A Vermont Country Store Catalog Cover I Treasured This Summer

My favorite catalog published a cover photo that combined two themes prominent in my mind these past few months.

At a local park, I discovered a pair of Adirondack chairs – my favorite outdoor seating – far removed from the most populated paths. There I sat one entire afternoon, relieving stress as I overlooked the surrounding landscape. I hope to repeat the experience soon.

I’ve also reflected often these days upon my trips to New England over the years. Whenever I recall Vermont, I think of purplish hued mountains like these. Until I’m able to travel there once more, I’ll treasure catalog covers like these, and articles in Yankee Magazine. It’s changed over the years, but still retains the classic spirit of the Northeastern states.

Another Photo I Didn’t Share Earlier from my Springtime Adventure in a Rural Cemetery

When seated in the country cemetery I described in an April post, small strange clouds floated above, like spirits visiting from another realm.

A crazy concept you say? Perhaps, but it was just one of those moments–like people say about a hilarious experience that falls flat with only mere words to describe it – you simply “had to be there” to believe it.

Each season holds its special experiences. Spring and fall seem the most spiritual to me.

October is another month when I begin to feel a closer presence of those who have passed on. But in a positive way. Nothing to do with skeletons and scary seances. The feeling comes to me as I see trees at dusk silhouetted in the sunset, feel the heartbeat of the earth, sense the imprint of all who have walked upon it.

Stopping by my Favorite Farm Stand on a Sunny Afternoon

My favorite farm stand received a remodel since last year. Metal roof and siding now protect the exterior; panels mounted on the sides shelter the selection of produce from the rays of the sun. A new sign featuring a strawberry and sunflower was mounted on the side of the building.

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The little spot is a cheerful site as I pass on my commute each morning and evening. I can’t resist stopping occasionally to purchase a crisp green pepper, bright yellow summer squash, or a few deep green zucchini, if I can find some slender young ones.

My only complaint about warm season squash is that most gardeners in this area feel bigger is better, but actually small squash, short of maturity, are so much more delicately flavored and tender.

When they become overgrown,zucchini squash are much better when grated for zucchini bread than when sliced and fried or mixed with pasta and lemon, my favorite ways to enjoy squash in the hot months. 

But whatever is on the table, stopping at this cute little farmstand is always a pleasure. The imitation vintage linens covering the display surfaces are especially delightful.

An Enchanting Springtime Morning in a Lovely Country Churchyard

This has always been my favorite country church. I’ve not been inside, but the churchyard is charming. Especially so on a springtime morning. Birds soared overhead, the scent of newly emerging greenery permeated the air.

The architectural details are simple yet show a sense of class. Something missing from most modern architecture.

I’ll post more photos of the building and lawn when I’m able to load them. The internet is incredibly slow; due, I suppose to everyone working and studying at home for safety.

A Great Day for a Forsythia Bouquet

But I don’t have a bush of my own so I’ll just enjoy the ones I see on the way to work and this lovely bouquet on the cover of The Vermont Country Store catalog.

L. L. Bean used to have beautiful seasonally appropriate catalog covers, but alas, they’ve let me down in recent years. The emporium from The Green Mountain State thankfully still adheres to tradition.

These graceful stems, loaded with bright yellow flowers are a lovely complement to the cobalt blue glassware. The arrangement is reminiscent of spring skies of azure and gold.

P.S. Oops, the photo showed the flowers properly centered in the frame. Don’t know why the software changed the angle. No time to fix at this moment, but will try when time is available!

Robert Frost and Vrest Orton Were Friends, it Seems

Vrest Orton, original proprietor of The Vermont Country Store, and Robert Frost, poet laureate, were familiar with each other, it seems, according to his grandsons, Gardner, Cabot, and Eliot, who operate the store and catalog company today, along with their father Lyman Orton.

This post’s featured photo, of the bunny taking advantage of a maple syrup collection site to catch a sweet treat, is from the pages of a spring catalog by the company that keeps iconic products alive for their fans, even when popularity wanes.

In our area, at least, daffodils and hyacinths don’t appear at the time of maple syrup processing, but artistic license makes for a cute photo.

Robert Frost was famous in the mid-twentieth-century for his poetry centered upon the natural world. He celebrates impending spring in the following:

To the Thawing Wind

by Robert Frost

Come with rain O loud Southwester!

Bring the singer, bring the nester;

Give the buried flower a dream;

Make the settled snow bank stream;

Find the brown beneath the white;

But what’er you do tonight

Bathe my window make it flow

Melt it as the ice will go;

Melt the glass and leave the sitcks

Like a hermit’s crucifix;

Burst into my narrow stall;

Swing the picture on the wall;

Run the rattling pages o’er;

Scatter poems on the floor;

Turn the poet out of door.

 

 

 

Leading Edge of the Front

Snapped this cloud at the leading edge of a cold front that moved in last week. We have seen many intersting cloud formations and skyscapes this autumn.

Hoping for the best as the cold season approaches, resolving to take it one day at a time, and appreciate winter’s beauty.

Lonely Little Verbena in a Petunia Basket

It’s the little things that make our days bright. Like this hanging basket of posies at the corner of a village gas station I pass on my way nearly each day.

Spotting it there makes my mornings cheerier. I especially love the charm of the one lovely little pure white verbena shoot that survives amid the hot pink petunias.

I throw a bottle of water on the basket when I pass on hot weekend mornings, as the guys who work weekends don’t seem to notice it’s thirst. The lady who operates the store/gas station through the week struggles to keep it perky as she imagines some people may like to see it hanging there.

It certainly has an admirer in me. One of those simple, special touches so missing in today’s rushed society.

Spring Plowing Days – Work for the Horses – Respite for Spectators

I’ve been greatly in need of a few hours (or days) of doing nothing. Thankfully, this weekend I got my chance, as Spring Plowing Days commenced at a location not far from home.

Few pastimes are more relaxing than hanging out with horses. Especially draft horses – gentle giants of the equine world – “real horses” as this window decal on one of the owners’ vehicles attests. I didn’t notice until I posted this – the fitful clouds of the breezy spring day are reflected on the glass behind the pink horse. How cool is that?!

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The two huge creatures in front of me as I write, a Percheron and a Belgian, are tied to a line strung between two trees, enabling them to enjoy a delectable appetizer of maple leaves. Apparently the greenery is more appealing than the hay supplied in bags suspended from the line securing the two huge animals.

Wind whips the tall grass on the hillside and the manes and tails of a pair of gray and white Percherons pulling a plow across a rich brown field, steel blades striking the soil and flipping it as a continuous ribbon, creating a neatly textured pattern of ridges and furrows.

Twitters of sparrows building nests under the eaves of a shed blend with the subdued chatter of the exhibitors and visitors.

Log skidding, obstacle course and weight pulling competitions await as I experience this slice of what life was like a century ago, before technology took over our lives, shifting society’s focus from family farms and small town shops to big business.

I’ve watched some of these exhibitors for thirty years. Since we both were young. Before they had children. Now some have grandchildren trailing behind their horses in front of crowds of people that are pitifully small compared to those of a couple decades ago.

Do younger generations no longer appreciate animal competitions or  is it just that publicity is lacking for these peaceful, soul renewing exhibitions?