Sunday, September 2, 2012

Favorite Things About Autumn

Some of my best memories of my favorite season -- autumn -- center around the outdoors. Seeing crops that are ready for harvesting is, for me, a sign that fall has arrived.

Fall Images
Field corn and pumpkins.
The corn was in the neighboring field, and 
the pumpkins were ones that we grew.
(Taken on October 8, 2007.)

I always enjoy seeing how happy the girls are when they are picking things that they planted.

Sophia with Pumpkin
Sophia with a pumpkin she picked in the field.
(Taken on October 3, 2009.)

When we're outside in the evening, it seems like the colors of the sunsets are more brilliant and have so many more shades of color than any other time of the year.

One of the pretty sunsets taken during autumn.
(Taken on September 22, 2011.)

The girls are always finding interesting things when they are outside in the fall - feathers, stones, and woolly bear caterpillars.

The Girls Holding Caterpillars
Sophia and Olivia holding woolly bear caterpillars.
(Taken on September 25, 2011.)

The changes leaves always capture my attention. The shades of orange and gold are my favorite.

Fall Leaves - Orange
Beautiful orange leaves in the fall.
(Taken on October 18, 2007.)

One of the things we always make sure we do each fall is open each of the milkweed pods and let the seeds float away. In that way, more milkweed plants grow in the spring. Because we started doing this many years ago, we now have milkweed growing throughout the farm...not just in one spot.

Girls Opening Milkweed
The girls were determined to open each milkweed pod.
They are 4 and 6 years old here, and 
on the nature trail in the west pasture.
(Taken on September 29, 2007.)

Autumn also means coming indoors at times, and celebrating the holidays with family. Since the girls were young, I would bring them to my mom and dad's home to have a special pre-Halloween lunch. 

Pre Halloween Meal with Mom and Dad

Sophia and Olivia with my mom and dad
(their Papa and Nana) for a pre-Halloween lunch.
(Taken on October 28, 2009.)

My sister and brother plus their families as well as my family and I would meet on Halloween to enjoy dinner with my mom and dad. This was a time to have a meal together and show the children's costumes to my mom and dad. 

They always enjoyed seeing their grandchildren dressed up. I think it reminded them of when my sister, brother, and I were kids and we would have fun dressing up after a special dinner and go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.

Mom, Dad, Sophia, and Olivia
Sophia and Olivia with Papa and Nana.
This was the last Halloween we spent together as a family.
In 2011, Papa was in the nursing home because of Alzheimer's Disease; and
Nana had just returned home the day before after being
 hospitalized due to complications from diabetes.
(Taken on October 31, 2010.)

This year, autumn will be bittersweet...and a difficult one for me. During September, October, and November 2011, my dad's health declined greatly and there are several dates that stand out vividly in my mind as challenging ones: 
=> the day I had to tell my mom that my dad's needs exceeded what she or any health aide could provide at home for him; 
=> bringing my dad to the nursing home - and the emotional ride there and admittance process; 
=> the day my dad was hospitalized for two weeks; 
=> the day he no longer knew who I was; and 
=> the day we were told my dad needed to go on hospice care. 

These days will be made slightly easier by spending time outside...connecting with nature...and appreciating the beauty that surrounds me. 

Olivia Jumping on Rocks
Olivia climbing on the rocks that lined
a road in a park by the St. Croix River.
(Taken on October 7, 2010.)

These were things that my parents -- especially my dad -- valued. I know his love for nature, birds, and wildlife was passed onto me...and now I, in turn, can pass that same care for the environment onto Sophia and Olivia.

Whey Beyond the Naked Truth


Unknown said...

Amazing pictures! This really is a beautiful time of year!

Anonymous said...

My Grandmother went through the same struggle your father did. It is so hard on everyone. I can only imagine how hard fall was that year.

Chrystal @ Happy Mothering said...

Last year we went from Summer to Winter - I hope we get an Autumn this year!

Natural Mothers Network said...

You've got me thinking and dreaming of autumnal days! Beautiful images:-)
Rebecca@ Natural Mothers

Angela said...

I love fall - it is one of my favorite seasons of the year.

Heidi said...

I love all your beautiful pictures you included. Made me even more excited for fall! My girls would love those caterpillars too. I've never seen ones like that before!

Rita said...

I love the fall!! The red and orange leaves are my favorites. Sweet corn on the cob and acorn squash. What a wonderful post filled with memories! :)

Anna Murphy said...

Did you know that milkweeds are the only plant that a Monarch butterfly will lay its eggs on?