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Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Foliage

Amy Richardson
Hobby Farms and Hobby Farm Home Associate Editor

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.  –Emily Bronte (HobbyFarms.com)

The other night after leaving the Hobby Farms office, I drove through a swirl of falling leaves that so gracefully reminded me it actually IS fall. I’ll admit, even though I was hyped up about the onset of my favorite season several weeks before the season turned, my excitement has waned over the last few weeks with hotter-than-average temperatures in our area and more and more on my plate in life and at work. But seeing those leaves flutter in front of my car sparked that excitement again. I won’t be taking the rest of autumn for granted!

I’ve always loved fall, October in particular. I was born right in the middle of the month so as a kid I got to celebrate my birthday, followed two weeks later by Halloween! That’s a lot of excitement for a child in one month, and to this day the anticipation of this fun and spooky season has never rubbed off.

October reminds me of all the best times of childhood like my school’s annual fall festival where I had my first pony ride and caramel apple or dressing up in costumes with my sister and traipsing through my grandmother’s neighborhood with our cousins on Halloween or waiting for my parents to rake the fallen leaves into piles so we could jump in them and scatter them all about, just for fun.

Just like Emily Bronte, I feel nothing but sheer bliss at the sight of trees changing hues; delight in discovering that one-of-a-kind bright-orange leaf on the ground; or curiosity in watching squirrels scurry up and down the oak trees harvesting nuts for the winter. I choose to ignore these activities as signs of a cold, dark winter to come, and instead bask in the full spectacle of fall’s fashion show.

Its’ nature’s bold display of colors, coupled with the crisp autumn air, that evokes similar giddiness in most people I know, especially the HF editorial staff who all seem to share a similar love for this time of year. Unlike any season, fall beckons even the most indoorsy people outdoors to enjoy its ever-changing views. What other season brings people so close to nature’s splendor? Even in today’s high-tech, fast-paced society, people still plan pilgrimages to the mountains of Vermont in October to experience the state’s famous fall foliage at its peak or hiking trips through the Great Smokey Mountains to be enveloped by the multi-hued canopies above.

Here in central Kentucky, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by rolling hills of wonderful orchards and farms that open their gates for us to enjoy their apple and pumpkin harvests every year. These are the places, where you’ll find me on the next several weekends in October and November, sipping some homemade apple cider and picking out my pumpkins for carving. As a farmer, you might be lucky enough to only have to step outside your backdoor to experience nature’s seasonal gifts.  Next time you do, look at the shrubs and trees on your acreage. Notice the subtle changes they’ve undergone this week.  Take a deep breath of cool autumn air. Let’s stop forgetting it’s fall and enjoy the show!

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