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Autumn is here: Football, pumpkins, bears and deer

Staff Report • Sep 24, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down today.

Nothing gold can stay.

“Nothing Gold can Stay,” by Robert Frost

Fall officially arrives today, which is good news to the many Americans who count autumn as their favorite season. Football fanatics, of course, are among this group. Hunters, hikers and other nature enthusiasts also find fall to be a good time to be outdoors.

Autumn is also a wonderful time for gardeners to pursue their passions. Pumpkins and squashes will need to be harvested, and of course this is the time of year for making apple butter and apple cider.

Many residents will spend hours in the next month or two raking autumn leaves. Fall is also a good time to plant a tree. Trees planted in fall have ample time to establish root systems before summer.

Fall is also a time to take precautions. One of the most important is to make sure all heating sources in your home are operating properly and are free of flammable obstructions.

We would also advise that you check all smoke detectors to make sure they are operating correctly before turning up the heat.

Autumn is a time of the year when many wild critters are on the move. Bears, in particular, are known to wander into residential areas in search of nuts and berries on which to fatten up for winter. Homeowners can do a few simple but effective things to discourage bears from paying them a visit. One of the first things residents should do is to make sure they dispose of their garbage in containers that are sealed tightly.

Drivers should be on the lookout for deer crossing the highway. As we’ve noted in this space many times before, cars and deer are often a lethal combination. Such encounters are more likely to occur during deer hunting season — between late September and December — when there is a profound increase in the movement of the deer population.

Fall is also a good time to simply reflect and to enjoy the change of the seasons. Perhaps that is why autumn has always been an inspiration to poets like Mary Hamrick, who once wrote, “Autumn is like an old book: Marred spines turn mean yellow, staples rust red-orange.

“Every stained page is stressed by a splat of color.”

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