Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 23:09
Determining when fall starts can be a tough question to answer. Is it after Labor Day? Is the autumn equinox on Saturday the definitive date? Or does it really begin when all your senses leave you with no choice but to realize that it’s official. All the signs this week have pointed out that summer is over, but the beauty of fall is emerging. For the first time, it didn’t matter that most dorms on campus don’t have air conditioning, and everyone could finally just wear a sweatshirt to class.
But the best part of fall is the way that it can touch all of our five senses. Once each one of them is satisfied, it’s safe to say that fall has arrived.
The most obvious sense is sight. The pumpkin décor and candy corn broke onto shelves two months ago when the temperature was 90 degrees, so these don’t count. You can really tell when the first few trees start to turn brilliant colors on Horsebarn Hill. Nothing says New England fall like standing at one of the highest points on campus and looking at the red and yellow hues throughout the UC forest and the surrounding hillsides. It’s a great place to take a run or walk at the end of a long day.
If you’re lucky enough to have the leaves blow onto the road that day, you’ll find the most comforting and iconic sound of dry leaves crunching under your foot. The sound of rustling of leaves as they’re raked into a pile and then scattered by kids, or college kids, is the perfect way to know fall’s here.
One of the best smells of the season is an apple pie in the oven. The recipe is simple enough, and always better when the apples are hand-picked. The hour-long baking time is perfect to let the cinnamon and nutmeg float through the house, making it warm and inviting against the crisp air outside.
The local coffee house is another cozy environment. If you walk into any Starbucks between now and November, it’s hard to miss the reminders of the greatest tastes of the season. A pumpkin spice latte brings back childhood memories of picking the largest pumpkin in the patch and trying to carry it home to carve. Pair it with a piece of pumpkin bread, and you’ll be in fall heaven. These are available year-round as well in case you’re craving fall during the rest of the year.
Finally, the cooler weather lets us bring out some of the best feeling fashion fabrics. Cords are always a classic going-to-school look, and they add a little extra protection from the Storrs winds that are coming back. We wait all year to wear a cozy cable knit sweater, and at last the time is here! From tweed jackets to flannel shirts and cashmere sweaters to leather bags, fall’s fabrics never disappoint the fingertips.
It’s hard to identify the exact moment when summer turned to fall here in Storrs, or if it even has. But listening to your senses will give you the hints you need.