Fall is my favorite time of year and the season of my birth. Since I love fall so much, I have instilled that the same appreciation in my children. Speaking of children, I love Fall so much I named one of my children after the season, as well! “Autumn” Since we love “Autumn” so much, we celebrate with various traditions.
Some of our Fall traditions My family and I participate in are to carve pumpkins and attend fall festivals. We enjoy corn mazes, hay rides and pumpkin patches.
One year we had a fall festival on our homestead in Oklahoma. We bobbed for apples hanging from the trees, a pumpkin roll and a hay ride through our forest. It was awesome!
My family and I have always enjoyed Fall, no matter where we have lived. We appreciate it even more now that it is has changed dramatically since we now live in Juneau Alaska.
I have experienced a variety of experiences living in vastly different climates during the fall.
I grew up in the Mojave Desert, and Fall in the Desert, is a lot different than Fall in Oklahoma, and now Fall in Southeast Alaska.
3 Perspectives on Fall
Fall in the Desert
- gets cool enough that you don’t break a sweat when you step outside for 30 seconds.
- you don’t burn your bare-feet on the concrete or the sand.
- the few trees that people have in their yards, start to loose their leaves.
- it rains! (especially on Halloween night)
- you can go outside without it being so bright that you have to squint and your eyes tear up.
- you can take the tin foil off the windows.
- you do not have to pre-cool your car.
If you have lived in the desert, I am sure you can relate to all of these!
Fall in Oklahoma
- it cools down and the humidity improves.
- you are not on edge, due to tornadoes.
- you can go outside without being inundated by mosquitoes and ticks.
- the trees change to beautiful hues of yellow, orange and red.
- grass becomes temporarily green again.
- pumpkin patches and haunted houses, forests and trails crop up all over the state.
- corn maizes, farms, so many pumpkins!
- hay bails in the fields and hay bails painted as pumpkins and ghosts in yards.
- inflatable Halloween figures everywhere.
Fall in Oklahoma is probably one of the few things I will miss about that State. The weather, trees and festivities were always a delight!
Fall in Southeast Alaska
- temperature get a lot cooler.
- we loose 5 minutes of sunlight a day.
- it rains a lot! (I mean not stop pouring gloomy windy rain almost everyday!)
- rain boots are the new attire.
- fog, wind and rain are the new norm.
- the sunshine is few and far between.
- not very many real pumpkins.
- mushroom foraging!
- beautifully brilliant yellow aspen trees against the green back drop of the spruce trees.
- snow on the top of the mountains.
In Juneau, Fall has the worst weather of all the seasons. Frankly, I am ready for Winter! Fall in Southeast Alaska may very quickly change my view on the season.
One of my co-workers said “ it is the best time to travel to get away from the crappy whether!” We are not able to travel this year, but I am definitely planning for next. Maybe we will go somewhere that has a more traditional fall weather and experiences so we do not become jaded!
These are 3 entirely different regions with 3 very different Fall experiences.
What does fall mean to you where you live?
Even though fall here in Southeast Alaska is very different from Oklahoma and extremely different from the Mojave Desert, it is still a wonderful place to experience this wonderful time of year! One of my favorite pastimes is to hike.
It is a great time to hike with the appropriate rain gear. The wonders of the forest abound with the decay, moisture and changing colors. Mushrooms are everywhere. Some are edible such as the hedgehog and chanterrelle and are very tasty. We had them for dinner and they were great! Some butter and garlic is all you need.
Other mushrooms are poisonous and you have to be very careful that you do not eat them. Hedgehog mushrooms do not have a similar looking mushroom that is poisonous. The chantrelle does and therefore you must know how to tell the difference.
Poisonous mushrooms are very interesting to look at and research as these are below.
Besides the mushrooms, the forest has a beautiful glow from the lower sunlight and the reflection off the leaves. The aspen trees have a warm yellow glow. The contrast of the yellow against the deep green of the spruce is spectacular!
Another great thing about this time of year is that there are not anymore cruise ships and therefore much less traffic on the trails. This makes for a more peaceful experience with a chance to hear the leaves falling and the birds singing.
Now that most of the tourist are gone and the crazy summer season is over, there are more community events. First Friday Art Walk with free entrance to the Alaska State Museum. Haunted Houses, drag shows, musical performances and event after event at Centennial Hall.
Some may think that this is the time Juneau becomes a sleepy coastal town since all the tourist hustle and bustle is gone and half of the Main Street closes down, but I look at it as a community awakening that lasts through Winter. The Danish call it “hygge” pronounces hu-gah.