90 Second Escape: Nature’s Grace Period

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.

Today’s 90-Second Escape: Nature’s Grace Period

After fall color has peaked but before the winter cold sets is a period lies a period of transition that defies seasonal definition. The calendar says it’s fall, mid-fall, in fact: the season doesn’t officially change until just before Christmas. Yet fall suggests sunny skies, crisp air, long sleeves, long pants. That’s not this season. Winter, on the other hand, is stark, severe, gray. That doesn’t fit, either: occasional flashes of yellow, orange and red linger, their brilliance made all the more so by an increasingly monochromatic backdrop.

What we have is a compromise, nature agreeing to give us a few more days of waning color as compensation for the necessary — for the natural world to take a break and recharge — gray and cold to come. A grace period, if you will.

Sunday we took a brisk walk along the Eno River, grateful for this grace period. We appreciated the splashes of remaining color and the cool-but-not-yet cold air. But we mainly appreciated the season for what it is, a time to experience the outdoors as it prepares to get its affairs in order before hunkering down for the winter. And a time for us to adjust as well, to the challenges of winter exploring ahead.

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