Scanning Around With Gene: Autumn, a Time for Contemplation
I love all seasonal changes, but there's something about fall that makes me contemplative and perhaps even a bit melancholy. Many of the big events in my life happen in fall — the sort of things that get you thinking about life and how, sometimes, it can be fleeting.
But I also love the change of light that happens this time of year and the fall colors can't be beat, even in northern California. The grape vines in wine country are particularly beautiful, and pumpkin patches are cropping up everywhere. It's time to clean out the rain gutters and turn off the automatic sprinklers — old man winter is just around the corner. Today's images are all from a small 1948 children's book called Fall Is Here by Bertha Morris Parker, illustrated by Frederick E. Seyfarth. Click on any image for a larger version.
Technically, the season is called "autumn," but I've always used the shortcut term "fall". Historically, it's one of the most important times of the year when crops are harvested and goods are put up for the winter.
I never knew much about fall growing up. Living in southern California means you pretty much have two seasons: summer and winter, which aren't even that easy to tell apart. (Winter is when it rains a little.)
But once I moved to northern California, I began to appreciate the change of seasons much more. We're relatively temperate but do see our share of seasonal changes.
Of course, fall is also football season, though that holds little interest for me. It's also the time of Halloween, which I once enjoyed, but of late I'm a bit turned off by the over-commercialization of the day.
I like that the days are getting shorter and the shadows longer — it's fun to get home from work when it's dark and there's a chill in the air. I like turning on the heat, lighting a fire in the fireplace, and breaking out the electric blanket for a little extra warmth.
We've already had the first storm of the season and it was a pretty good one. And tonight is a stunning full moon that looks twice the size of normal. The air smells fresh.
I tend to go to bed very early in the fall. I lay awake and think of all the falls gone by, of people I've known and loved and of the holidays that will soon be upon us. It's a great time for reflection and focusing inward.
Because I grew up in a big city, I didn't experience all the wonders of fall at a young age like the children in these illustrations. But I'm making up for lost time now.