Originally published October 30, 2009
When I was growing up in southern California, the change of seasons was most noticeable in the lower hourly rates charged at beach parking lots. The only changing fall colors in Los Angeles are the intensity of people’s tans.
So when I moved to northern California, I was glad to be far enough north to get a hint of what fall is really all about. I live near wine country and the intensity of colors in the vineyards is impressive, though it still pales in comparison to some communities in the Northeast.
But fall is much more than changing colors. I’ve come to appreciate it as my favorite time of year, for all sorts of reasons. So today I thought I’d look at a variety of fall images that evoke the spirit of the season. Click on any image for a larger view.
These first two images are from publisher Currier & Ives, the third is a tobacco label, all from 1871.
Technically, autumn begins in late September and ends in late December, but where I live and in my mind autumn begins on Halloween and ends on Thanksgiving. It’s a pretty short window, but it has an emotional as well as meteorological significance. These four images are from 1936 and 1937 and were posters for the Works Progress Administration art project.
Fall fruits and vegetables are among my favorites — I love grapes, apples, squash, pumpkins, and everything corn. Fall is also mushroom season.
Though animals aren’t particularly seasonal, of course we associate turkeys with autumn, and I have noticed more deer out and about in my neighborhood. It’s also bat season, at least around my house. Every creature seems to be on the move, preparing for the coming winter.
Even though many of us are shocked enough that Halloween is already here, I hate to tell you that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. There’s something about fall, perhaps because of all the holidays, that makes it zip by. It certainly seems like the shortest and most dramatic season.
One of my favorite parts of fall is the smells. There’s wind in the air, fires starting to burn in neighborhood fireplaces, and lots of cooking. It’s a very comforting part of the year and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Autumn is the time of year when I like to make big decisions. There’s an inevitability about the season — we know winter is coming and the year will soon be over. Leaves fall in mass and you have to give in to nature. It’s getting colder, but it’s still invigorating to be outside, especially on a windy fall day. I just love it.
And if you live in Los Angeles, it’s a much better bargain to go to the beach!