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The Importance of Fall

Fall - header


Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a summer person through and through. I love long days that don’t seem to end, I love seeking shade from the hot sun in the sky, I love how easy it is to get dressed in the mornings what with the not looking for stray mittens, hats, scarves and debating whether a face mask is going too far or not. I love slipping into sandals and not worrying about socks, boots, and cracking your head open on residential roads that never see a plow. I love summer food – the bounty, the abundance, the freshness, the perfect ripeness of a sun warmed strawberry or a tomato.


But I live in a northern land, three thousand feet above sea level, at the foothills of majestic mountains and surrounded by wide prairies. Winter is a fact of life here, and it’s often harsh. Temperatures plunge deeply and without warning, snowfalls bury the city making roads impassable, and winter often lasts beyond all rhyme and reason. This is not a winter from an LL Bean catalogue where families frolic in the sunny meadow building a snowman and sipping hot chocolate. You just know the weather in those photos is hovering just below zero, while you contemplate the arctic parka from Canada Goose while there’s a blizzard outside.  And while always welcome in the winter, Chinooks unleash their own mayhem raising temperatures by thirty degrees in hours turning roads into deep slush piles and melting everything in sight.  In fact, I’ve recently cultivated an appreciation for skiing, to my own surprise, just so that there’s something else to do besides hibernate by the fireplace.


So around here we need the fall, bittersweet that it is, to ease the transition between the summer fun and the bitter short days of winter. We need to feel the shock of that first night below zero and to begin acclimatizing so that in January we can wear a t-shirt on a sunny + 10 day with impunity.  We need to watch the leaves change colors, and bunnies replace their brown summer coats with snow white down. We need to start making stews, chilies and roasts because the oven is just another convenient way to warm the house. It’s like a fireplace only tastier.


Because all too soon we’ll be surprised to see this on our doorstep (only twenty days after our summer high of 32 C), which is nature’s way to dispense with slow acclimatization and just employ some shock therapy on our hides. Just to keep us from getting complacent and all.


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 Photos  by my talented friend Warren Sable who actually knows how to use his camera.

8 comments to The Importance of Fall

  • The only good thing about winter is you don’t have to shave your legs, lol.
    Great pictures, love the icicles!

  • Hello,

    The photos of your ice encrusted plants are beautiful.

    We have kind of the opposite situation – our hot summers. It takes a while to acclimate to the heat in late May. But after awhile, 95 degrees F, feels cool.

    I look forward to reading more posts. I find gardening in cold climates so interesting because I know so little about it.

  • admin

    @ Deborah – I completely agree :)it’s one of the few perks of the season! Thanks for stopping by!

    @ Noelle – thanks so much for coming by. The photos are unique and due to a sharp cold snap we had recently. I know exactly what you mean too, after you get used to the heat a chilly day feels right cold. Cold climate gardening is challenging, no doubt about it. And of course the season is totally over now – it’s lightly snowing outside as I type this. But we have waaaay less pests and long summer days to help out, so do come back to see how the garden comes to life in the spring.

  • Loved this post! What beautiful photos you’ve taken. Makes me want to start singing Christmas songs.

    And you’re SO right about the transition. Imagine one day it’s summer with all that wonderful warmth, and the next day BAM, it’s winter with all its bitterness. I think that kind of shock would kill me. I guess we really need to ease into it.

  • admin

    Well, a bit soon for Christmas songs, but the weird icicles sure do set the mood 🙂 That’s the only purpose of fall, I gather, a way to wind down the summer gently before the snow hits. Which sadly, we already have here.

  • Brrrr … I’m not ready to see that yet.

    BTW, I took my last tomato in today to ripen.

  • I LOVE fall. Winter, I try to stay bundled up inside as much as possible. Except on those chinooky days. Those are what get me through the winter.

    Great pics by your friend!

  • admin

    @Teena – neither was I, believe you me. Good job on the tomato – can’t wait to see if it turns out, it sure was a bad summer this year.

    @Brown-eyed Girl – Thanks – I think they’re great too. Winter I hibernate also, except for skiing. But fall is always bittersweet to me, means summer is over!

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