Time To Get Spooky! (but not too spooky or I will have nightmares)

I spent last year at a college in south central Pennsylvania. Until I experienced fall two hundred eighty-eight miles from home, I had taken Connecticut Autumns for granted.The differentiation between fall and Autumn is significant: other states experience fall, New England experiences Autumn. Fall is when chlorophyll no longer feeds leaves, turning them a bile yellow before falling to their deaths. Autumn is when fireworks explode from tree branches in vibrant shades from burgundy to gold. However, as I watched more and more photoshoots of basic girls in vests and boots lying in leaves that looked more like they came from the nose of a giant unfold on the quad, I realized that these poor souls had no idea what a real Autumn looked like. IMG_1370.jpgThe leaves have not changed yet in Connecticut. They always surprise me; Monday is green, Tuesday is a runway show of fall collections at New York Fashion Week. The leaves become models overnight, bursting from their summer prisons as the temperatures dip below seventy degrees. They’re always prettiest the second week of October, but don’t tell the leaf peepers that. Our roads get flooded with New York drivers and they’re maniacs. IMG_1180.jpgIn Autumns past I transformed from Julianne to The Pumpkin Spice Princess. This year, I am The Pumpkin Spice Queen. Once I stopped taking Connecticut Autumns for granted, I began experiencing the season so magically this should be a fairytale rather than a photoessay. My ass has been to two separate apple orchards, and I have baked several apple desserts with those apples, including crisps, galettes, and buckles. IMG_1188.jpgI cried on three separate occasions over the decorative pumpkins adorning the stone, white picket, and wooden fences of family homes. I nearly caused a scene in a Stop & Shop because there were seasonal gourds ready to be turned into soups or filled with stuffing and roasted to perfection. I ended up choosing a particularly plump butternut squash to be whipped with cinnamon and an entire stick of butter. I spiritually identified with a pink tractor. IMG_1139.jpgUntil last year, the spookiest part of the autumn was when I slowly removed my many pink sundresses from my wardrobe rotation. But at Holmberg Orchards, this tractor stood proudly autumnal and pink. We had a moment, I snapped a picture, and I left it to take my first hay ride of the season. Hay rides always seem like a fantastic idea until you walk away with sharp bits of hay stuck to your butt and thighs. But if you’re me, you don’t learn from your mistakes. You sit on multiple bales of hay on multiple tractor trailers inhaling more gas than is safe, and then when you’re done you sit on hay just for fun/in an effort to get a good photo to post on Instagram. IMG_1363.jpgOctober is the first real, full month of Autumn, but it is also the month of Halloween. I do not enjoy Halloween. This holiday celebrates spookiness, and I get nightmares from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Recently, I had to turn off The Nightmare Before Christmas halfway through the opening sequence because I got too scared. Therefore, the spookiest I plan to get this Autumn is the fear that comes with stepping out of my comfort zone to try to experience the season in the moment. Terrifying, I know, but at least I’ll be able to sleep at night. IMG_1192.jpg

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