“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”1
I love autumn, I love October! I am always awed and inspired by the overload of nature’s artistry at every turn of the road. Beautiful days happen so often in the fall.
I’m grateful that I live in a climate zone where the impact of the changing seasons is unmistakable and most especially where the plunge into fall is such a spectacularly sensory submersion. Autumn, like no other season, explodes into all five senses in the loveliest possible way, creating some of the best sights, smells, tastes, sounds and caresses of the year. There is something truly special, emotional and spiritual about a season with such impact.
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”2
The first blush of the leaves, early in October, is a magnificent and nearly irresistible encouragement to every photographer. The trees are still lush, there is plenty of vibrant green for contrast and, in bright sunshine, the newly reddened leaves almost appear to be lit from within.
“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful…”3
I always enjoy being outdoors – hiking, taking pictures, and searching for wildlife. Exploration. Discovery. Adventure. Autumn is the very best time to observe the wonders of our natural world because all those creatures – the great and the small stage a theatrical display of activity readying themselves for winter – for migration or hibernation or simply to sustain themselves through the bitter cold when there are less or even no available sources of food for survival.
Their busyness is highly entertaining. There are caterpillars scurrying across nearly every rural road. The gorgeous Monarchs are gathering in the shore marshes ready for migration. Along the roadsides, the wildflowers are alive with activity as the very busy bees gather the last pollen of the year.
Squirrels and chipmunks are hustling to harvest the abundance of fruits, nuts and seeds that are virtually everywhere.
Birdwatching is especially rewarding in autumn as they assemble and prepare for migration. No species is more amusing, though, than Canada Geese. They practice their famous formation flying many times each day – their excitement evident in their constant, exuberant squawking – an entirely useless practice regimen as we all know… They. Never. Leave.
Another amazing aspect of fall is the annual salmon spawn which happens here, in our county, in the Cobourg Creek and the Ganaraska River. It is truly a privilege to watch these brave, tenacious creatures battle their way upstream, using every ounce of energy to jump the rapids and waterfalls in order to reach a quiet ‘pool’ in the water to spawn. And then die. On the one hand, you can’t help but marvel at their mettle and cheer them on, but on the other… Bittersweet.
Fall also vividly reminds us of the abundance in our county with the garden gate and farm market displays – corn, apples, squash, pumpkins…
The temperatures gradually grow cooler and the winds blow ever fresher, leaving me feeling energized, refreshed and enthusiastic. The beauty of the countryside and the wildlife activity are a huge part of why I am always so excited about fall’s arrival, but… Absolutely, the nicest perk of fall is that, even though the air is clean, brisk and sometimes nippy, this lovely season never lacks human warmth. It’s cosiness is evident in so many appealing ways: Gathering with family and friends at Thanksgiving, the scent of woodsmoke rising from chimneys, comfort foods on the table again, the homey smell of cinnamon is everywhere – coffee shops, kitchens, bakeries – and in our home, tea ‘round the fire each afternoon, that special closeness, and reconnection that happens between us as we ease back into our treasured and beloved indoor home life after a summer of outdoor wildhood.
I am very much a tactile person, I love to touch and feel everything. My autumn cosiness is borne of my woolies which I utterly adore; out of the cedar chest come my sweaters, socks, Glerups, mitts, scarves and hats. Wonderful, warm wool = perfect happiness!
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”4
The richness and magnificence of fall is Mother Nature’s captivating, exciting and oh-so-beautiful grand finale before her winter’s rest. She choreographs her finest sensory stimulations to hold us over winter, always leaving us wanting more.
That’s why I love autumn, I love October!
’Til next time, y’all…
1 L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
2 Emily Brontë
3 Cecil Frances Alexander
4 Ecclesiastes 3:1