The aroma of pumpkin spice has hit the air, and that must mean the autumnal season has descended upon Wisconsin. The encroachment of fall colors has begun in earnest, with vibrant reds, oranges and yellows splashed upon many hillsides, often contrasted with the yellowing of the remaining crop fields across the state. It is with this scenic backdrop, amid the crispness of the morning air, and the brisk evenings that require those additional layers that Wisconsinites seek their preferred version of the autumn respite.
It is often amazing the tranquility one can find in natural settings, away from the rancor and discord we encounter so often in these tumultuous times. I know I have shared an affinity for the quietude of fishing. You can find yourself completely transported from your work-a-day life while listening to the squawking of cranes, and honking of geese in their preparations for migration, while waiting patiently for the opportunity to snap to steeled attention when a long-awaited tug sets the world in motion. The fall season brings a wealth of opportunities for a whole range of species as temperatures start to drop.
Many enjoy all that nature has to offer without the aid of a fishing pole. Throngs of migrating waterfowl of all sorts are traveling through the local Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, an event avid birders await all summer. Camping areas are in their final phases before prepping for winter, for those protected, or hearty enough to endure the fall chill. Hikers travail numerous local spots to take in the scenery and solitude before winter’s icy grip. It’s also a wonderful season for those get-away times to local havens with fewer visitors.
You may also be one that enjoys other types of sporting ventures, whether it be bundled for a Friday evening football game, or jamming yourself among the 80,000 in Lambeau Field, Camp Randall, or other venues. We’ll also see many rapt with attention amid another post-season run by the Brewers. Milwaukee finds itself abuzz once again with civic sports pride.
Apple orchards, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and more await outdoor enthusiasts of all types. Fall festivals and fairs, wine walks, and more await visitors and citizens in various communities across the region. Farmers markets are awash with produce from the latter part of the seasonal harvests. Many events move indoors as the season progresses, and there are always ways we can find to unwind. Choose whatever you can to find a way to spend at least a little time disconnected from the frenetic pace of everyday life.
We live in a world filled with instant gratification. We have a 24-hour news cycle, with many fixated on the latest trending stories. Order what you need from Amazon, and you have it at your doorstep in a couple of days. We employ “Google” or other search engines to find answers to the most obscure questions.
This reliance on instant information can also create challenges of its own, and we all need time to escape the drudgery of everyday duties and responsibilities, if only for a short time. Your home projects and unanswered emails will be there upon your return. Social media may have a couple of fads or viral videos you may miss, but there will always be more to capture your attention. Folks often need to take time to disengage from stressful work environments.
One advantage of spending time outdoors is it’s far less likely anyone will hassle you over whether or not you possess certain medical documentation for all to see. It’s simply none of their business. Some folks will probably still be masked in certain settings, but riverbanks, lakes, and trails are usually devoid of such accoutrements.
It is not to lessen the need for citizens to be engaged in the affairs of the day, or to shirk the duties of making their voices heard, but we all need to just take a break now and again. I know I’d miss getting called a variety of names, or being hassled for continuing to show up at school board meetings. There’s still plenty of time for all those actions, and a bit of time away can help you recharge for the next onslaught of attacks.
Whatever your passion for recreation may be, there are likely great opportunities to enjoy some respite in the next few weeks before the weather turns colder, and the holiday season begins in earnest. Take a few moments to enjoy the pumpkin spice autumn brings.
Scott Frostman lives in Baraboo, and has roots throughout Wisconsin. Opinions herein are exclusively his own. He believes anyone can make a difference and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.