There are two weeks left before school starts, and my kids and I still have a mile-long list of fun things to do. The end of summer vacation always seems to come too soon, and we never get to do all the activities we would like.
But there’s always autumn.
September and October bring cooler weather, but the sun still shines bright, and with it the promise of more opportunities to work on that list. Right now, my kids are so busy with school and sports that it can be challenging to get the time, but it’s certainly possible.
Visitors to the Finger Lakes during the autumn months continue to find enjoyable things to see and do. Lakes may be getting too cool for swimming and water skiing, but the cooler weather can mean great hiking and biking, and wine and beer tasting, too.
Seneca Meadows Wetlands Preserve (page 40) is a new habitat to discover near Seneca Falls, adjacent to a landfill. What were once fields used for farming have been turned back into wetlands and grasslands. Birds and other animals are returning in great numbers because of the upgraded terrain. In turn, people can now walk hiking trails and enjoy these lands once again.
The Finger Lakes Region is well-known for its wine and vineyards with good reason. There are more than 140 wineries in the area, and new ones open every year. Microbreweries and brewpubs (page 46) are just as popular. There are more than 40 in the region, and the industry continues to grow. There is something in the area for everyone, no matter their tastes.
Not only can the Finger Lakes satisfy taste buds, but it offers food for the soul. The area’s art trails and galleries are expanding as local artists continue to prove they can create significant works of art that compare with the best in the country. Craftsmen and artisans continue to fine-tune their skills through their creations – handmade baskets (page 62), quilts and eye-catching paintings (page 112) are just a few.
Photographers, both amateur and professional, enjoy autumn as well. The air is crisp and clear, the leaves change color, and photographic subjects leap out and catch their attention. Even the most common, everyday sights are breathtakingly beautiful, if captured in the right light and composed in a pleasing manner (page 56).
Take heart readers. Summer may be gone, but autumn is the icing on the cake. There’s still time to mark off a few of those items on your list.
by Mark Stash