It is autumn. Or is it fall? Fall is the old English word adopted by North Americans. Autumn, as we say in modern Britain, is also old English and was stolen from us by the French. (Alright French friends, I admit, we stole it from you…) Both words are used by Shakespeare. I love both the literal description of fall and the rich onomatopoeia of autumn.

Autumn is kicking through leaves as a kid and the quiet descent of the world into darkness. Fall is showers of golden leaves blowing from the birch trees and carpeting the yard in lemon yellows, ambers and russet browns. 

Even the dull, old spruce trees got a covering and for a few days they looked like they were sporting bling for some astounding, sylvan event.

In England, autumn can start around July and not end until March, if at all. In the Yukon, it is a few blazing weeks, with the fall colours at their peak for days only.

This year we seem to have an extension. The first fall we lived here, 4 years ago, we had a film crew staying wit…

The fairy tale forest

We’ve been out for 6 weeks and in that time the forest has sprung up, fast as a million beanstalks from a million magic beans, and engulfed our home almost beneath it.

I can barely see the house as we pull in to land. Our trails up the bank are clotted with greenery and we push our way through with arm load after arm load of supplies.

It’s a short summer, but the sun shines all night and plants go utterly mad with the joy of it. There is fireweed everywhere, blowing buff seeds into the air and casting a purple tint across the yard. The willows we cut in the spring have bounced back so vigorously it feels like they’re laughing at us.

We missed the delphiniums but the bog star and lupins are still blooming. Our potatoes, beans and even our tomatoes survived their abandonment, and somehow hung in there beneath the towering chickweed.

The last of our raspberries are moulding on the stems and so we dashed out the morning after we arrived to pick as many as we could for jam. We’ve start…