Grit Blogs > Letters From Alabama

Fall Arrives in Southern Alabama

The Historic FoodieWhen I was younger my favorite season was summer because school was out, first for myself and later for my children, and there seemed to be a freedom not experienced throughout the rest of the year, but now it is my least favorite of all. As I’ve aged I’ve become less and less tolerant of the heat and humidity in the deep South, and I find myself wanting to speed through the summer months. Fall is settling over us, and I welcome it with open arms.

We have had some amazing sunsets recently, and I find so much pleasure in the beautiful colors as the sun lights the evening sky. The house sits directly east and west so the back porch is the perfect place from which to enjoy the patterns and colors created by the setting sun.

Setting sun over the pasture 

The leaves are beginning to show signs of color and the cotton is being harvested which is always a sign of fall. As a child I can remember taking the money I made from picking my grandfather’s cotton and spending it on a “bought” Halloween costume one year. I’ve long since forgotten what the costume was but I remember I felt awfully special sporting a store-bought costume and mask instead of something we’d rigged up at home.

It’s been a long time since I’ve picked any cotton, but the sight of a snowy field can instantly transport me back to my grandfather’s farm and picking it with my cousins and a few aunts and uncles.

Alabama cotton field 

Cotton burr and bud 

My Buff Orpingtons are old enough now to go outdoors into the temporary pen and wooden house Martin made for them and, except for Boo Boo and Big Foot, my wash room, aka poultry nursery, is empty. I named the Ameracauna chick Boo Boo because I was convinced it was at death’s door and thankfully it proved me wrong. I figured I made a “boo boo” by counting him out too soon. The bourbon red turkey poult was dubbed Big Foot by Martin because its legs and feet were larger than the chick’s. I also put the young ducks outdoors where they spend their days playing with the chickens.

A newly hatched bourbon red turkey, now known as Big Foot 

I am enjoying a temporary lull in poultry raising, however, as I have several more Pekin ducks, some Rouen ducks and 15 guineas due to arrive via mail during October. They’ll go into temporary housing with the heat lamp in the wash room when they get here and once again we’ll raise them up to the point they can go outdoors.

After I fed the turkeys and geese and got the chickens and ducks taken care of last evening, I sat out on the back porch and watched the sun go down behind the horizon while listening to the sounds of crickets and other insects. Such a feeling of contentment washed over me that I realized all the rocky roads I traveled to get to this time and place no longer sadden me – I had to take those paths to fully appreciate my life and my relationships now. God is good, life is good, and farm life is grand.

Pepper the Rat Terrier showing some modicum of restraint looking at the Orpingtons 

nebraskadave
10/1/2014 8:21:19 AM

Victoria, the fall weather has arrived here in Nebraska as well. The trees are starting to put on their show but I think it will be short lived this year as the major leaf drop is already under way. I just have this feeling that a harsh Winter is heading our way here in Nebraska. I don't mind that because I know that Spring follows Winter and life begins all new and fresh. I live in an area that has very distinct seasons that last at least a couple months for each one. It's one of the reasons why I love where I live. The Winter is made for soups and baking. Soup is one of my favorite things. I haven't made bread in years but this Winter I just may have to start doing that again. ***** Have a great Alabama fall day.