The Magic of Autumn

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Autumn, or as many of us refer to it Fall, is my favorite time of year. The long hot days of summer give way to crisp cool days featuring colorful trees, bulky sweaters, wood fires, and pumpkin everything. I have a lot of fond memories of these magical days as a kid growing up. One of the benefits of living in Lake Tahoe is that the four seasons are predominant and distinct. As a child my parents made certain that we had traditions associated with each of the seasons.

326 One of the things we used to do each year is to take a picnic to a campground on the river known as Snowshoe Springs. The water is usually low enough at this time of the year that those who are sure of foot can hop from one rock to another allowing you to make your way up the river. The campground closes after Labor Day which was perfect since there were very few people who bothered to park on the road and walk into the picnic area. My parents used to bring us to this magical location every October, rain or shine, and believe me there were a few years when rain was the order of the day.

1991

Another thing we used to do every year is go down the mountain about 60 miles to a place known as Apple Hill. Apple Hill is an area in the foothills where you can buy apples and other fruit fresh off the tree or vine. They also hold a huge craft fair, and a favorite of my children and grandchildren, is the apple train that takes a loop around a man made pond filled with ducks.

1889 Another thing we do most every fall is visit the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center. The creek that runs through the property is used by native salmon who come home to spawn each fall. It’s hard to tell from this photo but some years there are so many fish in the water that it almost looks like you can walk across them. And of course the bears come to eat so there are frequent bear sighting during the salmon run.

1969

And of course no autumn would be complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out those very special pumpkins for Halloween night.

Comment below and tell me if you have or have had in the past any fall traditions. What are your favorites? I will randomly choose one comment to receive a $15 Amazon gift card. I will announce the winner on my Facebook page on 10/15.

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32 thoughts on “The Magic of Autumn

  1. Kimberly Neal says:

    Our family tradition was to go to the Burkes Garden Festival. A place up high on top of a mountain. Here in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Tons of forest, loaded with all of the colors of the season. Each place you stop along the way in Burkes Garden has one or more of the following, chestnuts in paper bags freshly picked, big, small you name it pumpkins, gourds galore, hay bales, corn stalks, quilts, homemade Amish bread and butter, apple butter. We have a few Amish families up there too. Handmade rocking chairs, swings, benches.. Some people have a yard sale or two, then its off to the Burkes Garden Elementary school where you can really find Fall goodies and enter to win raffles..We use to do this every year till my mom passed. I miss it all.

  2. Suzanne says:

    Our family tradition was to go to the Apple Butter Festival in Grand Rapids, OH. It was only one day, the first Sunday in October, so we would get there early and have breakfast at a small family run diner. Then just walk around the town. Sometimes we would walk the trail by the canal bed sipping on warm apple cider, other times it was so chilly we would just stand around the bubbling pots and watch the apple butter being stirred and stirred. We learned about what it was like to live in the time of Ohio being settled by the re-enacters. People would always have Halloween decorations for sale and sometimes even Thanksgiving center pieces or Christmas ornaments. Everyone was friendly and relaxed and had fun. I like to remember those yearly crisp Sundays with warm memories.

  3. Growing up myself we had no autumn traditions. As a single mom of three there wasn’t a lot of money. I did make sure that every year we made a trip to the local pumpkin farm. My kids could pick put whatever size pumpkin they wanted. My daughter Meghan always picked out the tiniest she could find while my other two, Sarah and Brandon, always found the hugest ones they could find. We would bring them home along with a gallon of cider and carve them that night while we brainstormed what we would make for their homemade costumes for trick or treating.

  4. The cooler days of autumn, or fall, make for going on nice long walks in wooded areas to enjoy the colors. We would collect pinecones and colored leaves for fall decorations. We’d cut out a big circle on cardboard and glue the leaves for a wreath, add small pine cones, and holly berries. Mom used unflavored gelatin and would dip the leaves in, let dry, then we’d glue them on. We planted bulbs for spring, we’d get so muddy, loved it. There was sitting around a fire pit and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, making popcorn balls. The plays at the schools and concerts. We always had plenty to enjoy and plenty of people to share. And us kids would go around the different neighborhoods and collect canned goods, dry goods for the Salvation Army and a couple of churches that helped needy family this time of year for the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets.

  5. Linda Kleback says:

    Our traditions revolved around Halloween. We went Trick or Treating with our cousins and participated in the town’s Halloween parade.

  6. Jeannie D. says:

    We had a hayride and Halloween party every year with our neighbors down the street that had a dairy farm and they had a haunted house in their barn,

  7. Christi King says:

    Growing up, we really didn’t have fall traditions. When I was old enough, my dad and I would go to football games at the local college (now a university). My mother was not a big fan of Halloween, but my sister and I did go trick or treating every year.

  8. JoAn V. says:

    We didn’t have any fall traditions when I was a child. However, when I was older I lived in a town in southern IN that every year had a week long Fall Festival that I never missed.

  9. When I was younger my brother ( as in our twenties. lol) & I would dress up in scary costumes and since very still on my parents porch and scare the older kids.
    In my thirties it was more with hanging out with friends around a bonfire and roasting marshmallows.
    Now we don’t do anything but try to stay up to watch scary movies.
    Amazing how decades change behaviors. lol

  10. Taryn Lee says:

    One of my favorite things was when my 3 nieces were little. Every year they would let me know what they wanted to be for Halloween and I would make their costumes. I did witches, a spotted dog, a jester, a butterfly , a mummy, an angel, a devil, etc. It was something I looked forward to. I even bought some plain canvas bags and decorated them for trick or treating. I would go up and visit every year for a week. My sister and her husband had an annual Halloween party and I would do all the food for that, and decorate their house. I would also hand out candy every year so they could take the girls trick or treating.

  11. Lynn Hogan says:

    Love the apple cider and apple turnovers in the fall. So good with hot chocolate and marshmallows…. also the only time I eat candy corn. 🙂 enjoy!!

  12. Debra Woloson says:

    We would go to the Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill, Tx each fall in Oct usually and also have the Bluebonnet Festival in the spring. But the kids could pick a pumpkin and decorate it any way except no carving allowed. The hayrides and different vendors offering food and all kinds of things I never would have thought I needed. Lol

  13. Debra Woloson says:

    We would go to the Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill, Tx each fall in Oct usually and also have the Bluebonnet Festival in the spring. But the kids could pick a pumpkin and decorate it any way except no carving allowed. The hayrides and different vendors offering food and all kinds of things I never would have thought I needed. Lol

  14. Michele Hayes says:

    We used to visit friends in the Roanoke, VA, area every fall for an apple cider festival where we helped crush tons of apples (at least it seemed like an awful lot) and made apple cider. We even got to take come of the cider home with us. Unfortunately, we moved out of the area several years ago and no longer participate.

  15. Debbie S says:

    I can’t say that we have a Fall tradition, when we lived in Pennsylvania you couldn’t drive anywhere without seeing the beautiful trees turning colors. Through the years we have gone to a couple pumpkin/apple farms. We tried to get up home and go to the Pumpkin Festival near my mother in law and visit at the same time, but I can’t say that we have a yearly tradition besides decorating.

  16. peggy clayton says:

    From my childhood I have none as I grew up in foster homes but my husband and i do things around the house and I watch but he pulls out all the tomato cages and gets the ground ready for snow in his compost someone dumped off their tomato plants and now we have 2 plants growing so that has been fun for him he has been covering the plants when we had frost and says he is going to bring them in for me to do inside we’ll see if that happens this weekend. This will be the last time he mows the acres of land as now the grass slows down growing and he is a happy man not having to mow for awhile. Although he is the rural area snow plower not sure what he likes better but i do know that he gets laid off in beg of dec and the snowplowing is the only thing he has to do besides keeping our 4 legged girls happy by sitting on his lap and sleeping with him. We have had pumpkins that we gave the grandkids last year that live here in Ia but this year the bugs got to the pumpkins so they are going to have to get them with their parents. That was really sad when the bugs got most of our gardens and the pumpkins as we love to deliver them to the grandkids.

  17. Mari Krampach says:

    Because I sew and craft, every spare moment is always used for costume making and decorations. Love halloween for the creative aspect, Thanksgiving for the cooking, and Christmas for the love of family and friends. Three months of pure happiness!

  18. Vicki Highley says:

    I really don’t have any fall traditions except for decorating with small pumpkins through out the house, then after Thanksgiving cutting them open and roasting the seeds. Then handing out candy on Halloween.

  19. robeader says:

    One of our favorite fall happenings is visiting a local apple farm that produces pure apple cider with their old vintage apple press. They also have a small bakery that produces donuts, pies, fried pies and offer apple butter and pumpkin butter. One of my favorite items they have is an apple cider slushie with caramel and whipped cream. It is delicious and leave you wanting another.

  20. Tammy Knisley says:

    We always visited Scott’s Orchard. They always had candy apples, cookies, jams and jellies, molasses and the largest assortment of apples. But the favorite for everyone on apple cider slushies! We could pick our own pumpkin or choose from ones already picked. When my girls were young we always took them to the orchard. Now they take their children. It’s amazing that four generations of our family have visited this place over the years.

  21. Candace knight says:

    We usually go to a few Fall festivals. It just doesn’t feel much like Fall here yet. We are still in the upper 80’s. I can’t wait for cooler weather.

  22. Jen Ritter says:

    Birthdays! In our rather small family we have 13 birthdays from mid-September to December. We celebrate the joy and blessings of life and our loved ones.

  23. Peggy Hyndman says:

    We didn’t have any fall traditions when I was a child. The only one I have now is going tp The Pumpkin Patch with several of my grandchildren so they can pick out their own special pumpkins.

  24. Love all the ways you get to celebrate Fall where you live! I’m jealous, but we do have many Fall festivals and activities here in SW Georgia that celebrate the new season. My favorite Fall thing to do is go walking in our nearby farm fields after the harvest has been gathered and search for Indian Arrowheads! It’s loke a treasure hunt and our furbabies enjoy the long walks as well!! Happy Fall!!
    oh_bother88@hotmail.com

  25. Michelle VanDaley says:

    Our fall tradition is for my son and I to go to a corn maze & hayride with my BFF & her triplet boys. Ironically we are going this afternoon so it’s funny that I found your post today 😉

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