August 26, 2010



Food tastes better outside. It’s true. Even the something simple like a bunch of grapes or a loaf of bread tastes like ambrosia if I’m on a picnic.

When I picked up FireAnt at her house in the city last week, she lugged a wicker picnic basket out to the car. She is a woman who knows the right ingredients for a picnic. She brought a red-and-white checked tablecloth, china plates, and her delicious potato salad, made with local potatoes flavored with olive oil, chunks of garlic, fresh dill, and parsley.

We drove to a park that has picnic tables under pine trees, just above a waterfall. We had the place to ourselves: we could hear the crashing of the water as we spread food out on a table. BusyLifeAlsoWrites joined us, pulling up in a car that looks like a refrigerator. She brought hot tea in a thermos and a dessert that included fresh peaches from the farmers’ market.

We talked as we ate, catching up on our lives, trading stories about our summer travels. Then we walked a trail to the waterfall. The trail ends at an overlook, with big signs that say things like, “Danger! Stay on the path.” We ignored these signs, of course. We always do. They’ve been there for as long as I can remember. Even when I was kid, I thought they were ridiculous.

So we climbed under the railings and slid down the dirt to the little creek at the bottom of the falls. All kinds of trees had come crashing down during a recent windstorm. I climbed around on the fallen trees and onto the rocks at the bottom of the fall, and got close enough to feel the mist. It was hoping the sun would come out so that I could convince Fire Ant to pose naked in front of the waterfall, but the light did not cooperate. It was still overcast and getting dark as we walked back out of the park and headed for home, bellies still filled with delicious picnic food.


zirafa said...

Ah, Jo(e), delightful entry.

To nestle beneath those tall pines, hearing water rush its way down a stone wall, picking our way through trails, sharing poets' talk and devouring FireAnt's always-a-delicious-picnic recharged my battery. And on the way home, I found a hot air balloon just launching its way skyward. Days don't get better than this.

You know the best thing about driving a refrigerator? It keeps the peaches cool in summer. ;-))


YourFireAnt said...

Well, I think food tastes better when someone else makes it.

Nice shot of the table, Jo(e).


Digger said...

If you were where I think you were, I am always amazed at how few people are there. I'll be that way in September; I can hardly wait!

And a tablecloth??? Very civilized! Sounds fantastic.

Magpie said...

Yum, potato salad. Sounds like a perfect picnic.

julieunplugged said...

Catching up with you here. Just love all your summer's end photos. You do the best job of capturing a feeling in both words and pictures. I leave your blog refreshed and nostalgic. Thank you for being that oasis in a world of snark online.