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Posts Tagged ‘leaves’

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In spite of the drought, Massachusetts trees displayed some of their best colors this year. I’m sharing one photo taken along the Concord River, another that barely does justice to this month’s reds and golds, and a third that intrigued me because the green leaves were pink only on their tips.

Other photographic offerings include a name shadow at Bondir restaurant, where we had lunch today, a pirate skeleton with his skeletal parrot in a Lowell bookshop/café, lovely plants in the café, an artist working en plein air, shadows of ivy trying to break into the house, and four book-themed scarecrows at the public library.

The first scarecrow was inspired by the book Strega Nona, the second by If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The third scarecrow promotes the library’s seed catalog, and the fourth celebrates the counting books.

Don’t you wonder how the library came to do all that work? There must be 20 scarecrows altogether. I’m trying to picture the meeting where the boss says, “We’re doing scarecrows for Halloween. Who volunteers to do what?” Or maybe it was more spontaneous. It sure looks like people had fun with it.

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My husband, who has made a lot of business trips to Japan (and also has been reading my posts about 100-year-old workers), pointed me to something interesting at the Japan Times.

Jiji writes, “A business project focused on selling decorative leaves for use in Japanese cuisine is attracting overseas attention to Kamikatsu, a mountain town in Tokushima Prefecture. …

“The [Irodori, or bright colors] project, which succeeded in commercializing colored leaves grown in local mountains and fields and now claims members from nearly 200 farms, has become a vital industry in Kamikatsu, which has a population of less than 2,000. …

“The average age of the farmers involved in the project is 70, and many are women. Some earn more than 10 million [yen, more than $100,000] a year from the business.

“Irodori members use tablet computers to check for updated information on orders. The leaves are grown in their own mountains and fields, then distributed to markets across Japan via an agricultural cooperative. …

“According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which promotes international visits to Kamikatsu, the response to its English DVD on the Irodori project was huge. It has been translated into Bengali, Spanish and French.

“Tomoji Yokoishi, 54, who came up with the Irodori idea and is president of the managing company, said perceptional shifts are responsible for its success.

“The project turned regular leaves into a valuable resource and turned its elderly into a workforce, Yokoishi explained.”

I’m guessing that the phrase “for use in Japanese cuisine” doesn’t mean anyone eats the leaves. They are probably used to decorate tables where Japanese cuisine is served. Do you think?

Read the Japan Times article, here.

Art: Elaine Richards, 1994 7″ X 10″ Watercolor Collection B. Riff

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Around this time last year, a young cub scout rang the bell. He was selling popcorn as a fundraiser for his den. His mother waited by the gate. While I was filling out an order form, he studied the black net over my yard and the way our leaves seemed to float.

“What do you think that’s for?” I asked.

The cub scout pondered only a moment. “When all the leaves fall down,” he said, “you roll them up in the net and dump them in a leaf pile.”

Bingo. He had put his finger on my husband’s innovation to alter and illuminate the fall leaf-raking ritual.

I looked up at the cub scout’s mother and said, “This young man is going places!”

The popcorn was good, too.

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This is the time of year for walnut trees to bear fruit, for bees to bring in the last of the wine, and for block parties. Beacon Hill’s party is way more elaborate than any block party in Concord and is considered a time to raise funds for a cause. See if you can guess which party is which.

Orchard
by H. D.

I saw the first pear
as it fell—
the honey-seeking, golden-banded,
the yellow swarm
was not more fleet than I,
(spare us from loveliness)
and I fell prostrate
crying:
you have flayed us
with your blossoms,
spare us the beauty
of fruit-trees.

The honey-seeking
paused not,
the air thundered their song,
and I alone was prostrate.

O rough-hewn
god of the orchard,
I bring you an offering—
do you, alone unbeautiful,
son of the god,
spare us from loveliness:

these fallen hazel-nuts,
stripped late of their green sheaths,
grapes, red-purple,
their berries
dripping with wine,
pomegranates already broken,
and shrunken figs
and quinces untouched,
I bring you as offering.

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