Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Fall Creek

Back in June, I wrote a love note to my favorite season, summer. In it, I promised to create an homage to autumn, a season which is ever so slightly edged out by summer on my favorites list. I’ll admit I’ve been hesitant to sing autumn’s praises. Why? Because summer is way too short where I live. I really need true summer weather to begin about a month earlier than it does and I need it last a bit longer before autumn’s crisp air steals it away.

But for the first time since the Autumnal Equinox, I have begun to accept that there was a seasonal change. (Yeah, I know – it’s not like I could actually stop it from happening.) Autumn won me over how she always does, in her sneaky, subtle ways with her bright blue skies, sunshine that creates long shadows across lawns strewn with crunchy leaves, a breeze faintly scented with wood smoke and tinged with a tiny amount of the rain-is-a-comin’ humidity, and, of course, the brilliant shades of crimson and gold beginning to peek through the green leaves on the trees.

So, even though I was reluctant to do so, I said good-bye to summer.

Hello, autumn. Here is your love note.

autumnal sunset over a cemetary

The slant and quality of light in autumn is different than in summer, creating lengthening shadows and a deepening of the colors of the leaves. More than once in the past week I’ve been blown away by the beauty that is autumn.

Autumn's bright red leaves

Brilliant colors on the trees. This one’s so obvious I almost didn’t include it, but I didn’t want autumn to feel slighted. Besides, can we ever say enough about the spectacular shades of red, orange, and gold?

crunchy leaves underfoot

Crunch of leaves under foot. Again with the leaves? Yes, because it’s such a hallmark of autumn. Yes, because our visual senses are glamoured by the colors. And yes, because I go out of my way to crunch them under my feet when I’m out for a walk.

chimney smoke curling into the night air

image credit ~ Agnieszka Baranowska via flickr

Wood smoke curling out of chimneys into the crisp night air. I love the smells emanating from a wood burning fireplace. The scent wafts through the air starting in late September and it makes me want to roast some veggies, bake some goodies, and curl up under a blanket with a good book.

Bringing out the autumn wardrobe. As sad as I am to put away the summer dresses and shorts, I do get a little spring in my step when it’s time to pull on my favorite, cozy sweaters, boots, and scarves.


Apples, apples, apples. Cider, pie, crisp, crumble. With a side of vanilla ice cream, please. Mix in some cinnamon and cloves and I’m swooning.

searching for the perfect pumpkin

Going to the pumpkin patch and picking a spooktacular pumpkin to carve. I like to head out to the farm and pick my own humble pumpkin right off the prickly vine. Sure, I could find the same specimen at the grocery store just down the street, but then I wouldn’t get to take a hay ride, get lost in the massive corn maze, or look for the Great Pumpkin.

Halloween. Once a year it becomes socially appropriate to leave the house in a disguise. In case it wasn’t obvious, I love dressing up and becoming someone (or something) else for a night. Stephen King’s Carrie, a ghostly 1940’s Hollywood starlet, Daphne from the Scooby Doo gang, Cher, a flapper, and Marge Simpson are just a few of the recent disguises I’ve donned on this most awesome of holidays. Also, with a bit of luck and some ingenuity, I hope to build the first ever Tunnel of Terror leading up to my front door. Oh, how I love to scare the neighborhood kids.


Two of the reasons I am both insane and very thankful…

Thanksgiving. This is truly my favorite holiday for many of the same reasons most everyone else likes it. Food, family, friends. All gathered together, pausing to reflect on what we’re all most thankful and grateful for in our lives. Some may scoff at the vegetarian’s take on the traditional American Thanksgiving menu, but each year I see it as a worthy challenge and have created some great feasts without one animal having died for it. And for that, I am thankful.


And now it’s your turn, fine readers. What do you like most about autumn? What are your favorite autumn memories? Do you have any traditions you like to do when the weather turns cooler? The tea is hot and the pillows are perfectly fluffed. Sit and share. I’d love to hear from you.

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18 thoughts on “Hello, Autumn

  1. I love the change in light, and how everything seems to sparkle on those bright, brisk days. You captured the breadth of autumn’s beauty perfectly!

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. I wish I were better at photography. There have been so many spectacularly beautiful moments that I’ve wanted to capture on film.

  2. I almost chose not to open this post, Tami. Yeah. I know. *gasp!*


    Because I now live in Texas and so miss the rolling hills of Pennsylvania in full fall regalia. Memories of when I lived there go way, way back — to HS and College Football games, the smell of burning leaves (controlled), Homecoming dances, hayrides (aka “necking” under cover of blankets), and the way the crisp, fall air tickled my skin and nose. Invigorating.

    Oh! And, the harvest moon so big it dominated the night sky.

    This year, when I traveled to my home state during the summer, I made a promise to myself. I’m going to take road trips to Pennsylvania twice a year. One of them will always be in the fall.

    Bonus! I’m secretly plotting to build a tiny cottage for myself on a wooded lot near where I was born and spent my early, early years.

    • I’m glad you have a new resolve to visit your childhood home. And I completely support the secret plot to build a tiny cottage near where you were born. I hope it’s big enough for writer’s retreats since I’ll be stopping by to see “the harvest moon so big it dominated the night sky.” (love that imagery)

  3. I love red leaves and wearing boots. I am not a fan of winter, but autumn is good.

    Also, I dressed as Carrie for a Halloween party once. The blood was sticky all night. 🙂

  4. i think you’d like New Zealand because they get a super long summer but I missed the change of seasons after a while. And your photos prove what a beautiful season autumn is.

    • I would definitely like a longer summer and New Zealand is on my list of places to visit one day. I also like the changing of the seasons as long as summer gets her full stint. 🙂

  5. on ,
    marcia said:

    Great photos! And what a rich description of autumn.

  6. Autumn is my favourite season – it just pips spring. We have many of the elements you describe, but woodsmoke is not one of them. Not in the city. I love autumn and spring because they bring change. I love watching the annual cycle on trees in particular. I wouldn’t like to live anywhere the seasons are invisible!

    • I’m with you on being able to see the seasonal changes. It just doesn’t feel right to live somewhere where you can’t experience that.

  7. on ,
    livrancourt said:

    Autumn…might be my favorite time of year. In addition to all the things you mention, I love the days when it’s sunny, but breezy and cool. I love the foggy mornings when I look out my living room windows and all the houses down in the ravine are hidden by clouds. I love the spiderwebs. It seems like spiders are especially busy at this time of year, and I’ll find their webs in the yard, traced by little beads of dew on misty mornings. I have to say, though, that I’m missing out on one of my favorite parts of fall this year, b/c neither kid is playing soccer, so sadly I haven’t had the opportunity to stalk the sidelines wrapped up in a team-colored scarf with a porta-coffee sippy cup. It’s hard to stalk when I’m in the bleachers at a football game.

    • There is so much to appreciate about autumn, isn’t there? I love the spider webs laced with dew as well. And the sometimes creepy fog is so moody and ethereal. Love it.

      As for stalking, you could still wear your scarf and bring your sippy cup while pacing back and forth at the football games, right? Surely the teenagers wouldn’t mind if you did that along the sidelines. 😉

  8. Autumn is a favorite time of year. I love the change in the sound of an airplane going over head. It sounds more mournful, more drawn out like a sad goodbye. I don’t know why an airplane sounds different in fall but it does and I have never been able to explain it effectively.

    The whirling leaves of yellow or red or combination thereof, the sweet smells coming from some tree (one of the conifers I think) in the neighborhood that makes me want to swoon (like the orange blossoms do in spring). I can sit in the sun and feel comfortably warm instead of itchy hot. Tea, spice, sweet potatoes. . . what’s not to love.

    • Sounds ARE different in autumn, aren’t they? Given where I live, I’ve always attributed it to the rain coming on, dampening and softening the sounds of everything. I don’t know if that’s how you experience the change, but that’s what seems to happen here in the NW.

      I love your descriptions of the sights and smells of autumn. There’s so much to love about autumn, I could have listed a dozen more things in my love note.

  9. Fall is my favorite season, so my list could be quite long, but above all I love the colors. At no other time, it seems to me, is our landscape saturated with color, thanks mainly to the trees and their leaves on the ground, but also the fruits of autumn, pumpkins, squash, apples, etc.

    • So true, Annette. Autumn is indeed a colorful time of year. I enjoy it’s colors more than spring’s, which tends to be so damp and chilly where I live. At least in autumn the sun is still out more often than not. 🙂

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