" He walked up through the orchard "
" In the mudroom off the kitchen he'd seen an old wicker basket full of masonjars. "
is a wide-mouthed glass jar with a screw top, used for canning and preserving food.
" shivering in their rags like mendicant friars "
Mendicant religious orders are those which rely on the charity of others, refraining from ownership of property or material goods. In this way, they attempt to mimic the life of Christ, allowing them time and energy to focus on purely religious and charitable work. In contrast to monks, who devote their lives to prayer and contemplation, friars live to serve their communities.
Monk In The Snow (1907-8), by Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840)
" Begonia. Morning glory. "