Autumn is beautiful

Ann Swanson

Autumn arrived last weekend. I look forward to this beautiful season each year. Actually, I look forward to the change of all of the seasons. We live in a wonderful area. I have talked to a lot of people who have gone through this area commenting on its beauty.

When I was working with media representatives for the fair I connected with people from all over the area. One lady drove miles to meet with me. She told me she enjoyed everything that she saw on her way here.

Too often we think badly of our neck of the woods. The woods are just one of the beauties. Our hardwood stands are part of the beauty. They are the trees that have the change of leaves that we so enjoy. What is prettier than the pictures taken by photographers who flock to this area to capture pictures of the fall colors.

We have not had a killing frost and it is the beginning of October. That is unusual. The leaves are slow in turning colors. There are only a few colored leaves at Hickory Heights.

Everywhere I look there are wildflowers. I love the deep purple of the wild asters alongside of the yellow of the goldenrod. Light purple can be seen as well. The cattails are now brown and standing tall. Corn stalks stand in fields near here waiting for the harvest.

When I was at the reunion a classmate asked me about the yellow flowers as we rode into the country. She figured I probably knew what they were and she was right. It was goldenrod.

Goldenrod grew in the field above my grandparents’ house. I always thought they were pretty.

Once I picked a big bouquet and brought it home. That was a big mistake. I stuffed up and started to sneeze almost instantly. You might say I learned the hard way.

My children loved to bring me little bouquets when they were young. I had some special vases that I kept ready for them. When fall arrived they found big bouquets of flowers. Those I dutifully put into a large vase that I placed outside on the picnic table.

The “sumac” blossoms have turned a deep red and their leaves are a mix of red and green at this point. They make good accents in fall bouquets.

No matter what the season there is always something pretty to observe around here.

I like to think of my bay window as a frame for nature in my yard. The other night we observed some deer wandering through the yard. I have seen a six-point and an eight-point buck in the mix. I think it is close to rutting season so they are seeking out the females.

This morning, as I drove to my volunteer station a deer, rushed in front of me – on the run. I waited but there was no deer behind her.

We also have a flock of turkeys. Occasionally I have to wait for the little ones to cross the road. They do not seem to sense the danger of cars yet. Waiting for them to cross is a small price to pay for the privilege of watching them. I do worry about them though because of one truck barrels past here regularly. If they happened to be in the road I am sure he could not stop.

I value all nature. I asked my grandson to write a piece about the pond. What he turned out was really beautiful – It was not was I was expecting, but I really appreciated it. As it happened, the computer read it aloud so that I could simply listen to it. That made it much easier for me to think about what I was hearing.

In years gone by, we camped by the pond a lot. While we were there we often fished and swam. I was not much for the swimming part but I enjoyed the fishing. It was a delight to see the little ones catching fish. Many of them were thrown back.

One year for my birthday we fished for our supper. We took the portable grill down by the pond and fired it up to cook the fish we caught. It really tasted good. My granddaughter wanted to know how to clean a fish so my son showed her. I think she joined in and did a couple pieces.

I loved camping by the pond. It was so relaxing. One morning my son and I were the first ones up. We used his little propane heater to make coffee. The only problem was all we had was flavored water. Let me tell you lemon water does not make good coffee. We dumped it and went to the house when everyone was awake and made coffee there.

The bullfrogs usually put on quite a show. In the spring, especially, we could hear the deep croaking of the frogs. They were so loud it was hard to get to sleep. By fall they settled into a rhythm and were not nearly as noisy. Of course, in the spring we also heard the peepers. That meant that spring was here.

For now, I will enjoy the autumn season with its change of leaves. I hope for some bright sunny days to show them off. All too soon they will all be on the ground and winter will be here. Around here you never know when the first snow will fall. I remember one Halloween that was very snowy. In fact, we had school off the next day because of inclement weather!

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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