Tomorrow marks the first day of fall, at least by one measure. While meteorological fall begins Sept. 1, most people use the astronomical calendar. And Wednesday is the autumnal equinox.
It will, finally, feel like it. September has been warm. Sunday only missed a record high by a single degree. It had people turning on air conditioners at a time when we’re usually opening every window we can to get fresh air into our homes. But the upcoming week’s highs in the low 70s to mid-60s will make it finally feel like the season.
Urging people to get out and enjoy the fall season in Wisconsin isn’t the most earth-shattering proclamation. But it’s worth doing nonetheless. As the weather begins to cool some of the pests of summer stop buzzing quite as frequently. Mosquito numbers drop just as nature begins to put on its annual show.
Area trees have already begun giving people previews. The state’s fall color map shows a couple counties already approaching 50%. We’re not that far along locally, but the colors are becoming more noticeable with each passing day. The changing leaves are one of the best parts of the season, and they’re worth getting out and looking at.
There’s plenty of time for the moment. Most forecasts expect fall colors to peak here sometime around the third week of October. But those projections are little more than guesswork. It’s worth enjoying the entire season of change, as we begin to head toward winter.
Sure, winter has its own beauty. But there’s nothing quite like the show nature puts on each fall. Take some time to get out and enjoy the scenery. Take a drive. Visit a state or county park. Hop on a bike or take a hike for a more sedate look at things. It’s up to you.
Some of the biggest outdoor attractions are already getting started. Archery and crossbow seasons for deer have opened. Hunts for disabled hunters and youth are right around the corner. Turkey season is getting going as well. Most of the fishing seasons are open and you can stand in the water without getting too cold — at least for now.
We know we’ve talked about this before, but Wisconsin’s natural beauty really is a treasure. The variety of the land, the transition between the forests most of the country know and the northwoods we treasure are one of Wisconsin’s best resources.
From Oktoberfest celebrations like the one this past weekend in Chippewa Falls to the cranberry harvest festivals taking place at different spots around the state, Wisconsin fall weekends offer plenty of opportunities for people to enjoy something a little bit different from everyday activities. Take advantage of them to make some memories.
Winter will arrive soon enough. Last year saw the season’s biggest snowfall in October. We’re at the time of year when seeing a bit of frost on the ground wouldn’t come as a surprise. Even a dusting of snow is possible by the time this month ends, if historical averages hold. And when it comes, there will be other opportunities then.
But, for now, it’s worth taking the time to pause, to take it a little bit more slowly and enjoy the changing seasons. There’s something special about stepping outside and breathing crisp air before heading to work or school in the morning, then feeling the sun’s warmth as you head back home afterwards. Lows in the 40s mean we’ll start to feel that over the course of the next week.
No, this isn’t the most important subject we’ll broach on the editorial page. It’s not the most pressing commentary. It has nothing to do with taxpayer dollars beings spent or whether local government is keeping to its responsibilities. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth saying, though.
The coming weeks offer chances unique to this time of year. Changing seasons aren’t usually as noticeable. It’s far more frequent to see them fade into one another, for us to wake up one morning and realize that winter has finally crept in or that summer’s heat is on our doorstep. Fall arrives with a show, though, and it’s well worth taking in.