September 22, 2020

An Autumn Rhapsody: Quotes, Art, Tales & Folklore, by Amanda Bergloff

 

IT'S AUTUMN!
Fall is a magical song. It is the rhapsody of two seasons that meet briefly and dance together... where fading summer days mingle with cool misty mornings, and the green landscape gives way to the vibrant reds and oranges of autumn. This is the time of year that calls most to the inner music of my soul, and I look forward to wearing sweaters, strolling through a Farmer's Market, buying pumpkins, walking through fall leaves with my best friend, and reading under the changing colors of my trees.

To inspire you, we've collected some of EC's favorite things about autumn...so please enjoy the quotes, art, tales, music, and folklore below that highlight this beautiful season!

SEPTEMBER 
By all these lovely tokens 
September days are here, 
with summer's best of weather 
and autumn's best of cheer. 
- Helen Hunt Jackson
SONG OF AUTUMN
October's the month
when the smallest breeze
gives us a shower
of autumn leaves.
Bonfires and pumpkins,
leaves sailing down -
October is red
and golden and brown
- Unknown
NOVEMBER
Our twilight month November is,
the evening of the year.
The brilliant summer noontide left
a pallor soft and clear.

Dame Winter brings with quiet grace
her curtains all of snow,
and pins them deftly into place
with boughs of mistletoe
- Ruby Archer
PUMPKIN TRIVIA & FOLKLORE
- Pumpkins have been grown in North America for almost 5,000 years, and they originated in Central America.
- Pumpkins are grown on six of the seven continents of the world, with Antarctica being the sole exception.
- Although most people think pumpkins are vegetables, they are actually fruit.
- Pumpkins were once thought to cure snakebites.
- If you're saving pumpkin seeds, they should last for 6 years.
- Pumpkins are 90% water.
- To slow decay, leave an inch or two of stem on the pumpkin when harvesting them.
- Pumpkins were once recommended as a cure for freckles.
- Native Americans fed pumpkins to their horses.
- Witches & Pumpkins: It was thought that a witch could turn an unsuspecting person into a pumpkin by eating the number of pumpkin seeds in that person's name.
- A pumpkin is not a Jack-O-Lantern until it is carved.
- The Halloween Jack-O-Lantern custom derives from a folklore belief that the lit pumpkin can ward off evil spirits.
AUTUMN &
FAIRY TALES
4 FLASH FICTION TALES
with an "autumn feel" from EC's archives.
Click on the covers below:
Best get Grandmama's earplugs
when there's magic dust in the air...
What is this beerwood stew you speak of...
My sister nods her branches with 
the breeze and murmurs...
From outside comes a scuffling scrape of claw on stone...

Easy DIY Fall Wreaths
you can create for your front door below!

"Summer ends, and Autumn comes,
and he who would have it otherwise
would have high tide always
and a full moon every night."
- Hal Borland

The Full Moons of Autumn
The Harvest Moon
October 1, 2020
This is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. It rises within a half-hour of when the sun sets, and when farmers had no tractors, it was essential that they work by the light of this full moon to bring in the harvest.
------
The Hunter's Moon
October 31, 2020
It's also known as a blue moon this year - which means that it's the second full moon in a single month. The Hunter's Moon was given its name because it was at this time that tribes gathered meat for the long winter ahead.
------
The Beaver Moon
November 30, 2020
The full moon for November is named the Beaver Moon because this is the time that beavers become particularly active building their winter dams in preparation for the coming winter. Since the beaver is mainly nocturnal, they can be seen working under the light of this full moon.


BABA YAGA &
THE HARVEST
In Slavic folklore, the fearsome witch, Baba Yaga, was represented as a maternal effigy fashioned from straw during the fall harvest. Baba Yaga appears in agrarian folklore as both a guardian of crops and also as an ogress who could withhold humanity's bounty from the earth.

This "Old Woman" was thought to exist in the fearsome twilight between culture and nature, dwelling in the unfenced borderlands that separated forest and field. Children were warned not to trample crops or wander through the countryside or they might be taken by Baba Yaga. Pedagogical fictions like this were used to prevent wanderers from damaging the grain crops before harvest, and it became ingrained in their folklore.

Interested in reading some tales about this complicated and wonderful witch-character? Check out an anthology about her - Skull and Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga - by World Weaver Press and edited by Kate Wolford.
THE AUTUMN GARDEN
"Gardening imparts an organic perspective on the passage of time."
- William Cowper
In the garden, autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in daffodil time, do we get such superb color effects as from August through November.   - from The Autumn Garden by Rose G. Kingsley, 1905
HARVEST FOLKLORE
- It was thought that if an onion had thick skin at the end of autumn, it was going to be a particularly cold winter. If the harvested onion had a thin skin, this meant that the winter was going to be a warm one.
If during the autumn, fruits have been in abundance in ripeness, it means that the winter isn't going to be too chilly (as fruits need a little bit of warmth in order to ripen - so warm autumn and ripe fruit meant warm winter.)
- Scarecrows can protect your fall crops, but they must be given hats to keep them cool in the sun, and once they're given clothes, a human can never wear those clothes again as it will bring them bad luck. 

AUTUMN LORE
As autumn returns to earth's northern hemisphere,
and day and night are briefly,
but perfectly,
balanced at the equinox,
may we remember anew how fragile life is -
human life, surely,
but also the lives of all other creatures,
trees and plants,
waters and winds.

May we make wise choices
in how and what we harvest,
may earth's weather turn kinder,
may there be enough food for all creatures,
may the diminishing light in our daytime skies
be met by an increasing compassion and tolerance
in our hearts.
- Kathleen Jenks

Looking for some easy fall recipes?
Then check out these pumpkin inspired ones below!
AUTUMN ART GALLERY
to inspire your own creativity...
Autumn Angel, I. R. Outhwaite, 1916

Autumn, Arthur Hacker, 1907

Autumn, Robert Henry Lindsay, 1913

Fruit, Alphonse Mucha, 1897

The Autumn Gift, George Lance, 1834

The Four Seasons: Autumn, Jean Baptiste Debret, 1804

Autumn Landscape, Konstantin Gorbatov, 1929

Autumn, Simeon Solomon, 19th Century

Debussy's music has always inspired me, and this harp rendition of "La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin" makes me think of falling autumn leaves and gazing over a fall landscape.

Wishing everyone an enchanted autumn!
Amanda Bergloff, writes modern fairy tales, folktales, and speculative fiction. Her work has appeared in various anthologies, including Frozen Fairy Tales, After the Happily Ever After, and Uncommon Pet Tales.
Follow her on Twitter @AmandaBergloff
Check out her Amazon Author page HERE
Also, join her every Tuesday on Twitter for #FairyTaleTuesday to share what you love about fairy tales, folktales, and myths.
Cover Painting: Autumn, Arthur Hacker, 1907
Cover Layout & Quotes/Various Graphic Design: Amanda Bergloff

Editor's note:A special Autumn/fairy tale celebration as only the lovely and super talented Amanda Bergloff can do! Enjoy and please share with friends!

6 comments:

Kelly Jarvis said...

What a perfect way to celebrate Autumn! Thank you for sharing all of this! 🧡

Lissa Sloan said...

Lovely post, Amanda! I'm so glad my favorite season is here.

Ellie a.Goss said...

What a mammoth effort!
A wonderful post, nudge nudge, I would love to see more like this one, although I admit it will take several visits to truly engage with it entirely.
As my fav season and being in the southern hemisphere it makes for a vibrant alternate, as we move into Spring and the awakening.

Amanda Bergloff said...

Thank you so much Kelly, Lissa, and Ellie for reading and your comments! This really is a "love-letter" to my favorite season, and I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Wishing you all a wonderful fall!

Maxine said...

A lovely post, full of inspiration and colour. Thank you for brightening up our days.

Katew said...

Amanda really excels at this.

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