Autumn has swept another hot, humid summer away to make room for cool evenings and changing leaves. Although the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, opportunities remain to immerse oneself in the beauty of the season while remaining socially distanced.
A quintessential autumn activity, apple picking provides something for nearly all ages. Children can enjoy picking fruit off of the lowest branches while those who have grown older and taller focus on filling their containers with the best apples from the tops of the trees. Those concerned about possible human contact can rest assured, knowing that orchards provide plenty of space and fresh air, easily adapting apple picking to social distancing requirements. Additionally, orchard owners implement precautions such as plexiglass shields and masks to protect the purchasing process. As a bonus, apple picking provides an opportunity to enjoy the fall foliage on the drive home as you eat your newly acquired bushels of apples.
“I have been spending as much time as I can with friends and my family… I hope to make it up to North Georgia to see the leaves and go to a pumpkin patch and apple picking. Day trips are always my favorite fall family memories,” Kennesaw Mountain junior Daniela Binns said.
When you get home and realize you have two bushels of apples to eat before they go bad, you can convert a dozen or so into delicious desserts. Apple crisp, apple tarts, and, of course, apple pies can fill your home with the sweet aroma of a bakery and a potpourri factory within the hour. If creatively and culinarily inclined, one can attempt a complicated latticework pie to showcase their baking prowess.
If your latticework falls apart and the apple tarts remind you too much of the banana bread you made during the beginning of quarantine, pumpkin carving provides another creative, autumn-themed outlet. Gather your friends and family to compete in a socially distant jack-o-lantern carving contest, or work alone to create a masterpiece that will bring warmth and light to your front porch and impress your neighbor’s children when they inevitably come seeking candy.
“In a couple of days, I plan to carve pumpkins. Although there’s no contest going on I [am going to] do my best to carve the most handsome pumpkin,” junior Ellie Boyle said.
However they come into being, a Jack-o-lantern serves as the perfect fall decoration, second only to the changing colors of the trees.
If you want to escape from the piles of pumpkin insides now covering every surface in your house and fully experience the changing leaves, a hike provides the perfect opportunity. Georgia boasts several beautiful hiking trails just minutes away that showcase the flora and fauna of fall to those willing to visit. Although certain trails receive moderate traffic, the nature of most hiking locations allows hikers to easily socially distance themselves. In less frequently traveled trails, you might not even see another living being apart from your reflection in a puddle of hurricane-induced rain.
However you choose to spend the season, autumn offers the perfect blank canvas for a variety of enjoyable, safely distanced activities. Take advantage of the perfect weather and beautiful surroundings, to create memories for years to come.