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Fall is in the air

Charlie Riedel / AP

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In the October 1862 issue of The Atlantic, Henry David Thoreau argued that foliage was not getting the attention it deserved. “The autumnal change of our woods has not made a deep impression on our own literature yet,” he wrote. “October has hardly tinged our poetry.”

Today, autumn gets its due: Many poets have written about falling leaves; Starbucks serves pumpkin spice lattes; a humor essay from 2009 that spews autumnal joy has become something of a modern classic. But it’s still worth sparing a moment of appreciation during what Thoreau called “the month of painted leaves.”

On Fall

Fall Is in the Air

Images of the season (From 2022)

Autumnal Tints

By Henry David Thoreau

“A great many, who have spent their lives in cities, and have never chanced to come into the country at this season, have never seen this, the flower, or rather the ripe fruit, of the year.”

Pumpkins: An American Obsession

By Alexia Fernández Campbell

The beloved vegetable that fed New England’s starving settlers now produces more than $100 million in sales. (From 2016)

Still Curious?

Other Diversions


In 2017, Julie Beck asked Colin Nissan, the author of that famous McSweeney’s fall essay, what he’d say to haters of the season. “I just don’t know how you can hate it,” he said. “It’s cozy, there’s delicious foods, the foliage is beautiful. There are built-in activities to fall. Maybe it’s the people who love summer so much and they feel like fall just means winter’s coming. But fall is its own beast. You just have to relish it.”

— Isabel

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