There are so many traditions associated with Autumn that it has become my favorite season. Have you ever smelled roasting green chiles? Once you've experienced it, you will never forget it. And the city-wide aroma fills the air signaling the return of Autumn in New Mexico. People stand in lines with 40lb sacks of green chiles, waiting for their turn at the chile roaster. The chiles are taken home, peeled and frozen. Oh, my, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Chiles left to ripen and turn red are strung into bright ristras that are hung in homes to provide chile year round.
|Green chiles await their turn in the roaster, with red chile ristras shown in the background.|
Autumn is the end of the year for me for it is the end of the growing season. What was planted in the spring, then nurtured over the summer is gathered with glee, especially if the kids have been involved. There are harvest festivals all over towns and cities. Horse drawn wagons full of hay bales haul giddy children in village parades. And farmers' markets booths overflow with vegetables and flowers.
Once verdant cottonwood trees lining the river burst into yellow brilliance. Sadly this glorious display lasts a few short weeks so I look forward to it each fall, like the Harvest moon. We always take a car ride up to Santa Fe ski area to view the golden aspens. Cars are bumper to bumper as we crawl up the mountain, and people hang out car windows with cameras.
|The road to Santa Fe ski area, October 2010|
Fall is the harbinger of cooler weather too. After sweltering through a desert summer, lower temperatures are welcomed. Windows and doors get thrown open at night to allow the chill-tinged air to blow through the house. It is not unusual to get "frost on the pumpkin" here. We've been known to have snow before Halloween. Sending the kids out with their costumes on over sweat pants and coats happened more often than not.
I haven't even mentioned State Fair, Corn Maze, pumpkin carving, homecoming parades and Molly making pie on Thanksgiving. Also, there is the International Balloon Fiesta and my soon to be first Balloon Fiesta craft show appearance.
|2nd Place ribbon on my Amazing Basketweave Scarf in 2011|
There is a bit of melancholia surrounding fall, and I don't know why. Maybe when I was younger I associated it with going back to school and the end of the freedom of summer. But with so many other reasons to look forward to Autumn, I can overlook the twinge of blues that accompany them. Bring on the shorter days and longer nights. I'm ready.