Fall Exploration

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Crisp air and the changing colors make me want to get out and explore. After the heat of summer and before the winter freeze is the perfect time to go wandering through forests and investigating leaf covered parks, preferably with camera in hand. There’s always something new around the corner, even if we’ve been there a hundred times before.

Secret TunnelLast week we went for a walk along a public greenbelt behind our house. We rarely wander along it, so it was a thrill for the kids to wander through the trees, gaze at the ditch and discover a small bridge across it. Watching the kids fight imaginary enemies with sword sticks reminded me of similar adventures as a child. And really, it doesn’t take much to make a memorable adventure when you’re five years old. Finding a worm. Discovering a huge pine cone or an especially interesting leaf. A view of the mountains that we’ve never quite noticed before. A hidden path behind a pine tree.

Another great treat is how empty some of our favorite places tend to be. The zoo, for example, tends to be sparsely used this time of the year, even thought the animals are more active and the scenery is fantastic. Exploring such locations without wading through terrifically thick crowds is always a nice treat, and makes it easier to justify the excursion. It’s also a great time to take family portraits or just teach the kids about photography. There’s so much of visual interest that it doesn’t take much effort to find something worth shooting.

And so today we’ll go to a park after lunch. Next week, we’ll find a trail to wander along in the mountains and perhaps spend a day at the zoo. We’ll play with our cameras and maybe collect some noteworthy leaves. Hopefully the weather cooperates and doesn’t cool off too much too soon because we still have a lot to do, a lot to discover and a lot to learn. And I’m pretty sure the kids love fall as much as I do.



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