Monday, October 18, 2010

The Flowers of Our Labor


Dear Friends, 

This post is quite late as we have already had a few near-frosts here in Vermont! Brrr.....I needed to remember those glorious late-summer days...

We really wanted to keep Tasha's vegetable garden alive, and came up with the idea of a community garden. So this summer, we all got together on Wednesday mornings and gardened, almost like a CSA (learn more about CSAs here!). We all pitch in with the work, then share the harvest. The family atmosphere really brings to life all that Tasha was so fond of...warmth, family, the spirit of togetherness, and simple pleasures. It feels so good to work together, and then see the reward. How many opportunities do we have to do that in our daily lives? So few!

{ready for harvest}

I have to admit, it was one of my favorite times of the week, because I got to watch Sophie and Ellie! It's loads of fun to just garden together, run after the little girls, and share about life while staking tomatoes or weeding....(or running into the amazing, giant Cercropia caterpillar like we did one week...or discussing the porcupine damage!). Tasha always did what she called a "tour de estate" and that is the first thing we do each week!


A month or so ago, we had some lovely zinnias, calendula, and of course goldenrod (a few foxgloves! a few sweet peas!). After we garden, we all eat lunch together back at the Rookery, outside on the picnic tables Seth Tudor built if the weather cooperates. I spent some time outside after lunch making a few bouquets for each of us to bring home.


Tasha always managed to create such perfectly lovely bouquets that mine don't begin to hold a candle (have you seen some of them in Tasha Tudor's Garden?)

But ah, the flowers of our labor smell so much sweeter! Don't you agree?
From a sunny, but chilly, day in Vermont,
~Natalie

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tiny Painted Turtles

 {our painted turtles just making their way through the ground to the surface}

Dear Friends,

Remember back in May, I mentioned that Seth Tudor had seen a few painted turtle nests? And if you came on our garden tours this summer, you saw the nests carefully marked off with bricks and a sign. Well, on September 7th, we happened to all be gathered when the nests started to make a rustle. I can't believe how lucky we were! Nearly twenty teeny-tiny painted turtles emerged, one after the other, their faces dusty and their bellies burnt orange. Oh, how Tasha would have loved to capture these in watercolor!



A quick dip in the rain barrel brought their trademark colors to life. Aren't they just the cutest little things? About the size of a quarter I'd say, though some were a bit smaller and some a bit bigger.

{Sophia with her daddy, looking at the little turtle}

Of course, Sophia was fascinated. She kept yelling, "They're so cute! Awww, look how cute they are!" which was quite entertaining, and I'm sure a bit startling to the sleepy little turtles!

{Sophia and her mommy, watching the turtles make their way out of the ground}

We safely transported them to the pond so they wouldn't have to brave the trek themselves, and watched them swim out.

{Sophia letting the turtles into the pond}
I can imagine Tasha dropping everything to do many quick sketches to save for future use. I think she would get those colors just perfectly vibrant in her illustrations. I can see the turtles peeking out of her flower borders near the edges of ponds, or a sweet tow-haired child enthralled with the prospect of watching them swim out. Tasha painted from real life. And when we live with nature, it never ceases to amaze and invigorate us with simple pleasures, if we take the time to alert our senses.

Take the time, dear friends!
~Natalie

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Newfane Heritage Festival

Hello friends!

 {picture courtesy of the Newfane Heritage Festival from 2009}

If you're looking for a wonderful excuse to get out and enjoy the foliage, drive up to Newfane, Vermont for their 40th Annual Newfane Heritage Festival. Tasha Tudor and Family will have a booth on the Common like we have for many years. I'll be there all weekend, with some help from all of my friends: Amy, Marjorie, Jenna, and Kathleen. It's one of my favorite events of the year! The church makes fantastic pies (with cheddar!) and the Carrot-Ginger Soup is delicious (did I mention the fudge-covered apples?).

 {image courtesy of the Boston Children's Chorus}

We also have an extra-special event happening at the Festival on Sunday....Tasha Tudor and Family is hosting the Boston Children's Theatre Show Choir! This talented group of young folks from the greater Boston area will be performing from 12-2 on the Common.

If you are in the area, we highly recommend that you stop by to see them (and us!). 

It's going to be a great weekend to enjoy the area and season that Tasha enjoyed so much, and we'd love to see you! Tell us you saw the Rookery Ramblings post :-)

From Vermont,
Natalie