1. October’s changing leaves create a dazzling tapestry of reds, greens, golds, oranges, and browns. Several wildflowers are still bearing flowers and fruits including Goldenrod, Hearts-a-bursting, and Downy Aster, in spite of the shorter days. Aside from the beautiful scenery, the change of seasons reminds me of life’s progression. The fallen leaves will blanket the earth through winter’s chill until Spring’s new life bursts forth.
2. The crisp, cool air of October is refreshing after the hot, humid months of summer, and the sky’s hues are more vivid. Gone are hazy, colorless skies. Billowy white clouds stand out against a backdrop of azure, and sunsets beam amber and gold.
3. Who doesn’t love pumpkin patches and searching for the perfect pumpkin? The cheerful orange orbs are an inexpensive and festive decoration that will last until it’s time to make Thanksgiving pies (if they aren’t carved into jack o’lanterns first!). My family always puts a couple of big pumpkins on our front step, ready to carve on Halloween eve. This year, we have an assortment of pumpkins decorating our front hall and fireplace mantle, too. I am particularly excited about my apple-shaped pumpkin (tapered at the bottom). Isn’t it cool?
4. Birds are migrating this month. The “snowbirds” will soon show up at my feeders again, and a variety of species are passing through on their way south, some traveling many thousands of miles. On a clear night with a telescope or good binoculars, you can see birds on their nighttime journeys, backlit by the Harvest Moon. I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of the yellow-rumped warblers, white-throated sparrows, and ruby and golden-crowned kinglets that visit my yard all winter.
5. S’mores, anyone? October is the perfect month for outdoor fires. It’s also the time (in Georgia, typically) to pull out the warm clothes and extra blankets for the beds. How much longer can we hold off turning on the heat indoors?
6. October is the prelude to the holiday season — without all the chaos and stress. My family begins to make plans with relatives for celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas, trying to balance some downtime with just the four of us with time visiting extended family. Buying holiday gifts here and there as they inspire me this month makes buying presents a more pleasant and authentic experience.
7. October is apple season, and if you can pick your own, so much the better. Bring on the pies and cobblers! Since I am making an effort to reduce the amount of sugar in my family’s diet, I am looking forward to trying some easy applesauce recipes and freezing small portions to use in baking, as well as for meals.
8. October wouldn’t be complete without the hooting of owls. The resident pair of Barred Owls in my neighborhood have been hooting regularly this month, sometimes even in the afternoon. Not long ago, they landed in some trees right outside our house, hooting and cackling loud enough to wake us (and the neighbors, we later learned) from a sound sleep. Many owls nest and breed in the dead of winter, so fall is the season when they are rekindling romance and reestablishing territory. And, now that the kids have gone off on their own and given them some peace and quiet, what’s not to hoot about?
9. Who can resist young children dressed in Halloween costumes — pee-wee pumpkins, fairy princesses, “scary” ghosts and ghouls? Our household has seen its fair share of Star Wars characters and ballerinafairyprincesses. I love seeing my children’s excitement on Halloween as they get dressed up in costumes, gather with friends to trick-or-treat, and count their candy at the end of the evening! Once in a while, I even dress up with them. 🙂
10. Soup and hearty one-dish meals are on the menu again this month. I’m pulling out recipes for cold weather comfort foods like chicken and dumplings and baked potato soup… Getting ready to make some big batches of soup and chili which I’ll freeze in smaller portions for future dinners and school lunches, too! (Here’s a link to an easy rendition of a family favorite: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/easy-chicken-dumplings-10000001951477/)
Is it any wonder October is my favorite time of year? (It’s a beautiful month for a wedding, too! Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband — 18 years today!
What do you love about October? Would you add anything to this list? Do you have a favorite month and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts!