The beautiful colours and bountiful harvest of Autumn

I love this time of year especially the late afternoon with the last of the long lingering golden rays before the sun dips over the hills and the hint of crispness creeps into the early evening air encouraging the jasmines and gardenias to give up their precious fragrance for just a bit longer. It’s a majestic time of day and highlights the best of what autumn has to offer. For me it’s one of my favourite times of year, parallel to the early mornings of spring when the sun makes its first appearance of the day bringing with it a hint of warmth waking sleeping blooms out of their slumber and warding off the cool of dawn and the carrying the promise of warmer weather ahead.

In Wadi Musa we only experience a true Autumn for a brief period unlike the other seasons that certainly reign for their full time and some. Summer extends well past it’s cut off date giving us days of clear blue skies and daytime temperatures in the mid 20’s well in to October and then depending on the year even into November. The last few weeks we have been experiencing beautiful Autumn weather and I’m enjoying all that it has to offer.

Alia and I head out in the late afternoon to go walking to soak in the sun and see what signs of autumn we can find. Beautiful autumn days with not a hint of wind and shadows stretching lazily across the hills as the sun makes it’s final descent across the sky. The scent of bbq’s being tended to wafting in the air as families are enjoying a meal together.

Whilst we are not treated to an abundance of trees with turning leaves in the every hue of autumn colours there is still beauty to be found in the orchards around us.

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The soft warm light of the setting sun magnifies the golds and bronze colours of the pomegranate tree leaves contrasting against the deep crimsons and reds of the fruits that didn’t realise their full potential.

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The orchards are also full with the bounties of autumn’s harvest. The last of the pomegranates and figs can still be hunted out, whilst apples and quinces are making an entrance for the year.

Alia and Daddy enjoying some of the last figs for the season.

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Apples (tooffaah in Arabic) grown in Shawbak, which is about 30 minutes from us, are crisp, juicy, crunchy and picked straight from the tree. Farmers load up their trucks and bring the apples to town to sell directly to the people.

Atef making his selection for our apples – plenty to choose from.

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The apples with all their irregularities and imperfections reminding us how nature really presents it’s bounty. Not to sound cliche but these  apples are some of the best that I’ve ever eaten.

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Quinces (safarajan) to me are one of the “ugly ducklings” of the fruit world, just waiting for someone to treat them with kindness, poach them with cinnamon, cloves and vanilla to turn their flesh a beautiful blush pink and transforms them into the “beautiful swan” that they can be. Poached quinces in desserts or topped on a heart warming bowl of porridge for breakfast on a cold morning is reason enough for me to get out of bed for the day. How I eat and enjoy quinces is yet another reminder that I am different to the locals. Whilst I buy up boxes of quinces to poach and then freeze so that I have ample supply in the cold winter months, I have noticed here that quinces are eaten fresh just like an apple. I haven’t quite come at eating them fresh yet finding their flesh a bit too chalky and tart for my liking (and I haven’t been able to convince anyone here to eat them poached! – each to their own!)

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I have a couple of other posts about Autumn that I will bring to you in the next couple of weeks.

13 responses to “The beautiful colours and bountiful harvest of Autumn

  1. I am so glad you posted this! Ignorant me somehow had not thought of so many flowers or even some autumn colour where you live . . . thought it so much drier and ‘like desert’. Love your ‘natural’ apples and do believe they taste good: am not at all in peace with our superperfect s’market offerings! Am so sorry for the farmers who oft just have to dump ‘imperfect’ fruit also!!

    • I’m with you Eha on the offering that supermarkets have. For starters I hate big apples so love these little mouthfuls with all their imperfections! 🙂 And the imperfections certainly don’t detract from the flavour which they are bursting with. We are lucky in Wadi Musa that we get a bit of an Autumn and the changing colours of the leaves as there are certainly a lot of places in the Middle East that don’t experience any signs of Autumn

  2. Hi MEM! Well done – great post and pics mumtaz! Can you send some of those great colourful plants to Saudi. Northern Riyadh in particular. Will be watching out for the DHL van!

    • Hahaha! If it were possible I would have that DHL van on it’s way tomorrow. I’m so glad that here in Wadi Musa I can still enjoy my favourite time of year and the colours that it offers. Whilst it’s not to the full extent of my home in Australia it’s not totally void like a lot of other places in the Middle East.

  3. Lovely post with so many enjoyable photographs. I just loved the ones of the pomegranate and quince. I have never tasted a quince and will jump at the chance when we cross paths.

    • Thank you. Definitely hunt out some quinces. Sort of like an apple in texture but a bit tougher I’m not partial to them raw, but when they poached in a sugar syrup with some cinnamon quills, a couple of cloves, a vanilla pod and a few strips of lemon rind they are oh so good. The flesh of the fruit transforms as it poaches from being white to beautiful shades of pink and even reds depending on the individual fruits – such a wonderful quirk. Quince jelly though it takes a bit more time and effort is well worth making as well and quince paste is a great accompaniment with some sliced pears on any cheese platter. Yes I do love quinces! 🙂

  4. Such a beautiful post. You are completely right in saying that nature presents it’s bounty entirely differently to that which we see in supermarkets!!! Waxed, perfectly polished and red apples… nice to look at but completely unnatural. I’d much prefer to pick apples from the back of a ute too (love that photo of Atef and Alia in the apple orchard). Re quinces. People eat them raw?? I’ve never heard of that before. Ah, I wish we could eat poached quinces with porridge together for breakfast in winter!! That’s one of my all time favourites… or with custard/ice-cream for dessert. Mmm. Have you converted Atef? 🙂 xx

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