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