(the vaux swifts take their evening dive into the chimney)

(NW skies are pretty spectacular)

(so are my shoes)

(also, this cake Tricia made rocked my universe)

Fall has arrived -- it started out by being darker on my morning walks, the afternoon light is sharper and more fleeting. Then Portland even took a turn for foggy days, a patch of rain this week . . . I wore my big grey scarf. But it didn't all sink in until my pal Tricia invited me to watch the Vaux Swifts in their annual visit to their favorite chimney . . . The Vaux Swifts come every year, during the month of September, on their migratory path down South to warmer climates. About 30,000 of the birds make their way, and all swoop in a beautiful black formation, until descending into their make-shift nest, a chimney at a local Elementary school. The whole thing is akin to a sporting event, folks making picnics, sitting on blankets and cheering for the birds. It's one of the things that made me fall in love with Portland four years ago . . . I thought we were seeing a band, the "Vaux Swifts" sounded too cool -- I was so happy and awed at the idea of a big bird swoop instead of hipster crooners. They're still great. I still get goosebumps thinking about this intense natural phenomenon.

On top of all this, Tricia made a delectable fig, lemon, cornmeal confection, glazed in a honey Port wine caramel sauce.


It did make me weak in the knees and I'll bet she posts her recipe for this amazing cake soon -- I'll keep y'all up to date on that!

If Autumn is a time for figgy cakes, beautiful cigar-shaped birds, golden genie shoes and red wine in plastic cups with friends, I AM IN! It's my favorite time of year.

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