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COMMENTS BY KIM: Arrival of Autumn

Autumn is in the air. There’s no arguing that. Don’t want to either.

Sure, I enjoy the warmth of summer and the extended hours of daylight, but there’s something about the fall season that I always welcome. It comes with a little less daylight each day but is cloaked in color and crispness that has an appeal of its own.

To me, the best days of the year are those in which the welcome feel in the morning of the warmth of the car heater is switched to air conditioning in the afternoon. Quite often that is the case in fall as the wonderful season of change gets underway. I always want it to last for more days and months than the calendar says is possible. But it always end the same, with a sudden and necessary change from two-wheel to four-wheel drive.

Our hunting seasons, several of them, are underway. The archers are enjoying their time in the field. Bird hunters, for game overhead or underfoot, relish this season of the year too. Our hunting seasons bring a person back to nature like no other experience possible.

Fishermen notice the change too. Baitfish that stayed in cool, deep water during the summer begin to move up in the water column. So too do the predator fish that “put on the feed bag” in preparation for winter. An extra layer of clothing makes little difference to hardy North Dakota anglers who have learned to revel in fall fishing.

For the outdoorsman, this is really the season of too much to do. Too many choices to make. Too many sights and sounds to possibly take in during a single season of the year, from changing foliage to the spectacle of the fall migration. Count me among those who wish fall would last forever.

Ever try fall camping? Try it once and you’ll probably be forever hooked on the experience. There’s nothing quite like sleeping in cool, crisp air and then enjoying a hot breakfast outdoors. Not many people frequent campgrounds after Labor Day, making the experience all the better for those who like to have the outdoors pretty much to themselves.

The only thing I don’t care for about fall is that, no matter how long it lasts, it never seems to last long enough. For that reason I make sure that I enjoy as much of it as I can. We know what the season after fall brings.

If you live in North Dakota you have to learn to take what experiences you can, to like what you can, during winter. It’s just too long a season season, usually, to do otherwise. Over a period of several years though, I have come to realize I don’t enjoy winter as much as I once did.

Sure, I take part in winter activities but not nearly so much for the enjoyment as for the relief of breaking up the sometimes monotonous routines from first snowfall to snowmelt. I never want to turn the calendar page to winter and regret not soaking in as much of the fall season as possible.

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