Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Richness of Autumn

When September rolls around with its misty mellow mornings and chilly nights, our thoughts turn to the richness of autumn. It's one of my favorite seasons in Central Pennsylvania. It’s the smell of curling smoke from chimneys, ripe apples fallen from the tree, foods laced with cinnamon and vanilla, and of course, the smell of earth with its drying leaves.

Goldenrod, Queen Anne’s lace, and russet sumac line our roadways. Maple leaves slowly change from luscious green to yellow and crimson and orange, while poplar and birch shiver in the crisp breezes, their leaves shimmering like gold coins.

Fields of grass, mown months ago in summer, are now fading to bronze and brown. In the gardens, tangerine pumpkins lay with withered leaves, ready to be picked, stored, or made into smiling October Jack-O-Lanterns.

If you pause and listen, there are crickets and night insects still hiding in the grass and chirping at dusk. Overhead, geese honk and search for a field to find food, knowing it’s too early to wing their way southward. Even though the joyful sweet chorus of the songbirds has faded, if you’re lucky—or not—a cardinal or bluebird will squawk out a complaint to let you know they are still nearby. In the tall pines, the annoying, relentless calls of the crows echo in the air.

Red apples, orange bittersweet, yellow sunflowers, blue skies, purple grapes, brown acorns, black nights and white frosted mornings are all part of the assortment of colors, sights and smells that shout autumn is near...get ready!