Iduna: Keeper of Apples

“Brita as Iduna” by Carl Larsson

According to Wikipedia: “In Norse mythology, Iðunn is a goddess associated with apples and youth.” Iðunn is “a keeper of apples and granter of eternal youthfulness.” (Idun, Iduna, Idunn, Ithun, Idunna)

A few words following about October and apples, which we are enjoying daily since we went apple-picking last weekend. Nothing like crunching into a juicy McIntosh fresh from the tree! An old saying keeps popping into my head: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Now’s the time when children’s noses
All become as red as roses
And the colour of their faces
Makes me think of orchard places
Where the juicy apples grow…

~ Katherine Mansfield
(Autumn Song)

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October. The sunshine is peculiarly genial; and in sheltered places, as on the side of a bank, or of a barn or house, one becomes acquainted and friendly with the sunshine. It seems to be of a kindly and homely nature.
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
(The American Note-books)

When my father was a boy growing up on a New England farm during the Great Depression, his family picked as many apples as they could and stored some of them in a barrel in the root cellar. Of course he ate as many as he could while picking them, but his parents had a rule about the ones in the barrel he found exasperating. If anyone wanted an apple later in the fall or winter, he was required to take one that was the least fresh. By the time they got to the fresher ones they had also become much less fresh! So all winter he was having to make do with eating not-so-great apples. If only he had known he might have called on Iduna to keep the apples fresher longer!

To appreciate the wild and sharp flavors of these October fruits, it is necessary that you be breathing the sharp October or November air. The outdoor air and exercise which the walker gets give a different tone to his palate, and he craves a fruit which the sedentary would call harsh and crabbed. They must be eaten in the fields, when your system is all aglow with exercise, when the frosty weather nips your fingers, the wind rattles the bare boughs or rustles the few remaining leaves, and the jay is heard screaming around. What is sour in the house a bracing walk makes sweet. Some of these apples might be labeled, “To be eaten in the wind.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
(Wild Fruits: Thoreau’s Rediscovered Last Manuscript)

“Apples & Leaves” by Ilya Repin

insects and trees

9.20.10 ~ Sound Breeze
9.20.10 ~ Sound Breeze

Look who reappeared! On Monday Tim spotted our darling little cannibal taking an afternoon sun bath on the west wall under the kitchen window! Since I never finished weeding the garden I think she decided to stick around after all! I think we’ll call her Iris, as she was sitting on an iris leaf when first I found her. (See Mantidae Stagomantis if you missed her story.) I wonder what the neighbors will think if I just let my garden go wild so praying mantises will feel at home here?

In recent years we’ve had a cricket population explosion at the end of summer, many of them finding their way into the basement laundry room where they would sing and scuttle around. We’ve tried to find a humane and non-toxic way to discourage them from coming inside, and it would seem that Mother Nature decided to help us out by sending Iris the cricket carnivore. We’ve only heard a couple of crickets this year! We hope she decides to deposit her eggs in the garden and helps to restore some natural balance in the neighborhood.

9.15.10 ~ Avery Point
9.15.10 ~ Avery Point

Friday afternoon we got flu shots, which was my first time getting one. And promptly, on the ride home, we both came down with colds. So it was a crummy cranky weekend, and mainly why I haven’t been online (except to play Scrabble) and have missed reading and commenting everyone else’s blogs. Hope to catch up today and tomorrow.

9.15.10 ~ Avery Point
9.15.10 ~ Avery Point

The tree pictures from Avery Point are for Janet, because I didn’t manage to squeeze them into my last post.  🙂

Last night we did see the full moon and Jupiter briefly through the clouds, but Jupiter didn’t show up in the photographs we tried to get. And we had a thunderstorm soon after we saw them, a regular, nice, thunderstorm.

I’m so happy Autumn is here! (Even if it is supposed to be hot and humid again tomorrow.) I would have loved to go apple picking yesterday or today to celebrate, but I think we’ll have to do that this weekend, when we’re feeling a little better. The weather on Sunday is supposed to be more autumn-like, so maybe I’ll bake a wheat-free apple crisp!

garnet sand

Today I have more pictures than words. The children are back in school for the year and the mood at the beach has changed dramatically. Places and moments of solitude are easier to find…

9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point
9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point

There are no more french fries and hot dog buns for the gulls to snatch, so they must  return to more natural ways of feeding themselves. Humans may resume fishing, too.

9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point
9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point

Not only is it great having a sister to share an occasional walk with, it’s handy to have a geologist pointing out that the sand tinted red is garnet sand.

9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point
9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point

There are more bird than human footprints now…

9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point
9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point

I’ve decided that my camera is an Impressionist at heart, preferring a windswept mood to sharp detail…

9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point
9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point

It’s almost noon. Not a soul in sight. Serenity…

9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point
9.8.10 ~ Eastern Point