Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Gorgeous Golden Light: Loving Autumn

It's Fall, or, as I like to call it, autumn. It sounds more poetic.

This time last year, Beau and I were frantically making final arrangements for our wedding. It was extremely stressful and we didn't really notice the change of season. We just kind of looked up one day after the wedding, and summer was over. 

This year, we can really enjoy the autumn.

It's a time to wear all your bronzes and golds.

It's a time to get out your browns and reds and oranges, and to appreciate them wherever you see them. Isn't our quilt amazing? My friend, Sal's, step-mother made it for us as a wedding present. It's so beautiful, we're afraid to actually use it. Its colours are perfect for autumn.

Sandals: Wonders; Skirt and drop earrings: boutique; Right hand ring: Birk's; Bracelets, earring, brooch, sunglasses, brown ring, and top: vintage; Necklace: I won in a contest
So are mine. I've always thought of fall as my time of year. I love the air, and the light of fall, and its colours are my colours. Beau calls my colouring "brownie," and "Jewishy," his way of complimenting my autumn colouring. (He sometimes calls me his Jew Boo too, which I suppose should bother me but I think it's cute.)

Autumn goes with my hair.

It goes with my summer freckles.

It goes with my eyes, which, if you look closely, have some orange in them.

It also goes with my extremely pale skin in this sense:

The weather cools down and I am far more comfortable than I am in the heat and brightness of summer. Everyone knows how much I hate summer

One of my first indications that autumn was coming was when the cats started sharing my daybed again. They're not best friends but they are heat seekers so they'll share if they must.

This may look like cuddling but it's more just convenience to them. When Bobby, the black one, woke up and discovered Milo there, a big, hissing fight ensued. 

He's recently come to love that little corner, but he prefers having it all to himself. 

Meanwhile, we also know the seasons are changing because all the birds have stopped singing their love songs ...

... and the much coveted September Issue arrived on the stands. This was our 5th Vogue-iversary! Yes, that's a thing with us.

It's time to start shopping for winter wear, like this hat that will keep me nice and dry on my mobility scooter during our rainy season, aka, winter. That's my 12 year old step-son, now taller than me, but, in other ways, so much like me, it's a wonder we're not genetically related. Just try to get either one of us to shut up when we feel like talking!

Now that they've finished pairing up and raising their young, the goldfinches have been coming to our feeders in flocks.

They're particularly fond of their thistle seed. Put it out for them, and they will come. Just be patient.

If you want to attract more birds and less mess, skip bird seed mixes and just go with broken (so the tiny ones can eat them), shelled, black oil, sunflower seeds. If you want to keep starlings out of your feeder (trust me, you do), get one with a cage around it. This one is from Wild Birds Unlimited.
They've been travelling together with the house finches, teaming up as one hungry flock. (Those are female house finches on the bottom and on the right.) The house finches have lost the brightness of their vivid, mating reds, and the goldfinches have lost their vivid, mating yellows ...

But they're all still beautiful to me, especially in the light of Fall:

... the gorgeous, golden, slanted light of fall ...

... with its long low shadows, cast by a more distant sun.

I'm pretty sure that all my hummingbirds right now are Anna's hummingbirds. They stay all year round here.
Some things don't change in autumn. The hummingbirds are still extremely territorial, listening intently for competition and chasing it off with little squeaks and swoops.

To me, they still rival any jewel for their constantly changing beauty ... 

... especially now that the males are starting to get their magnificent, shimmering, red beards. This photo is embarrasingly awful, but at least it does show this immature, male hummer's ruby throat.

I keep trying to get a good shot of one with a more developed beard but this is the best one I got so far. As you can see, his beard is just getting started. (Yes, I'm loving my new camera.)

For now, will you settle for a juvenile, male, northern flicker, and his newly developing moustache and eyebrows? They will be bright red by spring.

On a side note, northern flickers are so acrobatic. Even their tongues can do weird and wonderful contortions for food.

The cats too are changing for the season. Bobby's getting his thick, velvety, undercoat for winter. Even now, at twenty, he has one of the nicest coats I've ever felt. 

I can't grow a winter coat, but I can dig out my onesies again, as I've done here. Of course, the cats keep me warm too. I think animals really like those of us who are frequently bed-ridden with illness and/or disability. We're good for cuddles -- and heating pads.

Yes, autumn is unquestionably my favourite time of year and it has been as far back as I can remember. 

Of course, here, it is not tainted by that melancholia that comes with knowing a brutal winter is on its way. It's not. What we call winter here is mild and, for Canadians, is really too wimpy to deserve the name of winter. I love that!

For this non-melancholic, autumn day, my look was clearly a 1970s one. The skirt basically screams, "1970s!" and one must obey its call. I did it before when I payed homage to 1970s feminists.

This time, after I put the outfit itself together, I got out my biggest, brown sunglasses. Beau doesn't like them much. He calls them my bug sunglasses.

So, nu? Do I care? No. I dress for myself! Don't we all?

Since it was a 70s look, I felt it was the perfect time to wear my seagull earring, seagulls having been all the rage in the 70s. (I have a matching pendant too... somewhere. Milo, the big orange cat, knocked over several of my jewelry stands the other day, causing Beau to cry out in despair, "We're dealing with a very large blast radius here!" I'm still working on re-sorting everything.)

I got the brown earrings in the early 80s, when I was about 13. I thought they matched my hair. Smother always dressed me in blues, her favourite colour, but, once I could make my own choices, I understood that I was an Autumn and dressed myself accordingly. 

I love my gold and diamond, Keith Richards ring. That's what I call it anyway because I can see Keith wearing it in the 70s, cigarette dangling from his mouth, a bottle in his hand. It's not my kind of life, but it is my kind of ring.

I tend to wear my brown, Rafael ring every time I go with a 70s look. I think I paid 75 cents for it about 15 years ago. I only later learned that, around 1970, Rafael was a Montreal jeweler of the Brutalist school. His rings are going for around $100 now. I keep thinking of buying more of his pieces to match but, you know, $100 is a lot more than 75 cents.

As I've said before, one really can't wear too much gold with a 70s outfit, so I added my maternal grandmother's, gold-fill bracelet, and a vintage, orange and white, clamper bracelet to match the stripes in the skirt. Then, delighted to find yet another way to wear a brooch, I used my great-aunt's, filigree leaf brooch ...

... to keep my wrap-around skirt from blowing open. I think leaf jewelry always works in the fall.

Wouldn't you agree?

Tortoise shell barrettes (matching my sunglasses and cane), and sparkly gold barrettes finished things off. 

Check out how the light shines right through my ears!

I really do love autumn light. 

It's a wonderful time of year ... 

... a cozy, settle down ...

.... get comfortable and relax time ...

... a Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur reflect on it all time.

It's my time. Is it yours?



  1. Oh I am so not an autumn girl. (Here, winter is terrible and I have seasonal affective disorder, so all I can think is "Winter is coming!") But my lovely wife was born in the autumn and has fall coloring, so it's growing on me.

    I wanted to say thank you for the inspiration with the brooch and the wrap skirt! I shall use some of my hijab brooches which don't get enough use to keep my wrap skirts closed and they will be that much more functional. :)

    1. You know me: always searching for new ways and places to wear brooches! Just yesterday, I said to Beau, "You know you're really into fashion, when you envy Muslim women for their pretty scarves and the brooches they use to hold them in place."

      I loathe winter too. Fall would not be the same beautiful time for me if I lived somewhere that has real winters.

  2. What a beautiful, poetic post! Autumn becomes you, Charlotte! I also love to call it Autumn - such a beautiful word, it actually sounds a lot like Russian word for this season - осень (osen). I consider October the prettiest month of the year, as well as May. Justin was born in October, so was my Mom and my nephew, and I was born in May. :) I think for me, it is also the most productive month - creatively, I mean. I love Autumn very much, and what we have here instead of Winter is really just a long Fall slowly becoming a long Spring. Though they predict some snow in lowlands for this coming Winter, that can be fun too (I find it pretty and refreshing, but I don't really miss snow - I had it too much in my life).

    I had no idea that birds change colors with season!!! Those photos of birds are amazing. Our cats (also orange and black-ish, actually a tortie) ae sisters, and last time they snuggled was years ago when they still were kittens. On the opposite end of a sofa is as close as they like to get to each other. :)

    The color of your top is perfect for you! Really, really your time of year and your colors. Sending you lots of love, my dear! Happy Autumn!!!

    1. I agree that we don't get winter here: just a gloriously long Fall, and a gloriously long spring. Then a brief but awful summer. : ) I hope it doesn't snow this year because, with my mobility scooter, I assume I'll be trapped at home.

      Whenever my immortal cats do finally pass, I hope to get a bonded pair of kittens. Sounds like even then I won't be sure they'll stay bonded as they age.

      I can't remember for sure, but I think I found that top tossed in an alley somewhere.

  3. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Cute cats, great jewelry.

  4. Autumn is truly lovely on you! I really enjoyed the cat and bird (separately!) photos. And the Vogue-aversary = priceless. xo


    1. Beau is so darling the way he gets how healing my love of beauty is. He's perfectly happy to pose with me for those yearly Vogue-iversary photos.

      I love my cat and bird photos too. With my new camera, I can finally show people why I am so delighted by my creatures!

  5. You picked the perfect colors for your skin tone. I enjoy how you spot the beauty around you. Thanks for adding your style flair to the My Refined Style Fashion Over 40 Linkup!


    1. Spotting beauty has been a lifelong survival skill for me. I grew up in hell but it was never without something - the wind in the trees, the chickadees' songs, a pretty print on a dress - to make it a tiny bit bearable.