Peep All the Leaves!
There’s a lawn full of crunchy, golden reasons as to why you should head out your front door for a leaf peeping excursion this year. Since there are too many to count (and nearly too many to rake up) I’m just going to reach into a brief how, when, where, and why of leaf peeping.
Leaf peeping deserves documentation. Take your camera. Take a few pictures. And whether you’ve set it as your lockscreen, shared it on social media, or gone all the way to have your perfect fall image printed and framed on your mantel, that moment captured in time is an excellent reason why.
But now let’s talk about the incredible effects that nature has on our mental health. You don’t have to dig far into the interweb to discover the plethora of studies done on nature and the human psyche. To sum up the extraordinary amount of information out there, being outside surrounded by nature can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, increase positive thoughts, and elevate your overall mood and general disposition.
There’s something so serene and beautiful about seeing and feeling every moment of this season. I find that a bit of autumn leaf peeping brings a great peace to me, one that the other seasons can’t quite live up to.
When is the perfect time for a bit of leaf peeping? Today, yesterday, and every day until the cold of winter has taken over completely. Every day of autumn holds a different, beautiful truth of nature. And every moment of the day will create a different story in the images captured in your camera as well as the experience you’ll capture with your mind.
A foggy morning will show the solitude of each golden tree, bush, and traveller; mere feet away from each other but separated by a quiet haze. That same place midday may show the interconnectivity of each living thing. Each tree’s individual shade of autumn reaching towards the other and running together as their fallen leaves share the same patch of ground. And the evening light, set directly behind the rich tones of crimson, auburn, and gold, will make them glow as fierce as a fire in its hearth.
I am surrounded by the autumn leaves every time I step outside. And let me assure you. It. Is. Wonderful. However, I do love to get in the car to discover and experience new places of beauty. Here are just a handful of places to take your leaf peeping adventures…
Driving Tours: A simple drive through your neighborhood may result in excellent leaf peeping opportunities!
Cemeteries: Quiet, peaceful, and immaculately tended grounds make for the perfect place to meander and think.
Parks: Possibly the most abundant and easily accessed sites! City parks are perfect for an afternoon of leaf peeping and nature.
Monuments, Historical Sites, and Museum Grounds: National Mall in the fall, anyone?
Take to the Wild: I will immediately tell you to take to the Appalachian Trail for a peaceful hike with tantalizing vistas galore, but there are also a number of other beautiful places to hike just an hour outside the city!
Many of these outdoor locations will generally be dog friendly, but do make sure to check each site for their dog rules and behavioral requirements (leash, no leash, allowed off trails, etc.) before heading out with Fido on a leaf peeping adventure.
Now that you know the place, time, and certainly the why; the how of leaf peeping is really quite simple…
Plot out a course and bring appropriate tools for navigating. When travelling alone, try to let someone else know where you’ll be in case of emergency. Especially for the hikers!
Bring provisions for yourself as well as your four-legged companions.
Wear the appropriate attire for your outing; consider your feet, the weather, and the setting. Don’t forget rain jackets and booties for Fido on those wet days!
Do stop your vehicle before using a mobile device to navigate or take pictures.
Stay on paths (when indicated to do so.)
Do your best not to disturb nature or those around you.
Leave no trace! Properly dispose of any trash or waste including any waste Fido may make.
Do make sure to have fun! Don’t let poor weather, getting a bit lost, or forgetting the memory card for your camera stop you from enjoying this glorious season!
Have a professional handle your photos – Autumn is the perfect time to snag a leaf-frolicking photo session for your dog!