1. Take a drive. Get out and explore a favorite section of roadway at the peak of fall color. Or travel where you’ve never been before. Several drives to visit our daughter at college got us out on the road. I need to make time for this every autumn, because the views are incredible!
2. Put down the camera. None of my shots out the window of the speeding car were acceptable. (Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving at the time.) So I paused and simply experienced the incredible scenery. Sometimes being forced to part with a camera can be a good thing. It helps you live in the moment and imagine great shots for later. It’s almost like it helps develop perspective and an eye for a good photo without actually taking the shot.
3. Pick up the camera. Take a lot of photos of fall color. This is the first year I’ve done this. I can’t answer why. I guess in the past I’ve mainly focused on documenting specific plants. This autumn I zoomed out a little more and captured a few colorful landscapes. But whether you zoom in or out, take advantage of the magical light and the incredible color autumn provides and put that camera to work!
4. Stay in one spot and observe. One exceptionally wonderful, mild fall day I sat on a lawn chair for about an hour and experimented with my new camera. It helped me to see things in a different way. While it was challenging to stay in one spot without moving around from plant to plant, it was a great exercise in observation and photo composition.
5. Take a walk. Autumn air is refreshing and easy to breathe. Enjoy the mild weather while you can, because before you know it walks will be less comfortable. And you’ll have to wear heavy boots, coats, mittens, and scarves. And your fingers will freeze as you try to snap just the right photo.
6. Look up and down. One day I looked up into the Oak trees, and I felt like I was in a cathedral. The sun was shining at just the right angle to make the leaves glow like stained glass. Another day I captured shots for Donna’s meme (Garden Walk, Garden Talk) about “texture” and “pattern.” Even things that seem mundane and ordinary are beautiful if you look closely.
7. Tidy up when you can. If you have a windless, clear, mild day in autumn, make it a priority to spend time in the garden. Raking, trimming, and planting don’t work as well on windy, wet days. Fortunately, we didn’t have many of these this autumn, but that may not be the case next year.
8. Appreciate each stage of autumn. One day in early October on my drive to work, the colors of the Maple, Beech, Ash, and
nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was overwhelmingly breathtaking. When those trees started to lose their leaves, I was a little sad. But then the Oak, Burning Bush, and Sumac—and later the Spirea and Hydrangea—put on brilliant displays. Each stage was stunning in its own way. Hickory
But the biggest lesson of all was to truly appreciate autumn. I think I’ve been in too much of a hurry in the past to really enjoy it. Autumn is stunning!
What garden lessons have you learned this season? Whether you’re in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, please link a recent post about your advice, reflections, or ideas to the Garden Lessons Learned Mr. Linky meme below. I’ll post about your lessons near the solstice (Dec. 22). Enjoy the last days of the season!