When the summer sun fades and crisp autumn temperatures creep up on us, I intentionally seek out activities where I can walk hand-in-hand with nature. It’s the season where I seem to become more active. Or maybe it’s just that I know my days are numbered so I make more of an effort to enjoy being outdoors.
Despite the chill in the air, I like to play outside in autumn with a few favorite attractions and activities.
- A visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. I enjoy the robust blooms of fall like my favorite flower, dahlias, all in full bloom. In the perennial garden there are phlox, waterlilies and cone flowers. The prairie garden is bursting with color and along the Three-Mile Drive I can wind through various collections and landscapes taking in the fall colors, apple trees and the scent of a variety of pine trees. Swipe through and take a peek of photos I took on my recent visit.
- It’s the perfect time of year to take long walks in our county parks and around area lakes. Whether it’s biking, running or walking there are always plenty of trails and good people watching along the way.
- Take a note pad and go sit on a blanket in a park and write. I’m no Ansel Adams so as much as I’d like to think I could sit and sketch, I lack the skills to do such a thing.
- A visit to an apple orchard is always a must in the fall and between Minnesota and Wisconsin there are an abundant of orchards to choose from. I feel excitement when I see the bushel baskets, little red wagons and smell the fragrance of fresh-picked apples. Haralson and Honeycrisp are two of my must haves every fall and of course I have to bake an apple pie or two.
- A drive to view the fall colors. I can smell the dried fallen leaves just thinking about it. One of my favorite fall color viewing destinations is Bayfield, Wisconsin. This charming little town hosts an annual Apple Festival now in its 54th year and features a parade and booths of apple pies, caramel apples, ciders and other fall treats. And since I’m in the area, taking the ferry to Madeline Island is a must! The scenic drive around the island taking in the spectacular colors and the view of our majestic Lake Superior is always a treat.
- Collecting fall leaves. Life’s simple pleasures are right here in front of us, why not bring the outdoors in and fill your favorite rustic bowl with natures art?
- Roasting buttercup squash and serving it with braised pork chops. No need for further explanation, right?
- Making a big batch of chili using tomatoes from my local farmers market.
- Touring a winery. Could I ever get lucky enough again to pick grapes like I did in Galena, Illinois at Galena Cellars. Oh what a memorable experience that was, talk about being in the right place at the right time!
- And my final favorite activity in the fall is to watch the geese fly south for the winter. Despite the fact these super-poopers make a mess in our parks, I admire their teamwork in executing a V formation and how they rotate from front to back when they get tired. Geese fascinate me. Maybe it’s because of their loyalty to their mates. It’s true that when a goose’s mate is killed, he or she will mourn in seclusion and spend the rest of their lives as widows or widowers, refusing to mate again. So sad.
The way I see it, the only thing bad about fall is having to decide between a pumpkin latte and warm apple cider.
Fall is truly my favorite season and for those of us who prefer blizzards and snowshoes over sunburns and sand, we celebrate the opportunity when we can break out our flannel and corduroy, jump in some leaves and enjoy fall while it lasts. Enjoy the season!