I was driving over to New Gloucester today to pick up some Anadama Bread and jumbo fresh eggs. I had not driven half a mile down our road when I began to notice how last night’s rain seemed to have intensified the colors in the late maples and oaks. We are past “peak” but the remaining color is starkly contrasted with the new blue sky and bright green fields.

Intervale road has always been a favorite of mine. It’s a farm road with pastures on either side and hardwoods, now mostly bare, lining the boundaries of the fields. A newly paved blacktopped road divides the green with a bright yellow stripe seemingly guiding the way. Colorful maple, oak and beach line the way in ocasional passages of sheer delight.

Many deciduous representatives are bare and gray barked in the sparkling fall sunlight. Rolling hillsides are populated with boulders, trees and idle implements waiting new work orders, possibly in the spring – seemingly afloat in an emerald sea. There’s a stand of bare maple and oak and there is another grove yet holding on to their fall display.

I resist stopping to take more photographs – I have what seems hundreds. How much filed away beauty is enough? Is there ever enough beauty? Everyone with a camera is an artist. I slow to give space to a woman pointing a camera at yet another masterpiece. Beauty is a universal language and all of us have the power of fluency. It’s so easy to practice during a Maine fall season.

I picked up some Chipotle Barbecue potato chips last night and I was astonished to read, right there on the bag, on a distinctive banner, the fact that this was a Limited Batch of potato chips. I’m not sure what that means but it would seem to the casual observer that any batch is by definition limited. Now, it might mean that once these potato chips are gone there won’t be any more like them. Or it might mean nothing at all. Does anything written on a bag of potato chips have great meaning?

I’m reminded of the phrase: Single Barrel, in reference to whiskies. This is supposed to impress upon me that this is way better than the regular rot gut that I usually drink that comes from a lot of barrels that have been mixed together so the taste is uniform from bottle to bottle. The Single Barrel stuff always costs about twice as much as the regular multi-barrel stuff – I suppose that would be the proper term. Many times the phrase indicates a higher proof but not always.

I’m a sucker for a good vodka now and then and there is this brand from Iceland (I mean, Iceland?) that I just couldn’t resist. It was pricy but it turned out to be really tasty. Their big thing was the unique still they used. There are, I think it said, only six of the things in the world. It’s called a Carter Head still. Don’t ask. Its secret was that it added the botanicals at the top of the process rather than at the bottom in the pot. You’ll have to forgive me – I’ve made a little beer but never got into distilling, so I may not know how to talk about this clearly. Of course the water they use to make this vodka from is a billion years old and being Iceland, it’s pure and cold.

Single Malt Scotch is another one of those supposedly rare and special drinks that is obviously superior to the multi malt swill. Beside that, single malts have quite unique characteristics, and are hugehly expensive. I could rent a red Lamborghini for the week for about the price of a case of 15 year old Bowmore. Well perhaps a brief weekend would about tap me out. These distillers talk about the process, with tears of religious passion. They speak of peat fires and ancient copper stills as though they were describing King Author’s sword, or Gwenevere’s um… . whatever. And is it any better? Well, of course. Any fool knows that. Just look at the price. I will say that my first sip of that 15 year old Bowmore brings to mind the chainsaw sounds of a hundred bagpipes. If that ain’t quality, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, I got two bags of those Limited Batch chips just in case there won’t be any more. They were good. Might be something to all the hype. Anyway by God, I got mine.