Saturday marked the start of the Autumnal Equinox, AKA the first day of fall. Just a few weeks ago, with summer ending, I wrote about some summer traditions that I wanted to squeeze in before the seasons changed.
However, with the temperature soaring over 90 degrees here in southern California for the past several weeks, and with little relief in sight, it seems that summer is here indefinitely.
And, while it has been unseasonably hot, the official changing of the season reminds me how much I love fall. So, I thought reminding myself of the things I love to do in the fall will help me get through the heat wave and ready for when the weather does cool off.
Here are some of my favorite and festive ways to greet fall:
-First, in spite of the heat, I am going to do what I usually do: decorate the house for fall. I use natural items like leaves, pinecones, pumpkins, and gourds to get me in the spirit. Sometimes I use these items to create an autumn wreath. But most of the time, I make a simple yet colorful decoration by filling a basket or bowl with various decorative gourds, different varieties (and colors) of corn, cornhusks, mini-pumpkins, and other hard-shelled squash.
To make the decorating more enjoyable and to really get in a festive mood (and to get some help), have a fall and/or Halloween decorating party. Serve some fresh apple cider using the season's first apples.
-Alternately, forget the decorating and go and pick apples. Since many pick-your-own farms are organic, you can pick your apples without worrying about pesticides. You can check the Pick Your Own site to search to see if there is one near you.
But, if you don't live near any farms, there are also plenty of apple festivals going on across the United States and Canada. Check out Pick Your Own's Festival Page to find one near you.
-Attend a fall, harvest, pumpkin, or Halloween festival. Even those living in metropolitan areas can usually find a seasonal celebration. Depending on where you live, in many regions these events represent some of the last outdoor festivals before the winter starts. To find a pumpkin festival or a giant pumpkin weigh-off event near you, check out Pumpkin Nook.
-Speaking of pumpkins, visit a pumpkin patch, or, if you are lucky enough to live near one, a farm with pumpkins. Many have wagon rides, corn mazes and harvest festivals, and even their own pumpkin weigh-offs.
-Lastly, go and visit your local farmers' market to see the changes in the seasonal produce. For those people who live in a completely urban area, this may be one of the few ways you can get those farm fresh apples and apple cider, or even a farm fresh pumpkin. Plus, finding out what's in season will help you plan for your favorite fall casseroles, soups, or apple and pumpkin dishes.
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