Fall’s splash is welcome sight

As I write this blog on the eve of the first day of fall there’s a part of me that wants to say: What took you so long?

Fall is the best season to live in Kansas—recognizing the first two weeks may still hit the 90-degree mark and the final two weeks have the chill of winter—because the weather still allows many outdoor activities to occur with minimal interruption from Mother Nature. The changes in the color of the leaves reminds me of the warm calm Mother Nature can offer if I’m willing to be patient and observe.

Having lived in Kansas all but one year of my life I have seen the changes in how events are programmed too.

At one time there were a few signature events—the Kansas State Fair, the Winfield Bluegrass Festival and Oktoberfest in Hays as examples of events I went to along with local/regional festivals. Because of the attraction of high school football, Friday nights had a captive audience and the importance of volleyball and cross country on Saturdays for schools meant many communities did not schedule other activities, preferring to look at the spring months, particularly March to May.

As time went on organizers recognized the unpredictability of spring weather and uncertain makeup times combined with many school functions led organizers to look past summer and into early to mid fall.

For Kansas, it hit the sweet spot of scheduling, with one caveat—many organizations throughout the state have followed a similar script and now the scheduling conflicts are numerous. Try to pick an open weekend that does not conflict with Kansas State University and University of Kansas football games is difficult to do. The start times each Saturday can vary from any time from 11 a.m. to as late as 6:30 p.m. which becomes a nightmare for planners trying to organize a schedule of activities.

I like the idea of more weekend activities in the fall but I also recognize it takes time away from general sight-seeing. Perhaps my rural friends are glad of that as fall is the busiest with fall harvest, wheat planting and cattle chores that can include moving cattle off summer pastures to fall calving.

Fall also means the daylight in the evening continues to fade earlier and for commuters it means watching out for deer and other wildlife in the morning and evening. Seeing wildlife is always a treat but it is nightmare if they hit your vehicle.

With the start of fall also means thoughts of preparation for the holidays and winter. I’m OK if Mother Nature lets fall linger awhile. I think my farm friends feel the same and we can joke about it when we are watching high school football on a Friday night.