Category Archives: fall

Fall is falling…

Seasons are not so well defined these days, especially in the California mountains. One day it will be in the 80’s and the next day in the 60’s, but the trend is toward cooler, crisp days and almost chilly nights. Snow comes to the Park and the mountains when the rains come to Three Rivers. Already the grasses are coming up green in the foothill meadows. And the buckeye trees are decked with their ivory skinned buckeye balls on silver fingerlings of branches and gray trunks.

The ravens come daily for their bread handouts thrown into the meadow behind my house. They loudly proclaim their entitlement if I am late or miss a day.

I am still content to hang my laundry in the shorter-lived sunshine and I am making art.

This Saturday is the Holiday Bazaar at the Memorial Building just down the road. And there are more events coming up for the holidays. Cort Cottage will be adorned with angels for Christmas and I will be fortunate to have guests who come for a visit to mountain and sky.

Trees who wait…

There is a kind of lull here, some of the trees are dropping leaves, the Chinese pistache trees planted almost 30 years ago.  I’ve just learned that the female trees have red berries that turn blue, and so the tree that was planted by birds or winds or serendipity at the edge of cottage deck is telling me of her nature…

deck pistacheberries







The leaves are almost gone, a short window of autumn…unless you pay attention to buckeye trees, here long before houses and human planted trees near front doors of green metal roofed abodes.  The buckeyes are the trees that are in a hurry to meet each new season, so they can slow way down and wait for the rest of us to catch up with them.

They lose their leaves half way through summer, and many people think they are dead (yes, I know I have written about this before in this 7-year almanac. It’s possible, almost necessary, to fall in love with trees over and over again.)

This place is full of nuance and life, change, mountain, sky, bigness and smallness and tree-friends that teach of letting go and waiting.

buckeyeball buckeyetree


Break open your personal self
to taste the story of the nutmeat soul.

These voices come from that
rattling against the outer shell.

The nut and the oil inside
have voices that can only be heard
with another kind of listening.

If it weren’t for the sweetness of the nut,
the inner talking, who would ever shake a walnut?

We listen to words
so we can silently
reach into the other.

Let the ear and mouth get quiet,
so this taste can come to the lip.

Too long we’ve been saying poetry,
talking discourses, explaining the mystery
outloud.  Let’s try a dumb experiment.

(from The Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne, new expanded edition 2004, originally published in 1995.)

The First Rain…

It’s raining! I know for those folks who live on the East Coast, this is really passe. Every year when the first rain returns after the long, hot, and very dry summer, it’s such a relief.  The earth is soaking it up.  I have hope again that Spring will return once more.  I know it’s Autumn, but rain means green to me, and green means breakthrough from the ground up, and wildflowers are not far behind.

Hello Autumn!!!

The season changes here in just one day.  Monday it’s summer with 100 degrees, the next day it’s 85 degrees, then the next day down to the high 70’s.  It is always such a relief to have the Fall show up.  The weather is so perfect these days.  Please excuse the mundane, trite nature of the posting.  I am just so glad to feel the change in temperature.

The cottage has several weekends open in October… for a reservation.

(photo by Elsah)