Autumn has long been my favorite season of the year. Trees and bushes show their glorious fall foliage. Once they fall to the ground they make a crunching sound under my feet as I walk along the street.
When my son was a toddler, we would head for Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg where we would collect leaves. He would squeal gleefully as he darted about looking for different colors and shapes. We would take our treasures home, wrap them in saran, and place them carefully in one of my heaviest cookbooks to preserve them. I actually saved that one cookbook with the last leaves we collected and it’s hidden beneath some photo albums in a bin stored at my son’s house. A beautiful memory.
Two years ago I spent a couple of days in Toronto. My friend Deborah lived by the lake and I recall our wonderful walk among the colorful trees in the neighborhood. I hadn’t experienced fall in a while as Mexico has a totally different climate and vegetation.
Last summer I discovered Washington state and I returned again this year to enjoy the summer and fall. Busloads of tourists come to Leavenworth to admire the amazing display of color at this time of year. The Autumn Leaf Festival held two weekends ago attracted hundreds of tourists. The Salmon Festival also happened recently. But we are now in the midst of three weekends of Oktoberfest, which means thousands of people flocking to Leavenworth.
Oktoberfest! This quaint Bavarian village is synonymous with the Oktoberfest celebration. Lederhosen and dirndls are worn by many. Entertainment abounds at three different venues. Bratwurst on a bun is just one of the many items on the menu. And of course there are numerous types of beer to choose from. Hotels and campgrounds are booked solid. Driving through town is more like a congested parking lot.
This weekend Apple Days was held at the Pioneer Museum in Cashmere. Yours truly got caught up in the spirit and volunteered in the vintage railroad ticket station. Entertainment varied from gymnasts to mariachi and more. Shoot outs were held on the hour. And of course an apple pie baking contest was featured. This gentleman was serving up sarsaparilla in the bar.
A wind blew in yesterday and a shower of pine needles has covered the ground. The aroma is heavenly. And my favorite tree in Cashmere has begun to change color.
Until a few years ago, I lived in Winnipeg all my life and always took fall for granted. Summer was such a short season and I never really looked forward to fall. In fact, fall just meant that the warm weather had ended and that the snow was on its way all too soon. I never really took the time to appreciate the beautiful colors of the leaves. Last October I was in Toronto for a couple of days and it was absolutely delightful to hear the crunching of the leaves underfoot once again, a sound I hadn’t realized I had missed so much.
Now that I’m in Leavenworth, I am taking the time to admire the magnificent colors as they change daily. Back in Mexico the vegetation is completely different and the only season that stands out is hurricane season due to the torrential rain. There are no gorgeous displays of colorful leaves. I am so mesmerized that I keep taking photo after photo of these beautiful leaves.
I realize that summer has come to an end and I am determined to enjoy the fall season as I don’t know when I may have the opportunity to experience another one like this again. As for the snow, I hope to be back in Mexico before that arrives.