Tuesday, November 22, 2011


As the cold melancholic rains strip the color from the trees, flinging the golden leaves of the cotton woods into the gutter, the flaming reds of maples across the lawn, I wonder how I will sustain this post series until December 21 when fall ends. I could go on about green for the next month. But I’ll save that for later. What I see now is white, ominous white. Will snow come, or nor? Snow berries ( Symphorocarpos albus) are certainly already here, ghostly, inedible and totally beautiful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


If you’re prone to metallic hyperbole you’d probably call the color of these fallen cherry leaves bronze. If you’re like Crayola you’d probably call it burnt sienna. If Caran d’ache is more your style you’d most likely call it cinnamon. If masculine Sherman-Williams supplies your color vocabulary you might call it tobacco, But if you’re slike me you probably prefer brown. Not that I don’t see the complexity and richness of color here, not that I don’t appreciate a lovely associative word. But because I love the roundness of the word brown. Because to me the color brown is round, not just for the sake of rhyme. It is a color swollen with implications.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This lovely lavender dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis) has been blooming since April. In July as it began to lay down slowly on the surrounding perennials I thought I should cut it back, but then forgot. By August I was wondering, “How long will this damn dame keep blooming.” The flower spikes were stretching nearly 8 feet by then. We’ve finally had a killing frost, 22ยบ. Much was blackened and flattened over night. All the leaves of the empress trees dropped green. There was ice in the watering can. But the little, well not so little , dame’s rocket just keeps on blooming

Sunday, November 6, 2011


A few night s ago I had dinner at a Japanese restaurant that I hadn’t dined at in years. It actually had changed hands and names several times since I was last there back in the early 90s. It’s in an odd little corner of Seattle and a basement at that. But when you enter this finely laid out and decorated subterranean restaurant, you feel like you’re in Japan. Well, I feel like I’m in Japan, though I’ve never been to Japan and don’t really know what being in Japan feels like. But the atmosphere of this restaurant, which has gone through some changes since I was there last, still has a quintessentially Japanese feel. At the end of the small front dining room, which used to be the bar twenty, thirty years ago, is the beautiful autumnal mural. Japanese maples in reds, oranges and yellows seem unusual, most Japanese restaurants focus on bamboo or spring and cherry blossoms for their decor. These maples frame a plunging narrow water fall now covered by Samsung large screen T.V. The waitress caught me taking this picture, looked puzzled and then apologized, “ It’s a shame we put a T.V. in the middle of that beautiful painting.” I just smiled.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


This weekend we had a sunny day. Michael and I were rushing around the garden gathering the last of the gatherables before the next swath of rain passed through. A few pears, a few pumpkins. And even some beans. I bought the seed for this yellow romano bean in Lucca, Italy a few years ago. It’s called Meraviglia di Venezia, the Marvel of Venice, for a reason. The first year we grew it we was totally disappointed with it’s slow growth and reluctance to produce. But then late in the season, when the rest of the beans had given up it began to develop these beautiful and tender yellow pods. Again this year the late harvest was marvelously rewarding. Its a bean we will grow again and again.