How To Spend A Fall Afternoon

By Mary Ellen Ellis | October 13, 2021
Image by tmphoto98
by Mary Ellen Ellis
October 13, 2021

Although summer is my favorite time of the year, fall definitely has a lot to offer. I love the heat of August, but I also revel in that first crisp evening in September, the changing colors, and the inevitable winding down of garden chores. This time of year, I like to slow down too and spend some cool fall afternoons doing very little. 

Watching the Colors Change

Without a doubt, the best part of fall is the shift in colors from vibrant flowers and bright green foliage to the more subdued, richer colors of the end of the growing season. When I sit outside on a fall afternoon, I’ll often do so with a book, but I like to just sit and enjoy the view as well. 

In my garden I have a walnut tree, the first to drop its leaves, as early as late August. The leaves turn a bright yellow and drift down like confetti on the grass that is still bright green. The maples turn vibrant orange later in the season. 

In the beds I see a lot of yellowing and browning as foliage dies back, but I also have a lot of stunning fall color. The sedum turns a deep burgundy, while the small, native sunflowers continue blooming in golden yellow. In my neighbor’s garden, I enjoy the purple sage flowers and cream-colored blooming ornamental grasses. 

Watching for Wildlife

Fall is also a great time to enjoy the wildlife in my yard. Some I notice as they disappear, like hummingbirds who will go south for the winter. Others are busy having fall babies, including squirrels

I tend to see more deer this time of year. If I stay still and quiet on the back patio they’ll come through the backyard, nibbling at the bird feeder before moving on. Sometimes they curl up during the day in the wild area of shrubs I leave in the back corner just for wildlife. 

Staying Warm into the Evening

A fall sunset is spectacular, but it’s tough for me to stay out for it as the nights get colder. One bonus is that the mosquito population has significantly diminished by this time. To enjoy the view and the lack of bites, I bundle up with a sweatshirt and a blanket. A hot cup of tea makes it just perfect. 

Fall in the garden might secretly be my favorite time. I love summer with its heat and busyness, but the calm of fall is soothing. It’s great to have less to do, so I can sit outside and really notice the seasonal changes. 

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