Embrace the Season

I love Autumn! Walking through the woods while crunching and swishing the dry leaves under my feet is such a wonderful sensation. I climb the short hill and get panoramic views of the colorful foliage on both neighboring ranges. Raking leaves, digging up bulbs and putting my garden to rest are satisfying routines that indicate we are fast approaching the dormant season.
In the meantime,  I am still harvesting swiss chard, Brussels sprouts,  kale, collard greens and parsley for dinners. My favorite fall flower, the hardy chrysanthemums,  are done blooming;  but that doesn’t mean I can’t find a bouquet for my table. There are plenty of dried seed pods, grasses, evergreens, berries and succulents to enjoy this time of year. It is still possible to enjoy the season and embrace the colors and textures that we don’t get any other time of year.
Happy Autumn!

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A Fun Finale to Fall

   The last of the golden brown oak leaves are fluttering down in the warm breeze. That means it is time for another favorite fall tradition: raking leaves. But not just the raking part… the place we rake them is in front of the swing set. We gather the leaves from a long radius around the swing set and shape them into a giant fluffy pile. Once we have collected as many as we can, the kids take turns swinging high on the swing set and then jump off, spinning through the air and landing in the cushioned pile. They then fluff the pile up and do it again. What could be more fun?

  

I have to admit, I have taken a few turns too. But I really prefer to walk through the crunchy leaves, swishing them under my feet or admiring the layers of color.

  

I look for signs of sumac and golden rod, still putting out a brilliant display until the end. The dogs love running through the leaves too, sniffing for deer tracks, moles or bones hiding underneath.

But I hear the wind picking up, whistling through the nearly empty branches. I feel the temperature rapidly drop as the cold front moves in.

Our last days of Indian summer have passed. As I watch the clouds build up, I finish pruning my dried flower stalks and pack my bulbs in a bin full of fluffy leaves. I pull my sweatshirt around me tightly as I watch the kids take a few more leaps into the pile. Tomorrow I will need to wear a warmer coat.