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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mabon

A Happy Festival of Mabon to you all!

Mabon is the Festival of the Autumn Equinox. It is also known as Harvest Home and celebrates the gathering in of the harvest. An equinox in astronomy is the time when the centre of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the equator. The date of the Autumn Equinox can be between September 21st and 23rd. This year it occurs at 15.40 GMT on 22nd, but celebrations traditionally commence on 21st.

I think of the Autumn Equinox as the "tipping point" of summer: after that, the nights are longer than the days (in the north). There may still be some lingering warm days, but winter is not far off.
Harvest (almost) home. The modern methods of harvesting are...

...not as pretty as the sheaves of corn depicted here by Van Gough. I recently had the pleasure of seeing the original of this painting in an exhibition.
Please click on the picture for credit to source

The cut hay lies in windrows to dry before...

...harvest is home

The trees are changing colour...

...and deciduous leaf fall is underway






Crab apples are in season...













...and Hawthorn bushes are laden with red berries



The heaths look tired and brown...






...but a late flowering bell-heather Erica tetralix give a pin-point of colour








'Tis the season to be pie-ful

Equinoctial sunset over my village (you can see my house if you know where to look)
The island in the distance behind which the sun is setting is the Isle of Man, home of Shrink-wrapped Scream*

My Mabon supper - fish'n'fowl: sea-bream and wild mallard duck, dressed with Maria's Cumbria apricot preserve, with a bottle of Blauer Zweigelt (2006) from Burgenland. Dish-set design is Alpine Char by Portmeirion Pottery

*Shrinky, you wouldn't like to send those Wood Nymphs over for my Mabon party, would you?

10 Comments:

Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Just went to the cherry blossom festival here in this part of the southern hemisphere ;-)

8:02 am  
Blogger Merisi said...

I see, you are ready for autumn to enter the stage! Happy Mabon! :-)

Did you see any corn stooks out in the fields, like the ones in the Van Gogh painting?

The rosehips look about ripe and ready to pick. Rosehip jam is one of my favorites.

You look well set for an extensive meal! What are you doing with the apricot jam? Glaze the duck breasts? (I suppose the wine's for the gravy!)

Are you planning on taking part in a sheaf toss afterwards?

10:31 am  
Blogger Shrinky said...

Darn it, I knew I shouldn't have told them about your invitation, those mischievious nymphs are swimming over as I type! (Send them back with a bottle from your cellar, if you will, tell them if they let it reach me intact, I'll spare grounding them upon their return.)

Your photography conjures the turn of the season perferctly. Happy Mabon maalie, you look to be set for a splendid repast (yum)! x

2:46 pm  
Blogger simon said...

Crikey! I drop in and there is a host of new posts!!

1:44 am  
Blogger Eleanor said...

What a lovely introduction to your world or should I say kingdom! The 22 September was the vernal equinox here in South Africa and I invited my friends for a Spring luncheon on Sunday. Unfortunately, we had a sudden cold spell blowing up from the Cape right into the interior. So instead of al fresco we ate in the dining room. Thanks for the visit to my blog!

3:43 pm  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

lovely photos - but I must admit that I'm not looking forward to fall - because it always seems to lead to winter!

4:29 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

It seems weird not to be in Europe for the autumn...having seen the end of winter, all of spring and some of summer! But I am glad to be short-circuiting it all, and going into spring all the same.
Have been reading a Camino book that starts by walking the Camino Aragonese... via the Somport Pass. Maybe next time!! Is that closer to where your Pyrenean bird exploits happened?

9:34 am  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Beautiful pics. Remind me of how it looks around here. It does seem our Septembers are inundated with rain, but that makes for a nice looking Autumn here. And I hope a long one.

We get tired of the long, cold, and lately snowy winters up here, with all kinds of salt dumped on our streets. But makes one look forward to Spring, and makes me enjoy Autumn and Summer more and more as I grow older.

4:39 am  
Blogger Tortoiseshell said...

Nice pics - a dry, crisp autumn is probably my favourite of the seasons.

4:15 pm  
Blogger Maria said...

Beautiful series of autumn pictures! I love the Van Gogh comparison! And also the big fresh fish :P

9:01 pm  

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