It’s the Most… Wonderful….Time….OF THE YEARRRRRR!

While I enjoy features of all seasons, Spring and Fall are by far my favorite. I think these “shoulder seasons” don’t get the attention they deserve.

photo courtesy of the fabulous Hannah Rose:
photo courtesy of the fabulous Hannah Rose:

Let us pause for a moment to think about the plight of poor Fall….Summer ends when school starts back up, there are a few weeks where people are “yeah, apples! I love Fall” then suddenly, in early October, the Christmas stuff goes up and everyone starts thinking of lights, red & green, and sparkles. (Ooooooo, something shiny!).

Chinese pistache tree, a Sonoma County fall superstar

But I feel bad for this time of year, because Fall is beautiful and a fabulous time to spend outside, and truly deserves appreciation. While we may not have the classic New England colors, even in California, who the mass of people believe doesn’t have seasons, our surrounding environment is full of changes. The sky darkens much earlier, but the shorter spans of light are filled with vibrant golds, yellows, reds, oranges and crimsons. The ground is full of texture from fallen leaves, and the air feels fresh and crisp.

fallen leaves decorate the path at Riverfront Regional Park, Windsor

Any spare moment that I’ve had this past month has been spent exploring outside. With my 4-legged faithful furry adventure partner, I’ve spent time all over the county on the beaten and less traveled paths, admiring the glorious environment.

apple orchard neighboring Ragle Ranch, Sebastopol

The first colors we see to change are the vineyards, with the different varietals of grapes creating a patchwork blanket covering Sonoma County’s hills and valleys.

grape leaf
photo courtesy of the fabulous Hannah Rose:

Along the river, the wild grape vines turn red. Native riparian trees like willow, ash, alders and cottonwood turn faint colors and reflect off the waters of our Russian River. Buckeyes have dropped their leaves and the buckeye nuts (poisonous, don’t eat them!) hang like pears from barren branches.

Riparian trees and shrubs lining the Russian River, Steelhead Regional Park

In people’s gardens, pomegranates and persimmons ripen and hang like jewels, while fig, walnut and pear leaves turn yellow and flitter to the ground. Bright red berries cluster on green boughs of pyracantha, just waiting to be devoured by hungry robins.

Liquid ambers line a road in Graton, photo courtesy of Spring Maxfield

Streets lined with giant sycamores create a layer of crunchy dried leaves, while liquid amber create tunnels of red. Chinese pistache are my favorite, and the bright orange and red leaves positively that simply seem to glow, can only be described as awesome.

photo courtesy of the fabulous Hannah Rose:

Soon, Christmas will be upon us, as well as the dark nights of winter. Bare branches of trees lining our towns’ square will be bright with white lights. Chilly days will keep me inside and hopefully rain will unleash from the sky and fill our reservoirs and streams. But until then, I will give Fall all the attention that it deserves, and relish in the beauty it provides!

As always, I love to hear from you! How’s the weather where your at? What do you love most about Fall?


4 thoughts on “It’s the Most… Wonderful….Time….OF THE YEARRRRRR!

  1. Beautiful post. Loved the photos! Fall is indeed my favorite time of year, but alas, school starting up — and now with FOUR at home — my time out-of-doors is hit-or-miss, particularly for strolls among the trees. I’m relegated to the bur oaks and bald cypress of my property, the latter of which is the pretty of the two.

    I agree with you, fall doesn’t get the time and appreciation it deserves. People are already rushing to winter midway through. I transition into winter kicking and screaming. I LOVE autumn!!

    PS — we are getting unusually cold weather for the Gulf Coast, dipping into the low 30’s. I’m afraid I won’t be wearing my usual flip-flops tomorrow.

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