Jean Schwieder


Recently, while driving to an early morning appointment my thoughts turned to how much I enjoy this time of the year! I love the nippiness of the air in the early mornings with frost on the ground and I need to wear a jacket or sweatshirt. Then, as the day progresses, I enjoy the warm afternoons and evenings. I love the fall colors and the longer nights, shorter days.

Yes, fall is upon us and so far it has been a good one. Boyd and I went for a ride at the ranch a couple of weeks ago. We picked a day that the trees and bushes were displaying their colors to an advantage. Driving past our ranch, we traveled probably another 20 miles east and were amazed at the splendor we saw. It rained in that area mid-September and the moisture probably added to the trees’ and bushes’ ability to produce such vibrant colors with their leaves. I am reminded of Louis Armstrong’s song “What a Wonderful World” as I think back to that day and the beautiful world that was for us to enjoy!


“I see trees of green,

Red roses too

I see them bloom

For me and you

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world...”

Fall seems to come upon us slowly. If it weren’t for the media and calendars, we probably wouldn’t realize it is here until we notice the changes in the color of the leaves, and those leaves falling around us. This is a time of harvest, cleaning out our gardens, preserving and storing what we can, sharing our bounties with others, being thankful for a good “harvest!” By this time of the year I’m usually exhausted from canning, helping to haul hay and straw and trying to get my food storage area full, thus making me comfortable with the supply for our long winters.

On the first day of fall I was watching Good Morning America and they had an interesting question asked concerning fall: What names have been used referring to this time of the year? Some call it autumn; others call it fall, so what other name is it sometimes called? It was interesting to note that years ago this season was called harvest. That must have been when the majority of people in the United States recognized the connection to food on the grocery shelf or on their table or at the fast food place to the farmer.

Of course harvest on the farm actually starts about the time summer begins. That is when the first crop of hay is cut, baled, hauled, and stacked to provide winter food for livestock. If the local farmer is lucky, he will get three and sometimes four good harvests through the summer and fall before the frost will end hay harvest for the year

With the cool nights and shorter, cooler days of fall, there is a feeling of slowing down, maybe acknowledging our accomplishments through the warmer and longer days of summer. With this comes a desire to take stock of our lives and even make some “fall resolutions.” We see the possibility of more time to do things we have been putting off. We are more apt to take time to view a beautiful sunset, to read a good book, to write a letter.

Fall happens to be my favorite season, and maybe it’s because of the slowing down with the shorter days and longer nights. I love the smells of fall although I miss the smell of the bonfires we used to have when burning leaves that we had raked in our yards. But there still is the smell of squash baking in the oven, the sight of carved pumpkins on door steps, and the sounds of football games from nearby high schools.

I encourage each of you to take the time to watch the sun rise and set. The colors seem to be more vibrant like the orange and yellow leaves this time of year. Take a walk and view the change in the leaves colors, listen to the geese honking as they are starting their migration south. And if you happen by the ranch, watch the blue birds gathering to begin their migration. This is a beautiful time of the year! Take time to enjoy it!

Jean Schwieder is a writer who has spent her life involved in eastern Idaho agriculture. Her books, including past columns, are available by calling 208-522-8098 or by email at straddlin

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