The leaves on the trees lining Eastwood are browning, curling, and crunching in a very satisfying way, and the tree right outside Dugan has a small branch of bright red; yet my friends seem to be more amazed by my excitement than by the incredible work of nature surrounding us all.
Being born and raised in Southern California, our four seasons are just variations of summer. Our trees are either evergreens or palms — they don’t change color. Living somewhere with actual seasons has given me an appreciation for what is quickly becoming my favorite season. I find that fall is a season that people from Buffalo and surrounding areas often take for granted. I’ll admit that I’m still trying to learn what Buffalo has to offer, but in order for me to get the most out of fall I’ve been doing a lot of intense research (Google and Yelp, as well as asking my local friends) to find things to do in the area.
One of the things I’m most excited for is literally anything apple related. The apples here are easily the best I’ve ever had, and I’m definitely going to go check out a local orchard to go apple picking and get some good cider. The problem here seems not to be finding where one can go to find a good orchard, but rather how to narrow down all the choices! Becker Farms, Hall’s Apple Farm, Mayer Bros, Sanger Farms and Bakery, and Smith’s Orchard Cider Mill are all among some of the ones that seem to pop up over and over again. I intend on visiting as many as I can to find my favorite.
And while I’m thinking about food, I can’t forget pumpkins. Literally pumpkin anything; pumpkin pie, muffins, doughnuts, seeds…the list goes on. I would love to find a good pumpkin patch in Buffalo. I could easily spend a fair amount of time hunting down a good one to carve, roasting the seeds, and making pumpkin pie from the guts (Alton Brown’s recipe is my favorite).
I also desperately want to find a good corn maze; growing up, the most we could ever find is a few bales of hay that you could easily peer over. I want to get lost, and I’m definitely planning on hunting down a good place to do that, even if it means visiting every maze in Buffalo. I think the first on my list is THE MAiZE in North Tonawanda, honestly just because I can appreciate a good pun.
Last semester, I discovered an appreciation for horror movies that I didn’t know I had. For the first time, I wanted to watch an actually scary movie instead of another year of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Some of my favorites from last year were “As Above, So Below” and “The Collector;” hopefully I’ll be able to watch the sequel to the latter, “The Collection,” when thunder rumbles outside and my friends and I hide under our blankets.
But by far, the thing I’m most thrilled about are the leaves. Earlier this week, some of my friends and I took a walk through Forest Lawn, sitting by Mirror Lake and watching the ducks. Getting to do that over and over again through the next few months makes me so excited to see the changes from green to yellows and reds, to feel the crunch of dry leaves under my feet, and to wander amongst the trees with a warm tea and the crisp air.
I encourage you to make the most out of the changing seasons. For those of you who are from places without a real fall like I am, try to do as much with the season as you can and see what your favorite part is, taking advantage of everything that Buffalo has to offer. If you’re more local, or are otherwise used to Fall, consider what you love most about the season, revisit your favorites, and try something new – reflect on how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful city with weather and seasons to appreciate. Fall only lasts so long, so let’s make the most of it.