It’s that time of the year again.
It’s fall in Portland.
One of my favorite things to do at this time of the year is to pick one of the last remaining clear and warm nights and go to Chapman School and watch what is commonly referred to as the “Swift Show”.
For those not familiar, every year hundreds of swifts take up residence in a decommissioned chimney of this NW elementary school for just a few weeks — and then disappear until the following September.
Portland being what it is, denizens have made it a ritual — and a month long party!– to watch the nightly ritual of these birds circling the school for a good hour until they suddenly all fly into the chimney.
It starts out slowly with just a dozen or two soaring through the sky.
Hundreds more come in, and then the race is on.
The pictures I took doesn’t do it justice; it’s fascinating to watch how the birds hover around the area until some secret signal is shared and they all start to circle the chimney. They form a swirling, whirling vortex of hundreds
and then like choreography, one by one they swoop into the chimney until the last one disappears just as it gets dark. The fact that a hawk or two occasionally swoops into the group and picks off one of the tiny birds makes it dramatic and compelling.
And with so few picnic opportunities left, I’m eager for every last alfresco meal I can get.
Yes, there’s been Indian summer weather, but a taste of rain and morning chill too, so just as the swifts have taken cues from nature, so do I.
It’s time to face facts that summer is on the way out, and it’s finally time to pull out those Halloween and fall decorations.
I look forward to this time every year.
Every year I pull them out the first week of October, and I try to find a new piece to add the collection each year.
Like this vintage inspired piece with a honeycomb base.
I love how he looks on my mantelpiece.
I’m also happy looking at my mercury glass pumpkin from Pottery Barn alongside this owl
and this white tissue wreath (found at Goodwill) looks great with a black mouse and rose as a focal point, don’t you think?
And get a load of this vintage cookie cutter box I found.
Halloween and fall decorations aren’t limited to my living room– they can be found throughout my house.
In my windows.
Both upstairs and down.
Seasonal linens on small tables.
And more little objects in one of my favorite spots for decorating — the little shelf over my kitchen sink.
I found this tiny cat head at a garage sale and I love how it looks in this miniature covered cake stand.
And it’s perhaps my porch that gets the most seasonal love.
My front porch is one of my favorite things about my house, and I love to swap out different things at various times of the year.
In the past week I’ve spruced it up, and added lots of eye candy.
And little signs scattered throughout.
This enormous lantern I’ve had for years
but this little cupboard it’s sitting on now is a find from August.
I found it with a “free” sign on it not far from my house; it came with its own stand and a Pottery Barn price sticker and I think it’s the kind of the thing that’s supposed to go in a bathroom, but legless it looks great where it is.
So how do you embrace fall and upcoming Halloween?
Do you decorate, too?
Do you buy special arrangements for your dining table?
Are you making or just enjoying soups every chance you can get?
(Hopefully they’re all as good as this— a Mulligatawny soup my friend Mary Ann, a wonderful cook, gave me this week.)
Do you see leaves falling and instantly want to start making cookies and delivering them to everyone you know?
Are you buying seasonal candies and trying not to eat them all ahead of time?
Whatever you’re doing, I hope that in this rough, dreadful week of news you find yourself happy, healthy and surrounded with loved ones.