Sunday, October 25, 2015

Freezing Thyme....

Which is sort of a play on words. Obvious, yes - but who wouldn't want to freeze time every now and then? That's why many of us take photos: to capture a moment, a thought, a sight, before relentless time whisks it away forever.

I wish I could freeze time in another way right now. I've been crocheting my wrists off to meet a November deadline and I could sorely use some extra commitment-free days. Anybody know how to temporarily stop the clock?


I have been freezing actual thyme - also parsley, basil, and chives - because October is Freezing Time in Wisconsin.

The first hard frost has finally come, killing off any lingering garden hopes. Though it happens every year, it's always a sad event. You walk outside one morning and find blackened, shrivelled leaves and flowers where all before was colour and life. But the loss is easier to bear when you've stored away bags of herbs in the freezer - sprinkles of Summer for a winter's worth of eggs and potatoes, pizza and soup.


Today I went for a bike ride - the first in two weeks. A frantic work schedule combined with less-than-perfect weather, plus a sore shoulder, have been keeping me indoors, but the day was too beautiful to waste.

It's been a spotty Autumn so far. The trees have been changing reluctantly and out of order, with oaks turning red and russet while maples are still half green, and many of the the walnut trees losing their leaves before others have even begun to change. Some of the birch and aspen have refused to turn anything but brown before dropping sullen leaves to the ground. (Perhaps they're still feeling the effects of the 2012 drought?)

But the frost which killed the garden has finally kicked the fall colour into high gear. Even a spotty Autumn has its beauties.


It's a scarlet-and-blue-and-gold day, an October-poster day of sunny skies and cool breezes. Autumn winds have already stripped the leaves from many trees, opening glimpses into further layers of colour beyond:

Now that frost has ended the 2015 Wildflower Count, my eyes are free to look up rather than down. Here's the upward view: oak trees glowing russet and red and bronze against an impossibly blue sky:

And the sideways view:

A faint haze in the air renders this pine forest a place of mystery and soft enchantment:

Sandhill cranes have been gathering for weeks to discuss their winter travel plans; I pass at least a hundred of them, scattered in dozens over this and neighbouring fields:

An oaky avenue of colour:

A small tree with rosy leaves leans affectionately against its much taller neighbour:

I don't know what type of tree it is, but the leaves are beautiful:

Red oak under a stunning October sky, all gloriously reflected in the silvery marsh beneath:

One more red oak photo, this time from below, with the sun shining through the leaves:

What colour would you call them? Scarlet? Crimson? Vermilion? Breathtaking?

This is the beauty that reconciles us to the year's dying; these are the images we store up in our minds to carry us through the long white months ahead.

A good ride on a colour-filled day.


P.S. Almost forgot the thyme! :)

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  1. Autumn seems pretty advanced where you are,. Nature is winding down and we are adapting to the change in seasons. Lovely oak leaves in such a vibrant orange!

  2. Wow, you got some great images on this ride. Amazing that big group of cranes.. we have Great Blue Herons here but they're rather a solitary bird.. usually only seen alone. LOVE the one of the trees reflected in the big pond.. beeYOOteeful. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Thank you for some wonderful wildflower photos; I'm really looking forward to seeing autumn and winter through your eyes. :-)

    ps did the small mystery tree have square stems? it may be a spindle tree (Euonymus europeaus).

  4. What beautiful rides you take, so much better than a city view. I'm looking forward to leaves changing color here someday.

  5. Your photos are so beautiful. I'm glad you've been able to get back out there riding again. I love seeing large groups of birds together. We often watch flocks of crows in our trees. They're so noisy but I enjoy the way they interact with each other. I love to watch flocks of starlings too. You're going to really enjoy those herbs this winter, on all different foods. I like they way you worded that...sprinkles of summer for a winter's worth of foods....

    1. I love freezing herbs .I too wish I could freeze time. I am ever so busy and I am constantly trying to catch up with everything and failing miserably. Love your photos. I have visited your blog so many times and I have never left a comment until today .I never seem to have the time ,today I decided to find the time .

    2. Such beautiful pictures of autumn in your part of the country. Ours is winding down, most trees have lost the majority of their leaves. Our trip through the mountains this weekend was breathtaking though. I have never frozen herbs but it sounds like a lovely way to remember the season past and give hope for next year.

  6. Beautiful pictures such lovely colours, I like to freeze herbs when I can too I fact I freeze all sorts of things from the garden what would we do without our freezers I wonder. :) xx

  7. Freezing thyme is a very good idea and I wish too that I could freeze time occasionally as well! I don't have any thyme frozen, but I have frozen basil for winter treats and I have a plant still going on the kitchen windowsill. Glad you got out to enjoy the beautiful colour in the leaves because it was lovely to see your photos! xx

  8. Crimson has been on my mind all week looking at our leaves. I agree they seem to be out of order.
    Feel better fast my friend!

  9. Do take care of those poor wrists! Alternating running them under hot and cold water can help.

  10. What a lovely new banner!!! Good that you were able to gather some spices before they froze. I wake every morning knowing it could be the last for my flowers. I'm thankful for every extra day I get!

    Good luck with your deadlines. Take care of the sore parts. You'll need them. Ext year for BikeMS! (We made our (cancellable) hotel reservations!!!)

  11. We haven't had any frost ... "Your" trees are still beautiful. And no, unfortunately no, I do not know how to stop the clock. Just breath regularly! :-) Regula

  12. I don't have a freezer, so I can't freeze anything.

    Your images are beautiful, even better when enlarged in a new tab. x

  13. Nice photo set. Glad you got on the bike.

    Last stand orange, I think that's a color. They're spectacular none the less!

    In the enchanted pine forest, is that an enchanted trail begging to be explored? I like the cranes too. I can see and hear them dancing about.

  14. Glorious!!! Your posts focusing on the wonders of nature around you wonderfully freeze time so that we can savor it now and enjoy revisiting it later :) I have thyme to freeze or dry, too...maybe a little of both! xx

  15. Sue, your photos show Mother Nature at her loveliest. I could gaze at these all day.
    Good for you for freezing summer's bounty.
    I do hope your shoulder is much better and that your crochet projects turn out just as you would wish.
    It is always lovely to visit here.

  16. Wonderful set of photos and great thoughts. Greetings!

  17. Beautiful fall colors! I love the cranes especially too. We don't have them here, just crowds of Canada geese. Hope you are doing well.

  18. Autumn is always so beautiful to me. It's that last burst of glory before the harsh colds of winter. Your lovely pictures capture it perfectly. :)

  19. I really enjoyed your photos here. There is much more red in your US autumn than we see here in the UK. Our autumns are filled with yellow, orange and brown but you have so many shades of red and it's quite breathtaking. I see what people mean by "fall colours". We haven't had a frost yet, it's been so mild and wet, but I love your idea of freezing chopped herbs to use throughout winter.


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