodeling, paperwork, jobs and gardening thrown in during whatever time I could find in between. The reward has arrived, we get to enjoy autumn at our new property in Maine.

Yesterday morning we took a long hike back to the wetlands. It was a misty gray morning, just perfect for viewing fall colors. I always think the colors look so much more saturated and bright when they’re wet.

Often I find myself being sad that the gardening season is over come this time of year, but this year I am not. I’m looking forward to the long restful winter ahead. I look forward to cozying up by the fire with a few of my favorite gardening reads to find inspiration for this new space.

We are thankful that the timing for our move ended up like it did. Moving in autumn at the end of the gardening season was perfect. It’s much easier to close the book on the old when it comes with the natural seasonal cycles. Autumn is a time for slowing down and enjoying the fruits of your labor. We plan to do just that!

Do you find yourself with mixed emotions during the changes of the seasons?

The Right Time of the Night

February 2nd, 2012

Sunsets again become events worth noting, and can be noted, for in February they begin to occur not while we are still absorbed in our daily work, but after, in the peaceful time when dinner is being gotten ready.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

Every now and then, I look out the window, and it’s the right time of the night. Earlier this week, a winter storm rolled through and plastered everything with snow. While I was cooking dinner, the skies cleared and the sunset was perfect.

I enjoy sunset more than sunrise. This is probably the case because I have no windows on the eastern side of our house and cannot see the sun rise. The sun sets on the side of our house with the most windows and I find myself often working in those rooms when it is on it’s way down. As a result, I love the sunset and the golden glow that it provides while I’m cooking in the evenings. Perhaps when I have a house with easterly windows I’ll enjoy the sunrises more than the sunsets, but for now it’s the sunset I love.

Which do you prefer, the sunrise or the sunset?

Here Comes Suzy Snowflake…

December 18th, 2011

“To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake,
it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”


Yesterday about noon the snow started flying here at Chiot’s Run. It happened at the perfect time, as I was working on my Christmas cards. Not too long before the sun went down I grabbed my camera and headed out into the cold to capture the first snowfall of the season!

“The Sweets” aka the feral garage cat, doesn’t come out of the garage much unless she hears or sees us out. She’s really missing having me in the garden a lot during the day. Whenever she hears the door open, she appears in a flash and is rubbing on my legs legs to get some attention, so much for being feral right! Everywhere I went yesterday, there she was, right behind me. As you can see by the second photo, she got some of Miss Mama’s green in her eyes!

Mr Chiots was hunting all day in the neighbor’s woods behind our house and he came home while I was out. I managed to sneak a photo of him all dressed up in his warm woolen layers. He’s off to the family hunting cabin today to meet his cousin, who’ll be deer hunting for the first time – wish them luck!
I’m happy to have it on the ground as long as the cold weather sticks around. Nothing brightens up a dull dreary winter day more than some beautiful white snow. Not to mention, I need to make up for all those white Christmases I missed while growing up in South America!

Do you get snow in your area?

A Friendly Arm in Winter

December 5th, 2011

“The sun lay like a friendly arm across her shoulder.”

~Margorie Kinnan Rawlings in South Moon Under

It’s amazing how a few months can change so many things. This time of year the sun doesn’t reach as high in the sky and thus it bathes the front of our house in a golden glow in the afternoon.

In summer, the hot afternoon sun is shaded out by the porch roof, which we certainly welcome it as it keeps the house much cooler. In winter we appreciate that the sun is lower in the sky and it comes streaming in all afternoon to brighten up the short days.

The rising and falling of the sun in the sky at different angles throughout the year is certainly one of the wonderful things about living in the North. The days are shorter for sure in winter, but the sun is much more welcome than it is during the hot humid days mid-summer. I’m not much of one to spend time in the sun during the heat of the day, I much prefer the morning or late afternoon sun.

Are you a spend time in the hot sun kind of person, or do you prefer it after it’s waning and softer/cooler?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.