Fall Comes Sneaking In

Fall seems to be the season humanity can’t help but wax poetic about.

CentennialVistaKeats wrote of “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,” in his “Ode to Autumn.” George Eliot exclaimed, “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

A couple nights back, we had the first frost warning for the season. We’ll cover up the tomato plants at night for a week or so to try to get a few more vine ripened, but around September 20, we give in and let autumn have its way. Then we’ll pick the green tomatoes and call it a year for the garden and declare it a very good summer indeed. It’s this time of year, when the frost starts to come more nights than not, that the words of Joni Mitchell start running through our heads:

I awoke today and found 
the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky 
then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold 
and all the trees are shivering in a naked row

I get the urge for going
But I never seem to go
I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

“But I never seem to go?” What’s up with that, Joni?

Fall is a spectacular time to visit Tuscarora, the Gunflint Trail, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Sure, the days might be a little shorter, but the wildlife’s more active as they prepare for the long winter ahead, the bugs have basically disappeared, and a quiet calm settles over the forest. We find ourselves looking forward to this time of year and each year, autumn live up to our high expectations.
IMG_6410 Grouse

So, if you feel an urge for going up north this autumn, by all means, go. It’s a great time for a paddle or long hike through the changing forest. Ah autumn!