Fall is my favorite time of year by far and I'm willing to bet there are a lot of people out there that share my feelings. We look forward to the temperatures dropping a touch below what you'd find in a steel foundry, the colors seem to explode like nature's version of a fireworks display, and the animals become hyper active in their search for a mate or food for the coming winter. When I was growing up, the crispness in the air let us know things were changing and seemed to breath new life into kids who were tired of being beat down by the heat and humidity of a Erie summer. Our evening bike rides were longer, the football games more competitive, and our search for stored away hunting equipment more frantic with each passing day. The moment was upon us and we probably weren't quite as ready as we could have been. Sitting in a high school classroom during the fall was inhumane torture once the colors started changing and hitting the fields and woods was more important than anything a teacher could possible tell us.
Fall hunting season started with archery and then quickly moved into squirrel, grouse, then rabbit and pheasant. If I'd lived there at this time in my life the season would have also included steelhead and lake-run brown further complicating matters since I couldn't possibly decide whether I wanted to go hunting or fishing. Some people think fall is a season when things are turning brown and dying but for the outdoorsman, it's a time of excitement and exploration. I could spend days afield or on the streams staring in wonderment at the colors, hearing the sounds, and taking in the sweet smells of the season. It makes my heart ache when I think about what I'm missing by living so far south, but then again, I don't have to shovel snow in January.
Fall in Florida brings on the hunting season just like more northern regions but we don't get to enjoy temperature changes quite like they do, nor do we see the broad spectrum of color changes but things are happening at a fever pitch. The annual mullet run is underway and the fish are feeding with abandon, the migratory birds are beginning to show up after leaving their summer homes, and the deer are going through the fall rut as they try to create the next generation of monster bucks. Nature continues to move forward as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop into a range slightly below incinerator levels. It can be a wonderful time of year no matter where in the country you might choose to call home. You just need to take the time to get outdoors and enjoy it.
Pull on some hiking boots, jeans, and a nice flannel shirt then hit the road with your camera, rod, or gun and I'm sure you'll fall in love with the fall season like so many of us have. It's a wonderful time of the year that seems to pass all too quickly so don't miss it this year. because it'll be winter before you know it.
Brian "Beastman" Eastman