“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
— Albert Camus
Fall, the season that many consider the most beautiful time of year in our region, arrives Sunday.
Not only is it pretty to see, the weather is pretty good, too. It’s generally not too hot and not too cold. There is a certain crispness in the air that only appears this time of year.
Although summer is peak tourism season, plenty of folks come to the area to take in the seasonal views during fall’s color peak, usually at the end of September or the beginning October.
The seasonal food is plentiful as well. Many of the local farmers’ markets are still open. Some are open year-round, but others close after the fall harvest is complete.
The fall harvest is central to many events in the next two months. Churches, community groups and others offer harvest and seasonal suppers to bring together members of the community and many uses the meals raise funds for the groups. The second annual free Community Harvest Supper in Cooperstown, sponsored by Growing Community, encourages residents to create dishes from locally grown products and share the dish and recipe at an outdoor dinner on Sept. 29.
The harvest is celebrated with festivals throughout the region. The Cooperstown Pumpkin Festival, which celebrates all things fall, takes place this weekend. Featured events are the giant pumpkin weigh off and the Giant Pumpkin Regatta, where people race hollowed out pumpkins on Otsego Lake.
The Cauliflower Festival in Margaretville next weekend will honor our agricultural history, with activities and a tractor parade.
Some festivals do more than celebrate the season. The annual Harvest Festival in Walton, this year Oct. 12, brings together crafters and vendors selling seasonal wares, to benefit the American Cancer Society.
Or you can cover yourself in color — literally — with a new event to the area. The Best Dam 5K Run/Walk will take place Oct. 12, during the Downsville Maple Weekend events. Participants will have the option of going through stations where seasonally-colored powder will be dropped. Proceeds from the event will be reinvested in the community. For more information, visit http://www.bestdam5k.com/.
What better way than to take in the autumn hues that a walk, run, hike or drive? Take a hike through one of the many trails in the area, or drive through an area you may not have been through before.
However you decide to celebrate the season, take a deep breath, sit down to a harvest meal, look out on the colorful hillsides and appreciate all the region has to offer.