Every season has its own unique feeling, and just like summer evokes thoughts of swimming pools, sandy beaches, and barbecues, autumn reconnects us with colorful landscapes, playful spookiness, turkey dinners, and all things pumpkin.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons. After enduring a hot and brutally humid North Carolina summer, I welcome fall’s cooler temperatures and drier air with open arms. During summer, we often stay indoors to escape the bugs and heat in our air-conditioned homes and offices, but fall allows us to spend more time outdoors in nature without the discomforts.
Fall brings several things that make me happy, like wearing hoodies, fireside chats, and outdoor cooking. Coffee on the deck or at the pier becomes a morning ritual, and lunch and dinners happen outside too. Mosquitos and other biting insects are gone, and nature takes on a beautiful, more rugged look. Leaves turn bright colors, steadily moving from the tree limbs to the forest floor. As trees drop their leaves, the forest seems to become more open and expansive. You can see farther and move more easily through the brush.
Recreational activities also seem better in the fall. Moderate temperatures make activities like running, fishing, and photography more pleasant. It’s also a great time to tackle outdoor projects, or take the opportunity to disconnect by observing nature quietly from a tree stand or deer blind.
Yesterday was an exemplary fall day for me. I woke up to drink coffee outside, where it was 52 degrees Fahrenheit with one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen. A large pine grove, which lights up with the warm light of the morning sun, flanks the east side of my back porch. The sun’s rays look distinctly golden, and when they hit the dark pine grove, the trees cut the light, forming beams that cut through the forest. This morning, there was a small herd of deer feeding in the pine grove, and the golden sunlight backlit their shadowy forms. It was an exceptional experience.
My wife and I went for a walk at Lake Wilson, toting our coffees in hand. The lake level is low this time of year, but the shallow edges of the lake create a type of marshland that attracts a large variety of waterfowl. This morning there were blue herons, white egrets, geese, osprey, plovers, and several varieties of ducks. Also, for the first time, I saw a small flock of wood storks which looked majestic flapping their large black and white wings.
Later, we stopped at a pharmacy to get vaccinated for the flu before visiting a small sporting goods store where I purchased a ground blind to set up in the woods. I’d say it was a beautiful, adventurous day filled with happiness and excitement for the new season.
I hope you had a great summer and that you’re also looking forward to autumn. I’m wishing you a well deserved reprieve from the summer heat and many upcoming fall adventures. As always, have fun and stay safe.