November 19, 2010

What is my Autumn like ? The first sign of my favourite Season  is the light haze over the horizon. It is not a fog, just a slight mist, a hazy look that tells you for sure that Fall is there.Autumn brings  a most colourful change in nature. In the mountains the larch trees needles turn into a bright yellow-orange shade before falling down into a soft carpet.

Soft and natural carpets everywhere. The kind of carpet I enjoy walking on because of its rustling sound and ever changing colours.Autumn is a Season of celebrations in my canton (state). A family tradition is the meal where everyone, young and less so, meet around a convivial table to eat roasted chestnuts. We usually eat those with various sorts of mountain cheese, “viande des Grisons” (air-dried meat, beef, produced in the canton of Grisons), rye bread and butter, grapes, apples, all local food. On this occasion we drink must (grape). Every year we so look  forward to meeting and eating this rather simple and tasty meal in good company.Autumn is also a time for grape harvest in this particularly warm area.  Vineyards have been planted for centuries on the side of the mountains and down in the valley. Never do the vineyards look as beautiful as now ! A patchwork of hard work almost all year round. What a reward and a pleasure when the vintage is a good one !This is an ancient cellar no longer in use  but I remember that “my grand-father-from-the-mountains” (as I used to call him)  had a similar one under his house in a small village. He would take my hand, bring me to his cellar and show me proudly his  yearly harvest. What a work it meant !And what a delight to savor the grapes from one’s own vineyard !Grapes and apples, the two kinds of fruits that Autumn gives in abundance over here.Gratefulness for these many gifts of nature in this wonderful Season.

Many thanks also to Scott Thomas for having brought up this new photography challenge.

There is still time to participate ! Your photos have to be posted before Wednesday, November 24.


43 Responses to “Autumn”

  1. I so love your landscapes ♥ They are always such a nice reminder of home. The first one looks a lot like the area in Austria where my grandparents lived.

  2. Gerry said

    I love the landscapes too, but even more I love the rich harvest of local foods. What a fine time, autumn. The time of enough for all.

  3. Beautiful and mood producing photos.

  4. Cindy said

    Isa, this is simply beautiful, your words and the photos. How lucky you are to live in such a beautiful world!

  5. montucky said

    Thanks you for the photo journey through your Autumn! What a beautiful place! The photos are so wonderful and your story so interesting!

  6. Karma said

    A lovely assortment of autumn photos! I think the meal that you share with family and friends is a wonderful idea.

    • Hello Karma, yes, this meal is a good idea indeed. We all end up with our fingers blackened by the roasted chestnuts, no cutlery but a knife to spread the butter on the rye bread. Easing going and tasty.

  7. Giiid said

    Lovely photos, there are a smile in every one, I think. You do live at a beautiful place, at least you show so many cosy and inviting places. I like the rustic surfaces you often show, this time the cellar. Your tradition of meeting over a cheese and chestnut table is also a very sympathetic way to stay in contact, and the good thing about traditions is that everyone knows how and what is going to happens, which gives room for talk and relaxation.

    • Thanks for your lovely and detailed comment, giiid. I like it that you found a smile in each of my pictures, and this is true. Each of them meant a happy moment, either on my own or with family, memories of those long gone. Such a meal is really relaxing, picking this or that food with one´s hands and just enjoying being together.

  8. dalia said

    what beautiful landscapes!! I would love to have somewhere that pretty to photograph, nicely done!

  9. Kathy said

    Autumn is such a special time, isn’t it, Isabelle? I so love the simplicity you portray in your posts and writing. The simplicity of eating local foods. Of roasting chestnuts. (I have never eaten a roasted chestnut, but would love to someday try one!) You live in such a beautiful country. Thinking about local wine, and good grapes and your grandfather up in the mountains. Thank you for sharing your special life with us!

    • Hello Kathy, I think you went through this area, didn’t you ? You may have seen those vineyards built on the side of the mountains and separated by dry stone walls (without any mortar to bind them, a wonderful sight but what a work it involved ! Thanks for your visit and words. Isn’t simplicity often the essence of all things ?

  10. This is also my favorite time of year. I love the squash and the root vegetables roasted and the soups. I love the autumn colors in your photos and especially the leaves splattered about the green grass.

    • Autumn offers us such a harvest of good and precious gifts for the Winter months, images of warmth and colour to remember in the bareness of November, December. Fall is my favourite Season indeed. Thank you for all you share too.

  11. Great shots! Very evocative… I like the first in particular, you’ve captured a beautiful light and mist.

  12. ancientcloth said

    Those pictures are soooo beautiful. I love the Fall.
    It is my favorite time of year and your gathering with
    family and friends sounds so lovely. One could not ask for more than good food and friends. 🙂

  13. A nice collection of autumn photos, Isa. Your colors are different than the northeastern US but lovely in it’s own right. I want to be at your next autumnal family feast!

    • Thank you Scott. It is lovely to see how the shades of Autumn vary according to the area, temperature and environment. And… if you are ever around here next Fall, do come and share our roasted chestnuts meal 😉

  14. truels said

    Isa, this is a great post: I love these landscapes and their fine autumn mood. And I miss to taste the roasted chestnuts, it is years since I did that, we seldom see them for sale here (we can not grow them in Denamrk). Fortunately we have good cheese 😉 – And these year we also have got several wineries in Denmark – because of the warmer climate….. This year we planted 5 different vine plants in our garden – not for wine but to eat. Have you never used your ancient cellar for wine??

    • truels, thank you so much for your detailed comment. I am sorry you cannot find chestnuts in Denmark but at least you have good cheese ;)I did not know that vineyards would grow in your country, this is great ! I suppose you will be able to pick some in 2-3 years ? red, white ? As for my grand-father´s ancient cellar… his old house was sold and I am not sure what the new owners did with his precious cellar. One part of it was reserved for the wine, the other for his own cheese, sausages, bacon, rye bread and preserves. Those were the times when mountain farmers needed lots of food for their family during the long Winter months when they sometimes were isolated by the snow. As a small girl, his cellar was a real treasure trove for me 🙂

  15. Isabelle you have the gift of story telling and it’s great to go on a journey with you following the trail of your beautiful photographs. Experience…

  16. iniyaal said

    Wow, Wow and Wow! Loved the beautiful landscapes, your write-up of local traditions and the fresh grapes. Lucky are you to live amidst all this beauty and bounty. Love this post.

  17. sartenada said

    How lovely praise to autumn full of beautiful photos. Your autumn is to me so mind calming when admiring the beauty of landscapes. Especially I love the photos from Grimisuat, Vignes. The landscape seen in it is like a patchwork or quilt. Very beautiful.

    • Autumn is my favourite Season and I enjoy sharing a little bit of it with you. Grimisuat is a village close to the vineyards above the Rhône(river)valley. The view from up there is so lovely. I am glad you appreciated it. Thanks.

  18. Janice said

    What a stunning post, Isa! For the first time since getting to know your blog I started to think about the children’s novel ‘Heidi’, and wondered if your landscape photos will soon bring to life the pictures I had in my head when reading that all those years ago! As soon as I saw your 5th picture I thought of ‘patchwork’ and then read it in your text – a patchwork of hard work! Yes, indeed, but it would be lovely to render part of this scene in a more leisurely patchwork and stitch!

    Your wine cellar photo is very beautiful. I’m not surprised autumn is celebrated at this time of year in your canton! I wonder if the snow has now come, since this? Parts of the UK have been very hard hit, and snow in November is most unusual for us.


    • Thanks for your words and thoughts, Janice. I always enjoy reading you. You may be right, some day I should sew a quilt inspired by my surroundings, especially in the colourful Fall. I smiled at your Heidi´s souvenirs :)and understand why this post brought you back to the novel. These mountain farmers had a somewhat similar existence – some still do – but their reality was often harder.
      We do have snow since yesterday. Quite chaotic on the roads but delightful landscapes in the country. Have a pleasant Sunday, Janice 🙂

  19. […] have been enjoying Isa’s photo essays all year and her one for Autumn was superb.  I am going to have to find me some roasted chestnuts this holiday […]

  20. Nye said

    Beautiful landscape, I love the picture of the valley of the vineyards. It looks like a patchwork, this would make a beautiful pattern for a throw blanket.

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