Happy Fall, Y’all! Where I originally grew up and lived over thirty plus years ago, the weather this time of year was still pretty much the same as it was in the middle of July. In New England, we have four distinct seasons, and each one brings on a different feel inside and out. September and early October often feel “in between”, with nods to both seasons, bringing cooler temperatures and waning sun. Even though it’s “between seasons”, there is still much to do, indoors and out!
The last few weeks of summer sees New Englanders packing in as much as they can of seasonal treats. Gardens are finishing up, farmers’ markets are winding down, and we all have had the last of swimming in pools, oceans, and lakes.
My husband and I had lunch on the last truly hot weekend of summer at nearby Candlewood Lake, where we were joined by a “local” resident.
A few days later, dear friends treated me to a fun day of boating, swimming, and tubing on the lake. Candlewood Lake is manmade, and a hidden Connecticut gem. Tubing was so much fun, and that day I laughed so much my face actually hurt!
Many events, sadly, this season have been canceled due to all of the rain we have had (and continue to have), but thankfully, our town’s Annual Labor Day Parade was not, as it was a warm and beautiful day for the beginning of the end of summer.
Our favorite local ice cream shop is still open, but not for long. We enjoyed a treat for the first fall weekend, made especially sweet with “Scarecrow” ice cream – pumpkin with waffle cone pieces and dark chocolate chips (best flavor ever)!
This time of year brings the end of the state fairs and the beginning of fall fairs and celebrations. My husband and I decided not to miss our favorite fair, The Dutchess County Fair, in Rhinebeck, New York, just because of rain.
On the way, we stopped for a warm, tavern lunch at America’s oldest Inn, The Beekman Arms. Opened since 1766, the inn has seen many famous guests visit, including George Washington.
The pot pies we ate were perfect for a cool, rainy day. I also enjoyed the colonial decor, and as a dollhouse and miniature fan, seeing the miniature replica of the taproom. If you find your way to the southern part of New York, the Beekman Arms is a “must visit” stop!
Visiting the Dutchess County fair on a rainy day wasn’t too bad, especially after such a nice, hot lunch on the way.
I enjoyed the cooler temperatures, and seeing the animals more active. I also could not help but snap a photo next to a terrific, fitting sign!
The start to Fall also means that Connecticut’s Renaissance Fair begins. It’s always a fun family day for us. Does your state do a Renaissance Fair, too?
While summer is very colorful, fall color is stunning, too. It’s still too early to tell what kind of fall color we will have going into the season, because we have had SO MUCH RAIN. Still, there is beauty.
September and October sunsets can be the most fiery, beautiful skies.
Cleome and Autumn sedum wear their finest fall color.
Fall mums are planted; here in my planting zone, they are considered an “annual”.
The wildlife babies we watched all summer are now reaching adulthood.
Sadly, we will bid goodbye to our hummingbirds. Keep your feeders up a few more weeks. In Connecticut, we still have a few stragglers. I will miss them when they are all gone!
In Texas, my friend Jennie and her husband installed several more feeders, resulting in a feeding frenzy of adorable, buzzing and tweeting hummers.
Jennie says, “I just love seeing them every day. I had no idea we would end up with so many. They’re just so cute and fun to watch. Sometimes, i’ll stand on the porch and hold a feeder in my hands, and I will get a couple that will come and eat from it. It’s amazing to see them so close and feel the slight breeze from their little wings!“
Back in Connecticut, even little “critters” look “costumed” in fall colors.
Unfortunately, this time of year brings some “bad” pests we all need to be aware of.
In 2020, I informed readers in my blog post, “Worming Their Way Through”, about the awful, invasive Snake worms that are silently wreaking havoc across the US. These nasty creatures are still my personal nemesis in my yard and garden.
Unfortunately, there is a “new” insect that we all need to be aware of. Everyone needs to be watchful of the Spotted Lanternfly.
First seen in the US in Pennsylvania, in September 2014, this large planthopper is a serious threat to many plants, crops, and trees. The life cycle of this pest starts in spring, with egg masses that are laid on a variety of hard surfaces (not just trees). In the early nymph stage, they are black and white spotted, hopping insects that in mid-summer turn to red and white spotted insects with black stripes. Now, until December (depending on the state you reside in), adults are mature, flying insects, looking sort of moth-like.
They are dark-colored with dark spots, until they open their wings revealing bright red and white underneath. Resembling moths, they are about an inch in size and eat a variety of plant life, which can cause major problems! In addition to decimating many crops, plants, and trees, they also contribute to sooty black molds that wreak havoc on plants.(Think of them as giant aphids). If you spot them, your local DEEP may wish for you to report them. Kill them by squishing or dunking in hand sanitizer. Washing your car when you have been to areas of infestation aids in stopping the spread.
When it isn’t raining, we are closing up the garden, planting flower bulbs and garlic for next year, bringing in houseplants, and getting ready for the cold weather to arrive.
Despite the summer being over, Fall is fantastic here in New England. I’ve decorated for the Autumn, and am looking forward to the “spooky” and “cozy” season!
I do hope you will visit with me next month, for a special, festive Halloween!
Thanks for stopping by the Suburban Farmgirl Blog…remember to leave me a comment!
Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole