Let me start with the last part first.
I think the best tomatoes of this year have been the pink (eva purple ball, brandywine) and the black ones (paul robeson, nyagous, and cherokee purple), with orange being a runner up, leaving the red ones suprisingly in the dust. To explain a little, I'll add that different tomatoes fair better on different years. There are probably a lot of factors, like soil ph and minerals, weather, and others. My theory on this years major factor is when we got our rain and the quality of light (ie not much sunshine overall). The final results have let this tomato year be not too bad for us, tho i suspect the ought nine season will be generally remembered over Vermont as the season of the blight.
Now, on to Autumn. My friend from college andrew was in town and helping us on friday with the harvest and mentioned that his favorite Keats poem was "To Autumn," well, I read it, and if ever there was an inverse equation to a picture is a thousand words here it is
of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
definitely one of those the more things change the more they stay the same moments for me, tho i guess we are all going to have to look up garden-croft.