Magnificent Autumn

Color against an ominous sky over the San Francisco Peaks

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core . . .

~John Keats

The first line of Keats’ lovely ode To Autumn always reminds me of a really funny scene in the movie Bridget Jones’ Diary.  Anybody else?

In the Northern Hemisphere, we are enjoying Autumn, without a doubt my favorite season.  The sun has become less intense, allowing for cooler temperatures, making it a perfect time for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities amongst luscious scents and sounds of underfoot crackling.  The kids are back in school, and thoughts have turned toward planning for the holidays, prompting memories of years past.  And the leaves, oh the leaves!

Golden Aspen in Flagstaff’s Southside neighborhood

According to Wikipedia, prior to the 16th century, this season was called Harvest.  But as more and more people moved away from the countryside and into towns, the term gradually lost its reference to the time of year and came to refer only to the actual activity of reaping.  Afterwards, the season became known as Fall, referring to the fall of the leaves, or Autumn, which may have derived from a Latin word meaning increase.

Broadleaf trees of orange and yellow following Oak Creek, with Sedona in the background

An article from the US Forest Service explains the breathtaking beauty exhibited by the leaves of many trees this time of year. Deciduous tree leaves possess various pigments, including chlorophyll.  During warmer months, chlorophyll is dominant, causing green hues.  But as the hours of daylight grow shorter in the Fall, other pigments become more obvious, resulting in amazing palates of yellow, gold, orange, and many shades of red.  During this glorious time, a wall of tissue is formed beneath each leaf, stopping the flow of fluids, causing the leaves to eventually drop.  Here in Northern Arizona, those gorgeous leaves are seen on the ground much too early each year, an unhappy consequence of frequent high winds.

I was surprised to find that this is a good time to plant new trees.  From a piece written for the Arbor Day Foundation, Planting in the fall gives trees an extra growing season before the stress of summer. The combination of cooler temperatures and fall rain allows trees to establish their roots, making it easier on them to adjust to extreme heat or drought in the summer.  Further, the article says, there is no need to fear the effects of winter on the newly planted trees, because they, like bears and bats, sleep during the cold months.   

Yummy Autumn meal fixings whose recipe I will share in a future post

Nature’s timing also indicates the plant foods we should be eating now. Those that are best to consume during Autumn are crops that have been harvested recently and locally.  This is due to newly-introduced regional microbes that help our gut’s existing microbiome (and therefore, our immunity) transition to the changing climate. According to Dr. Elson Haas of the Preventive Medical Center in San Rafael, California, Nature gives us what we need, when we need it. This website offers information on what’s being harvested this season.

Aspens towering over Pines, inside the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks

Call it Harvest, Fall, or Autumn, I hope you and your family are enjoying the lavish delights of this time of year.  May the season’s sights, scents, sounds, and tastes bestow upon you beautiful new experiences and bring to mind joyful memories.  

Now, where is that Bridget Jones dvd?

Autumn Blessings,

Lisa

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

52 thoughts on “Magnificent Autumn

  1. I too enjoy the Harvest season (I live out in the country ha). Not sure it it is due to the beautiful scenes as the leaves “leave” us with a final show of splendor or the fact that the temps are absolutely perfect for longs runs – likely both since one gets me closer to the other. We have always had issues with planting in the fall, especially any saplings as the deer are more courageous in their quest for diminishing food supplies – plant one day and then be met with toothpicks the next hehehe. Great post, once the rain moves out, hoping to enjoy the gorgeous colors.

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    1. Hey, Brian, those darn deer! We used to have a couple of elk brothers (each of them had a rack, so we thought they must be brothers) who visited our front yard frequently to help themselves to anything they could find. We put up a small gate, less than 3 feet high, between us and the wooded area, and they haven’t been back. Perfect temperatures & resplendent leaves are indeed great reasons to spend more time outside – I guess that’s why this is my favorite season! Thanks for stopping by today & enjoy the weekend! 🌞

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    1. Hi, Anita, yes, aren’t they lovely! This time of year, I often find myself driving and saying to myself I’ve got to get pictures of those trees/bushes before the leaves are gone! Unfortunately, our Aspen is diseased, so no color in our yard this year! 😢 Have a great weekend under your lovely leaves! 🌞

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  2. Lovely shots of a beautiful season, Lisa. Of course we’re not seeing any of this except online. 🙂 I’ve been watching the temperatures up your way and they sound lovely. If I weren’t off to California again next week, I’d be tempted to make the trip to Flag and environs. Enjoy!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Janet, off to Cali again, wow, good for you! Finally, we’ve made arrangements for a December vaca – my first little escape in over a year! I cannot tell you how excited I am! The temps are perfect here right now. October is always the best month to visit. Thanks for stopping by. Have a safe and fun journey west! 🌞

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  3. Hi Lisa, what a wonderful autumn post. My neighbour’s oak tree is just starting to turn but there are a few maples around that have changed completely and in the strong winds a few days ago, they are mostly leafless, so the colours are on the ground!
    I look forward to trying your autumn recipe, don’t make it too long before returning to that one!
    Tonight we put our clocks back as BST/DST ends. Enjoy what’s left of the weekend.💐🎋🙋‍♂️

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Ashley. I always find it sad when the colored leaves fall so quickly. I’m thinking of posting the recipe for that dish next week. It’s really tasty over brown rice! Wishing you a joyful weekend as well, my friend. 🌞

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  4. A lovely post, Lisa. I also love this time of year. Though here, it means the rains are officially here, and more on the way, I love the magnificent colors. There are some trees here that look like fire, due to the intense red and orange colors. Is soooo beautiful. Have a blissful rest of your weekend! 🍁🍂

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Jeff. Nature’s colors are indeed astounding. My neighbor has a bush that has turned the boldest, loveliest shade of red I’ve ever seen. Each time I drive by her house, I consider stopping & knocking on her door to find out the name of it. I want one! I appreciate your good wishes, my friend! 🌞

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      1. You’re most welcome, Lisa. Always! Ah, yes, that is lovely. There are so many trees with fiery colors this fall. Is gorgeous. I want one too! Have a beautiful Sunday, my friend! 😊

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  5. In recent years Fall has turned into my favorite season. I love the changing colors, the crunching leaves, and the cooler temperatures. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos and interesting facts. I learned about planting trees in the Fall from the Arbor Day newsletter as well. 😁🍁

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  6. Autumn is definitely my favourite season too (used to be Spring, but hay fever ruined this season for me 🤧). How amazingly beautiful is that Golden Aspen tree’s leaves! And can’t wait to read more about the Autumn recipe – looks so yummy! Oh, and I LOVE Bridget Jones too 😄.

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    1. If we lived in the same place, Corna, we would be big buds! I will probably post the recipe next Friday. You’re the first person to allude to the Bridget Jones part of my post: maybe the movie’s not as popular as I had imagined! Thanks for the great comment! 🌞

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