By Anna Lehr Mueser, Public Relations Manager
1. Melissa, our Manager of Land Stewardship, loves how in September, the smells change. The smells of summer start to change into the smells of fall, leaves drying, falling, last flowers blooming, a shift in the tone of the forests and fields.. There’s an earthy smell, as leaves begin to rot, the forest changes subtly, signaling the new season.
2. Gift Shop Manager and Volunteer Coordinator Claire enjoys how the brightness of the sun changes. Leaves are starting to drop and more light filters through the trees, lighting both forests and homes, offering more light even as the days are growing shorter.
3. Mike, our Executive Director, explains how he loves seeing the blooming goldenrod in September. Goldenrod, its yellow flowers glowing in meadows and alongside roads, is a kind of “bookend for the year,” a marker for the last hurrah of wildflowers as the growing season winds down.
4. September is the beginning of Donna’s favorite season. Donna, Director of Finance and Administration, describes the excitement of school beginning, something she’s always loved. “It’s a time of renewal,” she says, noting how the thinner, less humid air is invigorating.
5. Damien, an Environmental Educator, loves the “70 and sunny almost every day” weather of September and the excellent farmers’ markets this time of year, with everything from tomatoes to apples. He also enjoys pumpkins and the chance for “pumpkin flavored everything.”
As for me, I love September because it carries with it the first chilly nights of fall, but the days are still (comparatively) long and warm. In September, it is as though the best of all seasons have gathered for a month. I love the smell of leaves decomposing, and like Mike, I love watching the goldenrod bloom. I love going to the farmers’ market in September and cooking with fresh herbs, spinach, cherry tomatoes and potatoes, collards, and winter squash. It’s a time of year when I can barely stand to be inside.