This past weekend, my husband and I hiked two Colorado 14ers, peaks stretching over 14,000 feet into the atmosphere (and we didn’t forget our pear packers!). This particular trip was bittersweet; it was an accomplishment indeed, but it marked the end of summer for us. More high altitude adventures will have to wait until next year, and I’ll soon have to dig out my snowshoes and long johns.
I am a summer person; I love the sun, the temperature, the bounty of fruits and vegetables, and not having to wear a parka to check the mail. And as a summer person, fall seems to begin on September 1 (although, logically speaking, we officially have 3 more weeks of summer). Even though the warm, lovely days are dwindling and the nights are growing cooler and longer, I do get excited about the changing seasons. The leaves evolving from green to yellow, orange, and red, the crisp kiss of autumn air on your cheek, and the delight of the upcoming fall harvest give even the most loyal summer-ite pause. Pumpkins and butternut squash, sweet potatoes, corn, apples, plums, grapes, and of course, the heavenly pear – I love them all. And as a dietitian, the harvest has significant meaning: The unique colors and textures of each season’s bounty provide a different mixture of nutrients and interest for the palate. Now is a great time to take advantage of summer’s finale and begin transitioning into the new season; the pear harvest begins in August and continues through October. Change is good!