How I know its autumn

I don’t live in New York anymore. So I can’t rely on falling leaves, fall colors, and road trips through New England to ascertain that its autumn. There are no Indian summers, hurricanes or rain storms here. I live in Israel, where its still warm and sunny and glorious. So what’s a girl to do?

I do miss the autumnal signs of back “home”. There’s nothing like the crisp night air of a late October evening; the smells of fireplaces starting up; the sounds of fallen leaves crushing beneath your feet. Its such a sensory-rich time – and we just don’t have it here. But….

We do have our own signs of fall and I’m loving them. The very first sign cropped up in a clay pot that I have outside in the garden. Its the hazitsot (I think that’s how its spelled but please don’t quote me). I don’t know how they got here – we certainly didn’t plant them. But one day – there were just there – popping out of the pot! And they grow really tall and they’re what I understand is the first official sign that summer is over and fall is upon us. Cool.

Next – its the fruit in the garden. I get such a kick out of that. I’m really a city girl – although I did have a terrace in my New York apartment – I never seemed to be able to grow anything there. Okay, I admit it. I wasn’t real fond of watering. I figured if those plants were going to survive in New York that had to prove themselves worthy of tough love. Apparently they didn’t agree. So each spring I would refill the planters that hung on the terrace bars with lovely flowers, and each summer I was cleaning them out and filling them again.

But now I live in a house, and I have a garden on each side. We tried to make it a “Seven Species” garden, reminiscent of the seven species of the bible. But we¬† took some poetic license. I don’t think the spies who came back to Moses and reported on their finds in the land of Israel actually came up with any tropical fruit, but who cares!

My lovely garden does have a rich selection of pomegranates, olives, grapes, figs, lemons, limes, charissa (spelling?), quince, feijoa, kumquat, locquat and pitango.

So even though I miss the autumn colors and the crispness in the air, I have fruit! I can enjoy them while they grow and blossom. And I have an automatic watering system – so my lousy garden skills are forgiven. I can cook with them and give you recipes!

Life doesn’t get much better.

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