on missing autumn.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I’ve lived in California for just about 3 years.  Prior to living here, I was an east coast and midwest kind of person.  I never saw myself on the west coast, until, of course, I did!  There are things I miss about my previous homes:  the people, the pace of things, the (much lower!) cost of living.  But missing autumn hits me hard every year at this time.

I love the crunch of the leaves, the crisp smell in the air, the exciting possibility that there could be flurries at any minute!

In SF, it’s still green and lush and lovely.  Which I also love.  It’s beautiful and amazing! This year, to help satisfy my yearning for autumn, I headed over to the National Heirloom Expo up in Santa Rosa.  It was a perfect little dip into this world I miss.

Some of my favorite snaps from the day are below:

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So many pumpkins, squash, and gourds.  My favorites!

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So, so many types of tomatoes!  And we got to taste a bunch as well.

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I couldn’t get enough of this colorful heirloom corn.  It’s so beautiful, isn’t it?

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Mushrooms and (weird) melons!

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Oh, and there were tiny piglets!

I hope you’re having a lovely start to the season, wherever you may be!

bay area hikes: huckleberry preserve.

We love hiking, so we’re lucky that there are so many great hikes around the Bay Area!  We’re still working on checking out as many as possible, and I thought it might be fun to showcase some of our favorites here!

Quick Tip:  We use Bay Area Hiker to find great hikes in the area.  It maps them out and gives directions to the start of the trail, as well as some tips for each hike.  It is really a great resource!

We recently went to Huckleberry Preserve to do a quick morning hike.  It’s been hot here in the last few weeks (by hot, I’m only talking ~85 degrees Fahrenheit, but to be fair, it’s usually only in the 70s this time of the year!) so we tried to beat the sun a bit.

Huckleberry Preserve has a short trail of about 2 miles and takes about an hour to complete (although we spent some time bird-watching by the huckleberry bushes!).  It’s fairly easy with only a few short climbs.  There are many different plants including manzanita trees, various berry bushes, beautiful ferns, and lots of poison oak (be careful!).

Here are a few snaps from the hike:

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a peek down the trail.

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a wasp checking out some thistles.

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always love the texture & colors of tree bark.

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a forest floor covered in ferns. (fun fact: did you know that ferns are among the oldest living organisms on earth?!)

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a pop of color.

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bird watching.

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and the huckleberries!

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beautiful lichen.

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never forget to look up!

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delicious!

If you visit this trail at the end of summer or early autumn, you might be lucky enough to find a few huckleberries to snack on.  Remember to make sure you can identify them correctly, though!  I’ve also heard that the spring is wonderful, too, with many wildflowers and new blooms.

We ended the morning at the farmer’s market where they had amazing pomegranates.  They’re definitely one of my favorite fruits.  But that means summer is really coming to a close, doesn’t it?

Have you been to the Huckleberry Preserve?  Or do you know of any other great hikes in the Bay Area?  We’d love to hear about your favorites!