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When Autumn Leaves Fall

By Ed Parsons - Editor | Oct 1, 2020

Finally, after what felt like Summer would never end, the air cooled a bit and we enjoyed the beginning of what we’ve always counted on in West Virginia, a mild, temperate fall season. There may be a few stray brutal days ahead.

But for the most part, we can feel safe breaking out the long sleeves and opening the windows to fresh, cool air. Once more, we made it.

Last week we had the first full day of autumn, and for at least the front end of the season, we will enjoy the most ideal weather we will encounter all year. It’s still warm enough to take advantage of the full array of outdoor activities, but not too hot to make for unbearable conditions.

At night, the temperatures decline to a delightful level. You are spared the additional costs of running the air conditioner because a cool, comforting breeze is just an open window away.

In the next few weeks, the leaves will begin to turn colors, and we are living in an area which is among the best to view the transformation. Trees are plentiful, and the vibrant colors they will soon produce can be viewed everywhere you look.

A short day trip throughout the state can take you to some breathtaking places. Southern West Virginia is beautiful in the mountainous areas, like Hawks Nest, and the New River Gorge.

We are already seeing yards decorated with ghosts and goblins, something many do in anticipation of Halloween, and they will become even more common as September turns toward October.

Alas, enjoy it while it lasts. By the time November rolls around, signs of winter will be evident. Outdoor activities will slow to a minimum as it’s hard to work them in during a day which includes just nine hours of daylight.

So, while you’re reaching for that flannel shirt, which is perfect fall apparel, you might want to dig out your coat, hat, and gloves, too. Unless you’re a snowbird; you’re going to need them before you know it.

“Since you went away, the days grow long. And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song. But I miss you most of all my darling, When autumn leaves start to fall.”

“Autumn Leaves,” Originally French, with English lyrics written in 1947 by Johnny Mercer and vocals by Jo Stafford, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton and many others.

We once heard it said that “People probably would like Monday better if it didn’t come right after the weekend.”

OK, so Monday is our least favorite day of the week. Which season of the year do we like the least? Or the most?

Why don’t more people prefer fall? It would seem to be the best of all worlds, offering both warm sunny days and cool, pleasant nights. One explanation is that like Friday, which is one day closer to Monday, it is one season closer to winter, our least-favorite season.

The more moderate temperatures we experience here will make it more pleasant to spend time outdoors, hiking, picnicking, enjoying this beautiful state we call home.

Society often keeps a different rhythm than nature, but even when the heat was stifling last month, the Earth knew the change was coming. Enjoy fall while it lasts, particularly the glorious send off our trees will give their leaves before committing their bodies to the earth for winter. Colors will be at their peak in this part of the country sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Start planning your road trip. You won’t have to go far, just look around. What a wonderful world.