On my hikes this last week, I began to see bits of evidence here and there that we are indeed getting closer to Fall. With school starting and vacations wrapping up, I realize this seems obvious, but it really does help me shift gears when I bear witness to nature’s subtle shifts as the year goes along. The darkest greens have now settled in as the trees hold on to the last of their chlorophyll of the season.
A little fun fact I discovered on the interwebs today: cooler temps don’t actually have anything to do with when the leaves start to change. Its all about the light, which is why leaves change at a relatively similar time each year. Right about now, we’re losing around two minutes of sunlight a day, and by Fall’s Equinox it will get up to three minutes a day! The trees sense the shorter daylight hours and begin to form a corky layer of cells at the base of the leaf which cuts off many nutrients, including that green stuff we call chlorophyll. As this happens the leaves "true" colors are revealed. Cool, right? (This article was pretty fun and filled in some gaps for me.) The brightness of leaves’ colors during Fall has more to do with temperatures and water fall, and from my understanding, a drought can make for a less vibrant season. But mellow oranges and reds and browns are still lovely, so even if there are less shocking colors this year, it will still be beautiful.
I adore Fall! Its my favorite season. I certainly mourn the end of Summer a little… the heat, the playfulness, the relaxed schedules, the vacations and weekend trips and BBQs. Last week I was 10 miles of the coast of Portsmouth, NH, on Star Island, surrounded by the glistening blue Atlantic with no cars and wonderful friends and family. What a treat to totally, let, go, and PLAY. A perfect way to wrap up Summer.
But now I’m home, and the leaves are darker, and the nights cooler. S has started preschool and I’m starting to think about our new routines this school year, and finishing up the last of the backyard projects like our new fire pit (which I finally done!), and that darn garden fence (still lingering, but getting closer). And then there’s all that glorious Fall stuff that’s so nostalgic from my youth… apple picking, harvest festivals, Halloween costume dreaming, fresh veggies for days, that 1 new back-to-school pair of shoes, cozy sweaters (but only at night), running through crunchy leaves, etc. As a grown up, there are some fun additions like canning, making soups, new voice students, a new therapeutic music internship, and gearing up for indoor crafting projects (this year its birch bark!). I could go on an on!
This year there’s a special addition to the Fall line up… a fund raiser for Addison County’s Hospice Volunteer Services (HVS) called… dun da da DUN! Hike for Hospice! (This is an idea that's been brewing in my mind for a while as I've been hiking week to week...) If you’re in the area, please join me on:
Saturday, September 17th, at 5:30 PM**
We'll meet at the trail head for a sunset hike up the ledges trail. Suggested donation is $10. You can hike in honor of a loved one who’s passed, or just come out to support HVS. Its sure to be a wonderful hike!
**Yes, this date and time have been edited. I had originally thought 9/10 at 6PM was going to work best, but I didn't quite have my act together so I'm giving it a bit more time.
Over the next few weeks I intend soak up every last bit of Vitamin D that I can. The river might seem a little less appealing, with slightly cooler temps but I don’t care, I’m going in anyway! Soon enough, it will be a frosty frozen wonderland around here again. So instead of focusing on what’s way down the road, I’m just gonna keep hiking and loving what is, and allow myself to slowly turn towards Fall.
Hi, my name is Ali Dawson Gibson. I'm a healer, a singer and a teacher. This Blog, 52 Weeks of the Ledges, is from 2016 when I hiked this awesome Bristol Ledges trail once and week and shared my experiences. Enjoy!