Falling In Love With Autumn
Whether you call it Fall or Autumn – it’s a time to celebrate nature and ready yourself for dipping temperatures and shorter days. September, October, and November are my favorite months. The beauty of leaves turning from green to gold, the arrival of pumpkins and butternut squash, and the first overnight frost that marks the end of our tomato plants. Amazing sunsets and a couple of unseasonably warm days help us gently say goodbye to summer. Here are some of our favorite fall activities.
10) Collecting the most colorful leaves of gold, orange, and red. If you soak them for a couple of days in a lanolin mixture, the leaves retain their color and pliability.
9) Roasting a butternut squash in the oven. If you generously season the squash with EVOO and herbs de Provence, it tastes delicious and fills your home with an amazing aroma! We purée the roasted squash and add to dishes at will. My favorites are risotto and homemade ravioli filling.
8) Finding the yummiest cider doughnuts in our area. Local bakeries, general stores, and orchards sell these melt in your mouth, cinnamon-sugar covered treats. My family loves to eat them warm out of paper bags.
7) Pressing our own apple cider. We are lucky enough to have friends with apple trees and a cider press. The kids gather for an afternoon to pick apples, toss them in the press and turn the crank. It’s an awesome arm workout! Lots of local cider mills around our area let you watch their cider pressing if you can’t do your own.
6) Pumpkin picking at a farm. We buy a trunkload of pumpkins and gourds to decorate our front porch. This year, the kids picked lots of white pumpkins and drew scary spiders and cobwebs on them with black Sharpies. And I bought little orange pumpkins with lots of lumps and bumps to fill my mantle.
5) Corn mazes! Local orchard owners and farmers plant corn to create elaborate paths that keep us entertained for hours. Even great for social distanced fun! One of the biggest mazes nearby offers nighttime hours. Bring your flashlight, or choose the night of a full moon to guide your way.
4) Hiking. The cooler weather makes wandering our local woods even more fun.
3) Raking fallen leaves to create huge lawn piles for jumping. My youngest has been planning a giant landing pad of crunchy leaves at the base of his swing for days. We have regular rakes, and these fun plastic hand rakes for little ones – so everyone can get in on the job.
2) Planning for Halloween. Although our celebration will look different this year. We have enjoyed shopping for the holiday candy displays, making a list of flicks to watch for our Halloween movie marathon, and decorating the tree in our front yard with pillowcase ghosts.
1) Lighting candles – in the fall I pack away the summer citronella candles, and break out my beeswax tapers. I’m obsessed with the mild, sweet smell of real beeswax. We light a candle for dinner each night.