These clusters of berries look horribly toxic. Beware!
The pin oak leaf I found on my walk this morning was astoundingly big - much bigger than the apple that I found to compare it to. Anyway...
Yesterday we all worked to make a gigantic leaf pile. Leaves were piled in the wagon and hauled from all over.
They were swept up from everywhere.
The heap was so big you could get lost in it.
Afterwards we drew pictures. Henry drew a worm. Then several worms - in fact a whole family of them...
The smell of the leaves, the crunchiness of them, the scatchy little bits of them that get inside your clothes. I think as we get older we forget some of this until we revisit it again through our children and their children.
When I was a child we lived in Essex in England in a gamekeeper's cottage on the Thorndon Hall estate - a rather magical setting for a splendidly dull middle-class childhood where I spent my whole time longing for something to happen. Much later on, when we were living in Morocco and England seemed very far away, I wrote a memoir of my leaf-scuffing, magic-seeking self in which all the stuff that I wanted to happen did happen. But quite a lot of it is about Guy Fawkes and making miniature gardens on trays and brothers who are bothersome...
Always something appealing about the absence of leaves
so we can see the squirrel more clearly
and the moon still up in the early morning.
Glorious red berries in the flower district --sadly, the sort that start dropping allover the floor as soon as you put them in a jug.
But the amyrillis! Well, all the lovely tall stems did was fall over so....rather short amyrillises now.
And yes, I did get to see the tree and the angels
and looked at all the people taking pictures of stuff being projected onto a building across the street.
As ever, being the sort of people who are slow to catch on to things, (The Sopranos, Downton Abbey, Twin Peaks) we have started watching 30 Rock and here is the statue of the very same......
Time for holiday shopping! As they did last year, the kind people at Novica who specialize in handcrafted presents from all round the world, have given me a $50 gift code to give to a reader of my blog. So please comment by Monday 10th!
They wanted me specially to mention their new gift finder which sorts presents into categories. Personally I love the silk scarves.....
"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."
"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.
"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.
"Both very busy, sir."
"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."
"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"
"Nothing!" Scrooge replied.
"You wish to be anonymous?"
"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there."
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
Now I know who Newt Ginrich's idol is!
the sky above Macy's
and the little garden next to our building.
Lenten rose at Union Square green market.
My friend Susanna Gordon, the brilliant photographer and all around nice person, has a much kinder take on the season HERE