“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise
and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each
vagabond by name.”
On could have been the worst idea ever, we set out last weekend on our 2nd annual pilgrimage to Honey Pot Hill, in Stow, Ma to go apple picking. I have had pneumonia for 2 weeks and Rowan can barely walk but off we went because it was our last chance to do so.
One quick trip back home after getting gas and coffee for forgotten meds and we were on the road. Laughter and music and games all the way up, for that alone, it would have been worth it.
It was a rare October day filled with warmth and sunshine, especially welcome after a 4 day N'oreaster. It wasn't crowded so they let us bring our beach buggy, normally not allowed, onto the hayride, up the hill, to the current apple du jour for picking. We then discovered the apple perfection that is a Mutsu. Crisp, juicy, sweet with a hint of tartness, we filled three 20lb bags.
We spent some time on the little bridge overlooking the pond watching turtles, tadpoles and frogs. It is a strangely hypnotic place, quiet and still, with something new to discover the longer you watch.
We had been looking forward to the hedge maze, touted as the biggest one in North America, but knew we might not be physically able to pick apples if we did that first. And we never did get to it, but that just leaves something new for next year. We were all exhausted by the time we got home, but happy with our apple bounty and a few bags of cider donuts as well.
“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth...The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her...In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.”
― Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond
And anything was possible.
Jenny made an apple pie for some friends when we got home and another the next day for us. Mutsu apples are great for baking, they were crisp/tender, not mushy, and not too sweet all cooked up.
“Anne reveled in the world of color about her.
"Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills?”
~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables