This is the first time that I have written a post on my phone, so this is something of an experiment. We have spent the past week in the Northeast Kingdom – that is, the Northeast corner of the State of Vermont.
Here are brief thoughts, impressions and images (if I can figure out how to include photos!):
It is three quarters forest. Every day, the maples seem to flame brighter. Some are burning embers. Others are a deep gold. They tremble and shed their leaves.
The insects are trying to get into the house: wasps, bees, a dragonfly. They’re looking for a place to hide from the approaching winter.
A ladybird landed on my finger. “Fly away home…” A childhood memory of a song we used to sing about a mother hurrying home to her children.
Maple syrup, blueberry pie, fresh milk from the farm in glass jars, with cream on top, potato doughnuts, venison, organic beef, apples and pears.
Church community suppers: eating comfort food seated at long tables, friendly greetings, side by side, baked potatoes and food passed down the tables, ham and chicken pie and buttercup squash that tastes like pumpkin.
Music: A teen band in Danville called the Kingdom All Stars, rocking their way through Chuck Berry’s Johnny Be Good and serving up a moody version of Hotel California. A folky couple at Groton’s 63rd Annual Chicken Pie Supper (she with a high clear voice, he with more of a bluesy growl). A solo singer doing my favorite song by The Band.
Arts and crafts and antiques and thrift shops: stained glass bats, flowers painted on slates, glittery shoe clips, hand-woven yarns, woollen hats, velvet skirts, homemade jams and crystal jewelry.
Wildlife that we have managed to identify so far: wild turkeys grazing in a field, crows flapping and drifting on the breeze, deer leaping across the road – so graceful and yet awkward. Black-capped Chickadees, neat and curious, and a splendid Ruffed Grouse. I would love to see a Catamount – a kind of mountain lion – or a Black Bear. Not too close, of course.
The deep peace of rural living; the sweet scent of the forest; the old-fashioned courtesy of people; and underneath, a sense of wildness in the Northeast Kingdom.