Tag Archives: Fall Leaves

Photo Friday: Between Seasons

Last weekend, where I live, the temperature seemed to boost about 40 degrees. Sun and warm winds suddenly replaced the frigid air. Overnight, it seemed, fruit trees burst into blossom — nothing subtle or slow — and I could smell wild onions and grasses and the sorts of shoots that signal spring. One front yard on my street, however, is having trouble letting go of the last leaves of fall even as they’re being eclipsed by a splashy early spring show.

Have you seen and photographed something unusual, whimsical, beautiful, or otherwise interesting in your travels? Has anything surprised you or caused you to pause? Or have you simply experienced a small, lovely moment that you wanted to capture? If so, I hope you’ll share with us by leaving a comment with a link to your photo. I look forward to seeing it!

Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman

You may also like:
Photo Friday: San Francisco Storefront

Advertisements

A Roundup of Halloween and Fall Fun

Everyone seems to be inspired by Fall and by Halloween, which comes at the exact height of the season. There is no shortage of wonderful blog posts and ideas about play, creativity, and celebration of this pivotal and lovely time of the year. I’ve gathered a few:

Fall’s bounty and beauty are explored by Mom in Madison

A roundup of Fall outdoor activities comes from Your Wild Child

Backyard Mama brings us ten ways to enjoy Fall

Make shrunken apple heads with Active Kids Club

Create a Sugar Sprite tradition for Halloween candy with Stephinie on Rhythm of the Home

A wonderful compendium of Halloween herb and food history and lore comes from The Herb Companion

From The Squirrelbasket: Halloween traditions, superstitions, and pumpkin carving

DIYLife weighs in on composting Fall leaves

Shivaya Mama describes experiencing peace and joy through watching children’s delight at jumping in Fall leaves

Have a glorious Halloween and Fall!

Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman

Make a Fall Leaf Placemat

fallleaf3

fallplacemat2

fallplacemat5

This is a fun, easy, rewarding project for those who still have leaves falling, or on the ground. Or perhaps you’ve collected some and you’re not sure what to do with them. Making a placemat will allow you to enjoy them for years to come. Even small children can be involved in this project by gathering leaves and helping with the design. You’ll need:

Iron-on flexible vinyl, available in fabric stores by the roll. It is made by Heat’n Bond or Therm O Web.

Medium-weight white cotton fabric, about 3/4 yard per placemat.

Your favorite Fall leaves.

A phone directory or other heavy book.

falltree5

1. Gather some wonderful, colorful leaves that have fallen.

fallleaf4

2. Place them in a phone directory, or other thick book to flatten them. Put them toward the back of the book, so there will be enough pages over them to press them. Make sure you leave space between the leaves, and space between leaves and the book’s fold. Leaves will be flat in a couple of days.

leafplacematbook

3. Cut fabric rectangles, 2 inches larger all around than you want your final placemat to be. I cut my fabric into 20″x 13″ pieces, to make 18″ x 11″ placemats. For the exact shape, I traced the outline of an existing placemat, which had rounded edges. Turn the fabric pieces over and make occasional guide marks 2″ around from the outside edges, lightly with a pencil.

4. Turn the fabric right-side-up again and play with the placement of the leaves. When you are happy with the way they look, you will be ready to iron the vinyl down. Don’t forget to leave more than a 2″ space all around your design.

leafplacemat5

5. Heat your iron. Peel the backing off the vinyl and place it sticky-side-down onto the leaves. Smooth the vinyl with your hands, then iron it onto the fabric, following package directions.

6. When the fabric is cool, turn over and cut according to your guidelines. For further sturdiness, you can iron vinyl onto the back of the placemat as well. Admire and use your placemats for years to come.

fallplacemat6

fallplacemat3

fallplacemat4

Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman

Fall Foliage is at its Peak

falltree4

It’s that time! Leaf peepers, chilly-weather walkers, outdoor enthusiasts, harvest hunters, Halloween haunters, fall cooks, and others wait all year for right now, mid-October, when nature is often at its most dramatic and crisp.

There are some great resources out there to help you enjoy the show where you are, or by taking a fun leaf-seeking trip.

fallleaf2

fallleaf4

The Huffington Post has a lovely slide show of blazing Autumn foliage, in special spots around the U.S., from the Great Smoky Mountains to Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge.

fallgrape3

This New York Times list offers some more off-the-beaten-path places for finding dramatic color, without all the crowds, sometimes because fall’s show is a little more hidden, a little less expected. These include Ohio’s Wayne National Forest, Arizona’s Coconino National Forest, and the Lost Maples Natural Area in Texas.

falltree3

Indiana Leaf Cam is a super-fun interactive site that lets you peep at the fall color in real time, at different spots around the state, and provides plenty of practical visitor information for each. Thanks to reader Tracy Denny for alerting me to this fun project and the beauty of Indiana’s fall.

fallleaf2

Baldwin City, in eastern Kansas, hosts the annual Maple Leaf Festival, a 50-plus year tradition with craft exhibits, entertainment and a parade which is held the 3rd weekend in October, when the glorious Kansas maples are at their peak. I thank Alison Kerr at Loving Nature’s Garden for alerting me to the beauty of the Kansas maples.

tree-in-fall

Seeking a festival in the southeast U.S.? The Georgia Mountain Fall Festival in Hiawasee, in northern Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, offers days of concerts and activities while the leaves are at their peak.

Enjoy your weekend!

falltree1

Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman

The Wheel of the Year: Summer Turns to Fall

tree-in-fall

Seasons, and changes of season, seem to bring out the poet in many of us. I think that’s especially true of the spring and fall equinoxes, when the drama of the turning year is most apparent, the earth teetering between seasons even as it experiences its twice-yearly equality of day and night.

And, between spring and fall, I’d have to give the drama nod to autumn: The air chills, the leaves blush and drop, and many creatures experience a turning inward — perhaps a period of contemplation, if not one of hibernation. Fall is when I feel the turning of the year most profoundly.

Japanese Haiku is a poetic form that has observations of seasons and nature at its core. The best 17-syllable word sketches are deceptively simple meditations on passing moments, beauty, and feelings, and ones place within them. Growing up, we had a book of haiku in our home called The Four Seasons. I still have it, and I chose some fall haiku from it to share.

The haiku ranges from the 17th century master Basho to the 19th century poet Shiki.

Autumn officially begins this year on September 22, at 21:28 Universal Time, 5:28 pm Eastern Daylight Time, and 2:28 pm Pacific Standard Time. Happy equinox, and a fulfilling fall to all.

fallflowers

Jagged candle-flame …

The very shape of Autumn

Sifts through the shutters

— Raizan

fallleaf2

Here is the dark tree

Denuded now of leafage …

But a million stars

–Shiki

baretree

Autumn breezes shake

The scarlet flowers my poor child

Could not wait to pick

–Issa

redhollyhock

We stand still to hear

Tinkle of far temple bell …

Willow-leaves falling

–Basho

mountainfall

In unending rain

The house-pent boy is fretting

With his brand-new kite

–Shoha

leafrain

A windblown grass …

Hovering in mid-air in vain

An autumn dragonfly

–Basho

dandelion

fallleaf3

pumpkinfield2

lonefield

Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman