We woke up early one Saturday morning. It’s not really a chore when a day full of laughing, eating, and cider-drinking awaits. I sat on my bedroom floor curling my hair with sleepy eyes and too-tired-to-be-nimble hands. I grabbed a cup of coffee, packed up our picnic and my camera, and we set off.
We drove up a mountain -- the kind of mountain that makes your car scoot backwards each time you take your foot off the accelerator. Thankfully, the promise of cider soothes the oncoming nausea.
The orchard was bustling with eager families ready to fill their baskets with apples and their stomaches with doughnuts. The grass was wet with the morning dew and the air was filled with every fragrance synonymous with autumn. Sweet cider, spicy doughnuts, apple trees, and hay filled our senses.
We walked past the crates of pre-picked apples that were far too pedestrian for our liking, and carried our baskets up the hill and to the trees which were heavy with newly ripened fruit. We quietly expressed our frustration at the biggest, most beautiful apples always growing on the branches far above our 5’ 2’’ reach, and we laughed at our failed attempts to grasp them.
That pretty lady? She’s my Aunt Mere. She’s adorable, hilarious, and just…endearing. I love her. My uncle, her husband, is a fantastically talented photographer who captured all the mischief of our day.
I love apples. I really, really do, but that is not necessarily why I insist upon going apple picking each and every year. I go for the smells, the trees, and the charm of the entire experience.
It is a chance to live Autumn the way I imagine myself doing every day on my fanciful English estate. You pick your own fruit leisurely, snacking often, drinking enough cider to make your stomach feel sloshy when you walk back down the hill, and return to bake with the (literal) fruits of your venture.
I wait all year for these slow, chilly, autumnal moments and this year’s certainly did not disappoint.
“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile.”
- William Cullen Bryant
All photographs by Matthew Dejesus