These were taken the other day at my friend Dani's little farm on the outskirts of town. "We have twenty-six apple trees on this piece of land," she told Steffi and me, and offered to fill bags with as many apples as we wanted.
The drive there, over a winding, dusty dirt road, was flanked by radiant, golden beech and oak trees, and there were whole hedges of light blue wild asters. Here and there a wild cherry tree blazed bright crimson. The sky was blue and it was one of those beautiful autumn days that makes your heart ache, because they are so fleeting.
When we arrived Dani treated us to buttery homemade pear streusel cake. We drank tea, and talked whenever there was a chance (parents will understand what I mean).
Then we headed outside into the fresh air, Dani's little baby boy tucked cozy into a carrier on her chest and our kids running in all directions. They chased the kitten, hunted the chicken, tasted apples, ran around the huge expanse of lawn, and watched Dani's father in law drive by on his red tractor. The big walnut tree was bright yellow, and the blackberry vines dark purple. All that was left in the garden rows were a few little pumpkins, some tomatoes scattered on the ground, and one last tiger-striped nasturtium.
After the boys had kicked mole-hill dirt, climbed in and out of the tractor, and blown the seeds off of the last dandelion puffs, we packed our bags of freshly picked apples into the car, said goodbye, and headed home.
An afternoon to remember.