I grew up in a family of mushroom foragers. It truly was a thing in the Basque Country – still is. Everyone I knew did it. Does it. Watched the weather for days, hiked for miles, returned furiously frustrated at the lack of funghi, always kept an ear open for by-passer conversations to see if they found something…. It is a big thing. I simply followed along. I walked behind my dad with a wooden stick in hand and wicker basket in arm. I really couldn’t tell you much about the different varieties but I remember the gigantic boletus that we sometimes found and the edulis. There were other varieties, their English names escape me. Gibelurdinak, in Basque. There was a level of excitement and even tension about the entire event that I loved, not to mention the beautiful hikes in the forest and time spent with family. It is always with the passing of time that I can appreciate how those days have shaped me.
I don’t have any tattoos although for a while I considered getting one. “What would it be?” Jenny asked. Like lightning, I felt an impulse… “a little tiny apple on my knuckle!”. No actual tattoo came out of it, but I do think about that spontaneous reply often. This simply to illustrate my love for apples and also this season. October is my favorite time of year when the bounty of summer collides with the preparation for winter. It is the nostalgia I feel for a childhood surrounded by apple and quince trees and rain boots.
They say that the best camera is the one that you carry with you. In the last couple of years, I have been using my phone camera more and more. It is light and always in my back pocket. Instagram has become my most active social media as I navigate the world of images more comfortably than words. I know this is a bit of a debatable subject but personally, I prefer Instagram accounts that simply post iPhone photos. It is almost as if this the democratization of photography – give everyone a simple tool with no bells and whistles and see what they can do with it (and please, no offense if you post photos from other sources).
Same principles of photography apply – lighting, composition, styling, lines…
Apple picking season has begun and I wrote a guide about it for Conde Nast Traveler – where to go, what to pick and a super easy apple pie recipe.
It’s the countdown to Fall. An old friend who has lived in Seattle for ages whispered to me as we were walking… “this is the last warm front of the year, so stop complaining”
Bring the clouds, the rain, the fog and the creativity.
Oh yes, and soup. I am already planning a soup party for October.