Autumn Impressions from Germany

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

– Albert Camus

Fall and snowy winters are my favorite seasons. This year’s fall has come a bit later after we had a rather lengthy summer with a drought.

I love to see the blankets of leaves, which I don’t have to rake. I enjoy foggy mornings while having coffee on the balcony. Then we might have clear blue skies a.k.a. Indian summer (German: Altweibersommer = old women’s summer), when the yellow leaves are so bright against the deep blue sky. Autumn is full of change.

If time allows, I take morning walks through the nearby forest.

Herbststimmung im Wald.

Another pretty sight in downtown Bad Homburg.

Amber-colored leaves

A Japanese maple in the sunshine

A dog rose bush  providing tasty berries for Hagebuttenmarmelade (rose bush jam). When I was younger, this type of jam was available in supermarkets  only between November and late spring. I suppose they have it year-round nowadays.

Against dreary November skies, a cup of hot mulled wine (German: Glühwein) might help in the evening. 🙂 With the mostly sunny days we’ve had, MY Glühwein bottle is still unopened.

Indian Summer in Germany

I like fall and its colorful leaves with the blue sky as a back drop.

I don’t mind the wind sweeping down the leaves as I don’t have to do any raking as an apartment-dweller.  House owners, I am sure, feel different about this leaf-raking business.

One single leaf weighs only a few grams, but a fully grown deciduous tree sheds about 40,000 of them each fall. These leaves of a single tree, when added up, come to a total of 200 kilo grams (about 500 US pounds).

For example, the second-largest German city of Hamburg has to dispose of 12,000 tons of dead leaves every year. Germany, the land of forests (and rainfall), is blessed with tons of leaves. All together 360,000 tons of leaves will be swept up by the end of the last windfall.

All this beauty provides enough stimulation for philosophers and poets. Fallen leaves make wonderful piles for kids to jump in. They create layers of humus to enrich the soil, and supply shelter for winter-sleeping animals, among many other benefits.

Fall has a rich vocabulary, too and these are the words that come to mind:

morning mist, fog, Indian Summer, blue skies, pumpkins, squash, Halloween, sunflowers, squirrels, nuts, gathering chestnuts, chimney smoke, kite-flying, scaregrows;

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