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Oh my, the wonders of the fall season arrive
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Fall is my favorite season.

I like the way it arrives as it comes in from the north. I like how it can sneak up on us as leaves turn only a shade of darker green. Or it can explode on the scene in a bold yellow, orange or red.

The people who know about weather have said this should be a particularly good year for fall colors on our trees. I hope there are enough hues of gold, red and brown to give us days that we turn a corner and just say wow.

I went to the mountains last weekend. I saw a preview of what we will get in a week or two.

I like a fall day when a bowl of soup or stew seems only proper.

I don’t like fake fall in the form of anything flavored in that oh-so-artificial pumpkin spice. This stuff is nothing but a commercial substance used to make us buy everything from hot beverages to air fresheners.

And I like the smells of fall.

What does fall smell like? Burning leaves or the first smoke from the fireplace. It smells like hot apple cider enhanced with a little cinnamon or nutmeg. It smells like a pot of vegetable soup that has been slowly simmering all day.

Something is so special about the morning when you walk outside and realize it is time to get out a sweater. It is a morning when you can see your hot breath swiriling in the cool air.

You might not get to do it, but it is the kind of day when you think to yourself, “This is good snuggling weather.”

If it is preceded by a particularly good summer, it is a time to reflect on those good times.

It is a time to look at our ailing, old maple trees and wonder if they might come back one more time.

I like how some plants just completely disappear during the fall, hide all winter and then come back in spring. Sometimes, I think bears got it right with the whole hibernation thing. I don’t know if I could go to sleep all winter, but it might be worth a try.

Fall is also football season. I think playing football in August is wrong.

What is great about fall is it leaves us with beautiful memories that carry us halfway through winter. Then, we can start dreaming about the return to the vibrant life of spring.


Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on