As I mentioned recently, Adirondack autumn invites retrospection and introspection. But don’t fret, today’s lilt is less wistful. Levity is restored and whimsical iPhoneography is the flavor or the day.
With September and October skulking away and November slithering in, I’m dishing up a photographic retrospective, a parade of annotated images gathered “on the fly” over the last few months.
Viewed en masse they offer a voyeuristic immersion in the lifestyle which binds us to Rosslyn, Essex, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondacks. Most of these images were shared through my personal Twitter feed (@virtualDavis) and/or the Rosslyn Redux twitter feed (@rosslynredux), and their creation and distribution was made possible by the narcotic genius of this virtual symphony: iPhone, Instagram, Instacanv.as, Tout, and YouTube.
This first photo was actually taken in August, but I couldn’t resist including this unsettling image. I came across this freshly killed three foot long Adirondack timber rattlesnake while cycling along Lakeshore Road near Essex. The blood was fresh and the rattle had been cut off.
Although I want to believe this near-black Crotalus horridus was accidentally hit and killed by a car, it prompted a serpentless September rattlesnake safari, and catalyzed much conversation with friends about our local population of timber rattlesnakes. How can we protect them?
I’ll share rattlesnake news if/when relevant. For now I’ll move over to the autumn harvest. Given our hot, dry summer it was been a phenomenal year for most locally grown produce.
While we began flirting with frost most nights in September (earlier than the previous two years), tender vegetables like tomatoes were still coming out of our own garden and our local CSA, Full and By Farm, owned by Sara Kurak and James Graves.
These “ugly but delicious” heirloom tomatoes from Full and By Farm tempted me despite the fact that we’d been giving away and composting excess tomatoes since August. Too many, too fast. I’d been eating 2-3 tomatoes every day for lunch and dinner. Literally. I’m not exaggerating.
When I posted the picture of these yellowish orange tomatoes on Twitter and Facebook, several friends insisted that these tomatoes weren’t ugly. True. They were voluptuous and vibrant and even a quick glance discloses the explosion of flavor they pack.
But many of the heirloom varieties that we grow in our vegetable garden and the Full and By farmers grow are often referred to as “ugly” simply because they lack the uniformity of color and the blemish-free skin of the hybrid varieties usually sold in stores. In fact, the “uglier” the variety, the better they usually taste. One of my favorites, Black Krim is a perfect example. I wish I had posted a photo when they were still producing…
These hot, hot, hot peppers (early Adirondack autumn colors?) were part of our farm share pickup for several weeks.
I don’t tend to use many hot peppers in my cooking (and I grow several varieties in our own garden) so I haven’t been loading up on these, but I find them beautiful. Beautiful! I’m always amazed how naturally glossy and polished peppers and eggplant are. And the green/red mottling is exquisite.
If you scratch and sniff the photo, you just might understand why the farmers remind us again and again, “Those are hot!”
And what better complement to those exotic peppers than a not often witnessed artichoke blossom.