How’s the Weather???

September 18, 2008 by Ellen Stimson in Autumn, Living With Intention, Vermont, Weather

Some people choose where they live for the good climate. I guess that means mostly sun and blue skies, and probably warm temperatures.
Other people seem to choose where they live for the weather. I would be bored to death with a lovely climate. I mean I like sunny warmth as much as the next girl when I am on the beach. But I was thumbing through this blog this morning and I have mentioned the weather in one way or another hundreds of times! Apparently I am like Wendy the Weather Girl of Vermont. I talk about the sounds the wind makes and clear starry moonlit skies. I muse endlessly about autumn color and there is also a pretty unending stream of adjectives describing the light up here.

I suspect that when we lived in the city I didn’t notice the weather as much and so it is as compelling to me now as any new passion. Living close to nature was one of less stated reasons that we chose to live in Vermont. It was clear in the way we wanted to get our kids away from the mall, and in the way we spent our days when we visited here alongside waterfalls, and under old stone bridges that we found hidden on the sides of mountains where we played troll games. We would read all of the guide books and eat in restaurants favored by locals whom we would then pepper with questions about the best local nature bits. We found Queechee Gorge that way and Mt Tom in Woodstock too.

Still, it wasn’t until I actually lived here and the quiet had started to settle in that I began to muse deeply about the bits of weather that change everything up here. We have extreme weather that compels us to pay attention. And without the malls and movie houses we play out in more kinds of it than before I even knew there were. I didn’t know for instance that favorite sunny trails could be almost blackened at 4 o’clock in the afternoon by a sun setting behind a mountain in a particular month. I didn’t know what a Nor’easter was by reading about them. One must be lived to be understood. I didn’t know that the crows predict rain or that the bears predict snow in the lower reaches by coming down mid hibernation for more food.

And I especially didn’t know about autumn. I was always an autumn kind of girl even in my old city life. I favored big soft sweaters that hung down to my knees and long men’s flannel shirts with leggings at night. I loved the crisp days at the beginning of the season and the smell of woodsmoke that hung in the air. I especially loved all that noisy color. Our family would trek over to Elsah along the river and pretend that we were in old New England with the quaint clapboard houses and the bluffs covered in rich red Maples.

But then we moved up here where I live in one of those quaint and cold houses. The wind sneaks in around every door and the chipmunks start building nests in the attic by October 1st. What I didn’t know especially was that fall actually begins around the end of July. There are trees in the boggy areas tinged wildly red by the middle of August. The ones up high too at the tops of the mountains are swinging into gear in July when the people in the valleys are just starting to bring in the corn. August is harvest time around here. Our tomatoes are finally red and we are eating fresh and local at every meal. September is still bountiful, but the days are cooler and this year with my very own garden I am torn between hauling out the pumpkins or filling the vases one more time with the riot of summer color that still fills our yard. Luckily it goes on for a bit here in the southwest corner of the state. We won’t get the really bawdy color for two or three weeks yet. But today feels like the day to start bringing in the pumpkins. The wind is blowing and it smells spicy. The sun is shining and it likely won’t get much warmer than sixty. It feels like the kind of day when you want to start surrounding yourself with orange and red and the colors of a season that is surely coming fast.

Imagine an October without the warm colors of a chilly autumn wrapping you up and teasing you into the mood of another season. They can have all that mind numbing beauty. Give me wind and rain, and pumpkins and snow. It’s almost autumn in Vermont…bring it on.


  • Katiedid

    I love it too. I have already started lighting candles around my house and the place smells alternately like apple pie or a pumpkin latte spiced with nutmeg. I can’t wait for Starbucks to add some autumnal coffees to their menu. In the city that’s how we know fall is really here.

  • Jas

    What are your favorite kinds of pumpkins?
    I like the round fat ones the best. Do you carve or are you a no carve bunch?

  • starrlife

    I love it, love it, love it!Being born and raised primarily in Vermont I heart the weather changes, each and every one. I love reading your posts about the weather. Hey, I live in the southeast corner!

  • laurwilk

    Oh, I cannot wait for fall to really be here. I’m not sure where I’m going to put carved pumpkins in my 500 square foot apartment, but I’ll find a way!

    And as KatieDid mentioned, I am also very excited for the Starbucks seasonal menu. I rarely even go to Starbucks but I just love the change.

  • Mighty Morphin' Mama

    Sounds just lovely. We are getting the fall colours everywhere here now, time to take our treks in the river valley with our sweaters and cameras.

    THanks for coming by to admire my sweet baby boy. Ezra is doing great and so am I.

  • Kellan

    I do not have the priviledge of living in a place where the seasons change dramatically and I do miss that. I love the weather in Texas, as I love the sun and heat – but I do love a cuddly sweater and cozy quilt and those are not used much down here. Enjoy your fall – it sounds glorious!

    Take care, E – see you – Kellan

  • Molls

    If I were to come to VT to see the color when is the best week? Do you fly into Burlington? Where is the best place to stay? Any help you can give would be most welcome..I will send you my email address

  • jamie

    E–I am in Arizona right now (as you well know! :)) and when I left Iowa, the leaves were just starting to show a hint of yellow–I can’t wait to get back to them. Seasons inspire change–lots of change, and that is something I look forward to every three-ish months! I love changing seasons.

    And, I finished up the second Jodi Picoult book, and have just started the one you recommended! 10 pages in–so far, so good!

  • painted maypole

    oh, oh, OH! how I miss autumn

    here I’m all excited because we haven’t broken 90 in a few days, and I’m getting to sleep with the windows open

  • library lady

    Hurricane Ike has produced a lot of rain and floodng, but he has also provided me with weather that made it possible for me to pull out my favorite sweater. It’s old and stretched and too big, and I love it. We are back in the mid 80’s now, but there are definitely some leaves changing and cool nights again, so the Midwest fall is falling.

  • TheCynicalOptimist

    Ahhh, I love pumpkins! I love carving them, seeing them decorating them, and eating them: muffins, breads, pies- you name it! 🙂

  • Kate

    Fall is my favorite time of year. For camping, for bonfires, for snuggling on the swing in the backyard, for picture taking, for trick or treating and for all that fall brings. It’s my favorite season and I’m so glad I moved back to the Midwest so I could get my lion’s share of it.

  • jamie

    After spending this fabulous week in Arizona, I have to say I am so excited to get home! To see the trees changing color, and see some green and orange and yellow–not just brown.

    This week I saw a sign that said “please stay off the grass so that it can grow green for the holidays.” To me, that seemed absurd!! Green at Christmas?? I love the snow. Ahh fall, what a lovely season!

    PS–started the book, its good so far. I’ll likely have it finished by the time that I get home tonight! I’ll let you know what my final review is! 🙂

  • Peace is every step

    Give me pumpkin soup, carrot soup and squash soup on a fall day & I'm in heaven. I am your kindred spirit in weather land. I get bored with anything unchanging and those sunny warm climates would get mundane for this girl. I love the changing seasons, all of it!

  • Angela

    This is my first ‘autumn’. We have always lived in a southern state until last year–big move to the scary mid-west. (Snow!!! YIKES!!!) It has been quite an experience watching the gradual change of the leaves this year.

    I am not liking the idea of snow falling–but am looking forward to your snowy pictures of Vermont.

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