Autumn Notes

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Hello Everyone,

I wanted to take some time to jot down my favorite parts about Autumn, the parts that I have noticed the most this year.

-The way the leaves all change different colors together. The way their reds and yellows and oranges and browns paint the tips of the trees above my house. They produce the prettiest picture of the environment, and in the next minute, they might be blown away.

-The way decadent hot chocolate tastes the first time I have it in the season. The way the jumbo marshmallows start to melt before I can spoon them out greedily.

-The way the trees looks surrounding the bike trail that we ride on. They create a blanket of color as I fly by on my bike. The leaves start to stick to the ground, and my tire crunches over them. I can smell the way they are drying and curling in the grass. It smells like all the Autumns that I have ever remembered.

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-The way the first bite of pumpkin pie tastes. There is fresh whipped cream on top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. It tastes so much better than I remember, and yet, exactly as good as it’s always been.

-The way the woods around our house begins to change. Some birds are flying away in flocks. We see less bears stumbling around the forest. Instead, squirrels and chipmunks steal the seeds and nuts that fall from the trees. There is cold rain at night and dewy grass in the morning. All around us, the woods are alive with woodland chatter.

-Drinking a hot cup of chai tea and pairing it with my favorite cookies. The taste is spicy and sweet, if I add a little bit of vanilla. When I drink it outside in the morning, steam rolls off of the mug and disappears near the falling leaves.

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-The bustle at local coffeeshops as their fall flavors start being sold. Watching through the large window as people rush by with large knit scarves and heavier jackets.

-The haunting way the mist rolls in, making the orange leaves almost fluorescent in comparison, and giving me a chill down my spine.

-Lighting candles late in the night and reading classic books next to them. The warmth from the candle casts a flattering glow over everything, and the flicker creates dancing shadows that keep me turning the pages. The wax pools and drips, and the room smells of pumpkin and cinnamon. I pull my blanket around me and wait for the light to run out.

 

I would love to know your favorite parts of Autumn. This is my favorite time of year and I really felt that I needed to give it a little extra love on my blog. I might do this for winter too, because I had fun making these observations about the way the season changes! Let me know your thoughts.

Talk soon,

-Heather

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Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh {Part 2}

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I’ve finally edited the rest of the photos from our beautiful trip to the botanic gardens in Edinburgh. I felt a fresh wave of sadness come over me when I was looking through these, I wish I could be back there with all this lush greenery. I think the photos came out great, but I must sadly report that they do the gardens no justice at all.

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Something that I don’t think I emphasized in my first post was just how big the grounds are for the gardens. The greenhouses are just one section of it, the rest being a magnificent park with labeled plants and trees sprinkled around.

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I remember seeing this plant right before we made our exit from the greenhouse area and I thought it captured all the wonderful colors of Autumn.

There is not enough space in my camera or time in my life to fully explore all of this place fully (probably). If I lived there, I would truly go every day, or at least every week. I miss it, I’m feeling very wistful.

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I think these photos show a pretty accurate representation of how green everything was. And you must be thinking, well, obviously, you were inside greenhouses. But that does not matter. I was not prepared for how green everything was, and how it changes how you feel. There is so much research done on the impact that nature has on the human mind. But just entering a place like this will assure you that all of it must be true, because there is a sense of calm and wonder that floats over you immediately.

It is something else. It is otherworldly. We were certainly not the only other people enjoying the space, and yet everyone had this quiet marveling expression on their faces. It was hard to tell who had been there for the first time (except for me, because I was clearly elated) and who had been there many times but continued to be struck by the magic that was contained in those glass houses. I don’t think the feeling will ever leave me, even as my memory starts forgetting the sharper details that my camera so expertly captured. I think the pure sense of wonder will always stay somewhere in my mind.

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Thank you, Edinburgh.

Please let me know if you have been to the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and what your impressions were. I am also interested in knowing if there is anything similar to this in America. I live in Massachusetts, but very close to Connecticut, and I am searching for any kind of greenhouses like this. Hopefully I find some soon. If I do, I’ll be sure to bring my camera.

Talk soon,

-Heather

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Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh {Part 1}

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I was lucky enough to go on a beautiful trip to the U.K. in the beginning of September. Among many exciting endeavors, I was most excited about our trip to the botanical gardens. I had planned this trip for a long time, and on our second day in Edinburgh, I was able to finally see it in person. It did not disappoint.

I was most excited about the range of plants they exhibited, along with proper identification and careful details! Every second I was wishing there was a place like this closer to home.

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Quite possibly my favorite place in the world. There are more pictures to come.

Talk soon,

-Heather

The Beauty of The Elizabeth Gardens

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The last time I went to The Elizabeth Gardens was months ago, when the trees were still barren and dead. I was gathering information for a story I was writing and the landscape was beautiful despite the leafless trees. The rose gardens were empty, not a bloom in sight. This week, at the height of June, the entire place had transformed. I was in awe as I walked through the lively vines and the bees buzzed all around. The gardens are in West Hartford, surrounded by streets of mansions.

In the center of the main area of gardens is a beautiful gazebo that is covered with vines. It looks like something from a storybook, some sort of fantastic land abundant with different colored roses. There were people crawling all over the grounds taking advantage of the abundant sunshine. The lush greenery is truly magical, and I was in awe the whole time. Each rose was fantastic in color, each arch was wild with botanicals.

We walked around some hidden paths and soaked in the sun. After awhile, we took refuge in the shade and watched the chipmunks scattering under our feet. Whatever troubles I had brought with me eventually melted away.

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This is truly a nature-lovers delight, and I highly recommend going! Let me know if anyone has gone there before, or perhaps has suggestions about similar places. πŸ™‚

If you want to see what else I’m up to, check out my Instagram and Tumblr!

-Heather

“Do you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by…”

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Hello Everyone,

Over the weekend I visited my friends who live out near Boston. We embarked on an adventure, that is, walking the grounds of an abounded mental institution. The area of Medford State Hospital is actually now turned into a park, but you aren’t allowed in any of the buildings. It was a beautiful day to walk amongst the ruins with two very cute pups. If any of this looks familiar to you, there were some areas that were filmed for Shutter Island!

It was strange to imagine this place filled with people, as it is so quiet and in disarray. There were shattered windows and some fear of asbestos, but we kept our distance from those things.

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As you can see, a lot of the grounds were beautiful grasses and trees.

We are hoping that there will be some renovations done here, as the buildings are so beautiful and ancient looking. It truly is the perfect backdrop for a horror film.

There is a beautiful peaceful feeling to walk where many people once lived, and even died. It was sometimes mysterious, looking into the windows and imagining who used to look out of them onto those streets. And we were not the only ones there! Couples, groups of friends, and other dogs roamed the area. It was an interesting sense of community, a feeling of sharing but also of separateness.

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Look at this adorable little puppy, named Piper, and the newest addition to my friend’s family. If you’ve ever been to this area, let me know what your thoughts are!

Talk to you soon,

-Heather

Tea Time | Gardening, Writing Groups, & Poetry Blogs

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Hello Everyone,

I am writing this as I sit outside on our back patio. It isn’t necessarily warm, but it’s not cold out either.

I started thinking about how it’s almost been a year since I graduated from college. That is a strange feeling, as I wish that I had done a little bit more or had a more accomplished job by now. It started feeling like things were exactly the same as they were a year ago.

But, I got a new job, I’ve been published twice, and I’ve given my first official talk at a bookstore, so I am feeling slightly productive at this current moment in time.

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Some of my ventures for the summer to keep me moving forward are:

  1. Start and maintain a successful garden
  2. Go to more writing groups in my area
  3. Start my own poetry blog

Let me know what your summer resolutions are, and I will be back here soon!

-Heather

“I see the turning of a leaf dancing in an Autumn sun” |Newport Trip|

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I think one of my favorite things about Newport is the homes. And while The Breakers is a huge mansion unattainable by most standards, the craziest part about it is that at one time, it was simply someone’s home.

The other houses in Newport are fascinating too. They are all unique, boasting something different. They have differing windows and arches. The colors of them on the day I shot these were wonderful. My favorite colors are browns and grays, and all of this looked perfect with the overcast sky. I was swearing a big scarf to keep me warm and it certainly felt like October. Rhode Island in the fall is magical.

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The sea was beautiful too.

My new camera was able to pick up so much detail, and I am so so happy that I decided to bring it on our trip.

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The comparison of The Breakers (grandiose, stone, castle-like) and the other small houses around it are startling. But the tiny cottages sprinkled around the coast are just as charming with their stone chimneys and little gardens. I had just as much fun taking pictures on the street as I did near the mansions.

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Going back to Newport reminded me of when I was much younger. I haven’t been back in many years, and when I had gone back, we didn’t get to see all of this. I remember when my father lived down there and we would go into downtown at night before Starbucks closed. We strolled through the galleries again to see the new artists that have emerged.

I gained a lot of inspiration from this trip. Not only did the pictures come out good, but I had an idea for a story. As you may know, National Novel Writing Month is in November and I am participating! I was lingering around the story I wanted to write because I couldn’t decide on a location. I think I’ve made my decision now.

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I truly had a wonderful trip walking by the sea and bundling up against the wind. There is something wonderful about October, especially in this place. Old meets the new and people of all types can be found enjoying it together.

Have you ever been to Newport? Let me know your favorite places to go. We love Ma’s Donuts, we go every single time we’re in town. We also ate at Benjamin’s in Downtown and I had the best Haddock of my life. I’ll be remembering this trip for a long time.

You can see what I’m up to on Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest, if you’d like!

-Heather

“She Had Thought That Autumn Air Went Well With Books”

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I went for a hike with an old friend last week, and I realized that reconnecting with old friends is like opening up a beloved book that you haven’t touched in years.

Seeing as we hadn’t talked in awhile, we spent a lot of time catching up. But after that layer had been peeled away, we were ourselves, and we were enjoying each other’s company, no matter how different our lives have become. To me, this is the season of new beginnings, and it felt very symbolic to be spending time with someone who I had known for so long but hadn’t seen in awhile.

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I hope that every once in awhile you can also reconnect with a good friend and spend hours spilling your hearts out. Or, at the very least, opening up that beloved forgotten book.

To see what I’m up to, you can catch me on Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest!

Until next time,

-Heather

Blush

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I picked up this blush-colored blouse about a year ago on a trip to TJMaxx. I love the detailing, it’s so intricate and gorgeous. I think the pattern is very vintage-inspired and I love how it gives an antique feel. Because it’s sheer, it’s perfect for summer. I kept trying to wear this in the fall and winter with leather jackets and it was just too thin to keep me warm! I especially enjoy the color if it against my navy skirt.

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Thoughts on blush for summer?

Talk to you soon,

-Heather