The word “autumn” brings a smile to my face. It really is my favourite season. (Although I could be biased, since I was born in it!) The sun becomes something pleasant again, and the skies are clear and crisp. The shadows lengthen of an afternoon, throwing our distorted silhouettes across the ground in wacky patterns. The still sunny days are filled with the sound of birds singing, and although the warmth of the air and the ground breathe a sense of laziness, there is a cold nip in the air at night time warning us that winter is on the way.
The liquid amber tree in our front yard begins to turn; gold, red, and orange leaves fill the front yard where the little ones rake them into piles to jump on. Morning sun streams through the windows warming cold fingers and toes as we sit at our desks for school. The long evenings that were full of dusky light are cut short, and it is suddenly dark out after dinner. Playing must be done inside, unless one wants to wander outside and gaze at the glittering expanse of starry night sky. For the first few months of the season, the nights are still warm enough to be out late and watch the moonrise; the cool night air is filled with the sound of crickets and the sweet smell of cut grass and gum leaves.
March days can sometimes have gorgeous overcast days, the grey cloudy skies making the breeze cool and refreshing. It is the perfect weather for horseriding and outdoor games of football, tennis, and other running games.
Hanging washing outside of a day becomes a joy; the sun warms you as you peg clothes on the line. Yet coming out later to take down the dry laundry, a breeze springs up, and it holds a bite that makes you turn up your collar to block it. Sparkling frosts greet you in the morning, and bed becomes a safe haven from the cold floor that assaults your feet. Warm clothes are brought out, along with warm hats, although however cold the ground may be, no one ever wears shoes or boots outside. Fog rolls in as the mornings warm up; the sun turning the grey mist into glowing white clouds as it rises.
Everyone gets excited when it grows cold enough to light the fire. There is the new job of fetching bundles of sticks to place in the box by the fireplace to start it with, and wood to split. Chopping wood is a challenge, and a lot of fun. The air is permeated with the gorgeous smell of woodsmoke from the neighbourhood fires, and the smell of burning grass as people light their bonfires and burn off paddocks.
Overall, there is a sense of bliss and joy that the summer heat is finally over. Everyone welcomes the weather in which we can work and play at ease.