It’s Leaf Season!
Red, gold and amber against a deep blue sky, frosty air filled with the scent of burning wood and ripe apples, migrating birds and animals feasting on this year’s abundant harvest – autumn feels like a celebration.
Here are ten things you can do to maximize your enjoyment of one of the most dramatic and beautiful times in nature:
1. Collect leaves.
Sort them by shape, color or size, press them in waxed paper or seal them in contact paper.
2. Make seasonal art.
Collect pine cones, nuts, twigs or branches, bittersweet or whatever you find and make a centerpiece, place mats, a picture frame, stained glass art or whatever inspires you.
3. Rake leaves into a pile and jump in.
Use Premethrin to prevent exposure to ticks.
4. Practice making a debris shelter.
The layer of newly-fallen leaves makes building a shelter easy at this time of year.
5. Eat a new leafy green vegetable.
Kale and collard greens taste sweeter after the weather turns cool. They provide wonderful opportunities to experiment.
6. Pick your own apples.
Nothing beats fresh picked. The Jewish tradition of celebrating the New Year eating apples and honey is a delightful experience for anyone who enjoys autumn’s sweetness.
7. Make a list of migrating birds.
The sounds of birds in flight, the sight of a bird one day and not the next, the changes in fall warbler foliage – all add color and texture to leaf season.
8. Write a poem or a song.
Use a familiar tune and make up words about the season or your feelings.
9. Learn or practice a survival skill.
Now is the perfect time to gather dried dogbane or yucca to make cordage, gather phragmites or reeds to make a grass mat, experiment with fire-making, food dehydration, leathercraft or practice nature observation techniques.
10. Go for a full moon hike.
It’s too cold for bugs, but not for hikers.
Transition times are the most exciting times for nature observation. Jump in and enjoy all that this season has to offer.
Photo. A. Smith