Fall for this season

Ahh there's nothing like the crisp air arriving in autumn
to inspire getting out enjoying what's left of warm
weather. Of course there's a ton of work that should be
done, like the job of updating the Web site that's been
put off all summer. However the outdoors beckons with
strolls in parks and picking fruits ripening in the yard. A
real seasonal hit is raiding the fig tree, which was
overloaded with nature's marshmallows this fall. Some
30 pounds were crushed and mixed with 10 pounds of
mesquite honey to become the base for mead that, if all
goes well, will be ready for consumption in 2012 or so.
A much quicker process is home brewing beer. My "fill
the pail ale" quickie recipe didn't wow judges at the
Society for Creative Anachronism's Pennsic War but it
garnered my first ever prize for brewing at the society's
Barleycorn event, a Beck's Bier tray. This was especially
prized since my mother was a Beck. For the ultimate in
relaxation, though, there is nothing like the
Japanese Stroll Garden, Locust Valley, N.Y. There you
can laze along paths past mosses, ferns, flowers and
plants that surround a koi pond. Breezes shuffle the
leaves as an ever changing tapestry of greenery. The
closer you look the greater the visual rewards, like
seeing a spider surfing the web in his own way, hoping
to catch "cookies" of airborne bugs for a snack. Or
watch the bees gathering honey and pollen to keep the
hive healthy and happy during the cold months that now
are just around the corner.
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Bob Sterner
photos © 2009
Fig picking BKrooss photo
Locust Valley
Brewing Prize
Kegging homebrew
Stars at the Garden
Waving blades
Busy Bee
Beer judges at work
Autumn leaf