I love autumn. For me, it is absolutely the most beautiful time of year. Perhaps it is the knowledge of what is to come that makes me want to squeeze in as much time outdoors as possible. Maybe it is the lovely, mild weather – a welcome break after the oppressive heat of August. But I feel an urgency each year at the beginning of October to try to savor as much of this brief season as I can.
Today was a picture perfect autumn day in Ohio. The morning started crisp and cool, with temperatures significantly warmer as the day progressed. Bright blue skies beckoning through the windows drew me out onto the trails to enjoy all my favorite delights of this season.
Like most everyone, the changing colors of the leaves are an annual delight for me. The leaves here are just beginning to turn. Some trees are merely tinged with color, while others are transforming much more quickly into their fall foliage.
On my walk today, the warm yellows, oranges and reds seemed to bring a different color to the woods. As the sunlight dappled through them, it seemed to turn the forest into a golden place.
As I rounded a bend in the trail, I could see our Amish neighbors were working hard to harvest bright orange pumpkins from amidst the yellowing leaves of their field. Gourds overflowed their baskets with a diverse assortment of colors and beautifully strange shapes.
The rustle of the leaves beneath my feet always makes me more aware of my own tread, and the sounds around me. Chipmunks scurrying around me today sounded like enormous animals crashing through the underbrush!
Most delightful for me, though, was the return of a somewhat musty and earthy smell that seems to permeate the air at this time of year. That smell carries so many memories with it – afternoons spent jumping and hiding in leaf piles; cozy cable knit sweaters and cups of tea; sunny afternoon football games. I’m sure it is just the smell of decaying vegetation, but to me it is the smell of all my memories of this season.
What do you love most about autumn?